The Girl Preserved by Pompeii | Teen Ink

The Girl Preserved by Pompeii

August 31, 2018
By Bug16 GOLD, Bedford, Texas
Bug16 GOLD, Bedford, Texas
17 articles 4 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.

Advice for life: Don't Die

In ruins of Pompeii, there lies a girl

Eternally preserved in finest dust.

The sun has turned her face of ash to pearl

Of smoothest white; a face that once showed trust

In the possibility of love in each

Man’s heart.


                  She firmly stood against what might

Have ever crossed her path, was out of reach

From evils that haunt mind and soul at night.

Not once did she show anger or distress,

Nor sadness, grief, nor pain. For, thought the world,

This girl had undeniably been blessed

By gods above who dwell in clouds unfurled,

That kindness only from her eyes would beam

And fill the faults of man.


                                         Or so it seemed.


Should passersby stand close to her, they’ll hear

A faint but steady whisper from her lips.

Just three have stopped and cared, in all these years,

To listen to the tale she tells: a ship’s

Brave captain, a princess from a far-off land,

A boy she thought she knew from an old dream.


Her whispered truth is of deceitful bands

Of joy that mask a broken porcelain. Cream

Skin, deftly clothed so as to cover marks

That never heal, cries out in fear of yet

Again being painted with thick strokes of dark

Browns, reds, and blues. And still, she thought a debt

Was somehow owed to her painter, silencer,

Spectator, who relished in her torture.



The captain listened to her and said naught.

That such a delicate body should hold

Such misery, he could not stand the thought.

A little wooden boat he placed in the fold

Of the girl’s hand so that, when grasping it,

She could escape from her tempestuous life

To calming oceans of her moonlit

Imagination: a respite from strife.


The princess listened to the girl and laughed –

Laughed not to be derisive but to heal

The porcelain’s cracks that seemed so much like shafts.

Their laughter saw many suns set, ’til peals

Of trumpets from the far-off land called back

The princess, whose felicity never slacked.

In parting sentiment, a silver shield

Of purest joy she draped over the girl.

Under its protection, her life would yield

No harm, but watch her happiness unfurl.


In time that passed, the girl lay safely by.

When sunshine would glint its last and moon beams

Enshroud the girl, she oft would close her eyes

And lose herself to the hand of quiet dreams.




One eve, she dreamt of drowning in a pool

Of silver: porcelain mask melting with

Reflection of the moon.

                                    She cried, How cruel,

Being trapped in the splendor of Luna’s myth!

But then a gentle hand reached in and drew

Her onto banks of freshly forming dew.


In morning light, the girl awoke to find

A new sensation comforting her heart.

The glistening shield and wooden boat in mind,

She understood their strength and joy as part

Of this stirring - ignorant of the truth.


But even with their strength and joy, the gifts

Could not erase the horrors of her youth.

Her whisper fell to depths unheard. A cliff

Arose and shadow blackened confidence

That had begun to break the mask.


                                                   But just

As utter dissolution won her sense,

A boy reached down a hand into the dust.

Her whisper, hardly there, had caught his ear.

His hand caught hers before she disappeared.


In gentleness before unknown, the boy

Took hold her arm and held her close. He slowly

Fought back the cliff that threatened to destroy

Her porcelain shell. And in her heart, wholly

Felt, stirred once again a comfort, warm and

Safe. This, she knew, was strength and joy                                                                   

                                                                     -and love.


He drew her from behind the mask, the bands

That smoothed the colors they lay above.

He reined her in from harsh, secluded seas

And raised the shield whose silver had become

A weight unbearable. New sensuality

Swept through her porcelain – rhythm, music, from

The touch of just his hand.


                                             Please, she prayed, Guide

Me always. The world’s time will step aside

And watch us walk through sun and silver light



                 Always, came his murmur back.


For once, the girl knew happiness, delight.




The rains came down, one night, in soaked attack

On promises made once in dust. He shed

Her hand and walked away. The girl lay still

In the ashes, watching him ‘til rain bled

With moon and blurred her vision, drenched her will,

And she could not discern if he turned round.


The drops formed rapids down her face and to

The hand that once was held by his. She found

They burned and scratched, they cracked and stripped and hewed

A flow of chips from porcelain once thought blessed

By gods above who held her to their breasts.

Without the porcelain, legions of anguish flowed

Into the ash.


                     The girl once more held tight

To wooden boat and silver shield, bestowed

With love and joy and strength. And yet, despite

The goodness stored in them, she lost her trust

In man, in hope, in turns of mirth that might

Have once proved life as virtuous and just.

And still today, she lies in wait for one

To stop and see the tiny rivulets

Of dust, in which are buried the porcelain

Chips that lead the eye to the inlets

Of her heart.


Her spirit remains alive, if only split

In smaller pearls that glint in ash moonlit.

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