“Girl Riding A Horse” by Aadya Agarwal, age 12, New Jersey.          


As the wind weaved through my black hair,
Flying in the golden sunshine,
A sudden gush of independence rushed at me.

On top of my slender caramel horse,
I measured north to south, east to west,
All painted with a rural landscape.

I was on top, on top of my mighty world,
I could have done anything!
Yet, riding along with my jovial spirits, I felt something.
A ball of fear knotting up in my stomach.

Freedom and Independence were new, they were fresh.
Alas, they did not come free!
In front of me, loomed a bridge,
A bridge between Protection and Freedom

While protection offers security,
It’s also a locked cage.
While freedom demands responsibility,
You are the person you choose to be.

And then there is a balance between the two.
As on my slender caramel horse,
I ride free, the gentle strap safely protecting me.

Aadya Agarwal, age 12, New Jersey. She writes: The inspiration for my poem came from a horseback riding adventure I went on while vacationing in India this past summer. The entire experience filled me with a range of emotions of independence, confidence, fear and anxiety and my attempt to balance it all in that moment. It was truly an experience that I will never forget and something that unraveled an important question about freedom and responsibility for me.”

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