By Bhagyashree Prabhutendolkar, age 16, Mumbai, INDIA

if only I could go back in time
and whisper to my younger self,
i would ask her to calm down
before dipping toes into adulthood,
telling her it would sometimes
feel like growing up around venom
and you would shatter
when the demons would spin
pretty lies for your pretty self,
but you mustn’t drown in their tales,
for purity flows through your veins
and the venom can’t touch your bare skin,
it will turn to ashes dear.
you deserve to catch the stars
and reach the sky;
and you mustn’t love anyone else,
than your dear dreams that make you survive
you have a reason to live, a passion to die for,
never betray them who make you smile
in the worst days of calamity
and help you rise from nothing,
for they are your dreams
just breathe.

By Bhagyashree Prabhutendolkar, age 16, Mumbai, INDIA. Bhagyashree is a high school journalist, public speaker, 
poet and a recipient of 'The Hindustan Times Scholarship Award.' When not writing, she likes to paint the whispers 
of nature on paper to accompany her poems. She aspires to pursue a career in media and creative writing.

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