Alizabeth McDermott

Poem:    A Voice Crushed

Story:     To Be a Writer

Story:     The Day It Came

Poem:    Smoke in the Library

Slam Group Poem: "A Dozen Adaptations for the Socially Distanced"

Group Poem: "Potluck"

Script: "The Panic at the Disco"

A Voice Crushed


When someone else tells my story, it feels fake, as if the words aren’t mine anymore. As if what happened to me was just another incident, placed on the pile of society’s flaws. This can bring additional pain, to feel ignored and pushed aside. As if the problems that are your greatest personal obstacles in life are simply swept under the rug. Every time I am hurt or overlooked, I’ll tell the story. But then it will be stolen, interrupted, or ignored entirely. It’s hard to find your voice when every time you speak all society hears is another meaningless sound waiting to be disregarded with time. Then that sound, your only sound, and millions of others are drowned out everyday by the oppressive, unreasonable standards of a society that has created an impossible level of so-called perfection that always proves itself to be unreachable. It’s only when you understand all of this, that you finally have the ability to take back your voice, and see the importance in every story, everything, and most importantly, everyone. 

To Be a Writer 


     To be a writer isn’t what people expect. It sometimes means having an appearance of calm, but an essence of fire. It sometimes means sitting in silence while your mind is racing so fast it’s engulfed in flames. And the flames leave scars in your mind that may fade, but never go away. 

     Writing is an outlet, a form of expression, and that is why I love it. Writing means keeping that little flame in your heart under control by communicating with others through your works, rather than losing your temper, and letting it spin out of control. To be a writer also means you are one of the lucky ones, because you have found an amazing way to express yourself positively.  


The Day It Came 


     I’ll never forget the day it came. The day I first heard the pounding of its fists on our door. The day I first saw the sky darken with dust and debris; and the day I first understood true terror. 

     It was a monster, and a freak of nature. Its pale dusty skin flashed past our windows as it tried to break in; and its loud, howling voice demanded entrance to our humble home. 

     My mother rushed me downstairs as my father grabbed the emergency supply kit and some blankets out of the closet. It was tearing the house apart as we huddled together in the basement. My parents had put me between them, and they covered my ears as they shielded me with their own bodies. Although they tried so hard, I could still hear the windows smashing, the furniture sliding across the floor and lifting into the air, and I still felt the crippling fear they had hoped to save me from. 

     They would have done anything for me. I feel content knowing they loved me that much. They were even willing to give their lives to save mine, but sadly they were too late. 


Smoke in the Library


The smoke in the library rose into the rafters;

It was so heavy, the young girl could read in it.


The folklore was coming to life;

The words blanketed her in the smoke.


‘There once was a young maiden, 

Who was still searching for her magic.’


‘Everyone else could control a force of nature, 

But she struggled to find her element.’


Encompassed in her own imagination, 

She was enjoying the story.


‘One day she came across an otter at the lake;

“Come into the water and play!” he said to her.’


‘She went hesitantly toward the edge;

Then she stepped in the water.’


‘The maiden knew in that moment,

That she had found her element.’


The reader smiled with satisfaction;

She had gone on a full journey.


The smoke around her cleared as the story finished.

Slowly the room faded back into view, 

And the story was now just another treasured memory.