A Magnifying Glass

A magnifying glass filters the sun
And with patience
I focus the rays to a single dot on the concrete
Moving this dot onto a leaf the power of my dot becomes obvious
First smoke and a smell, then blackness and finally a hole
I make a second, third, fourth
Different leaves, different smells
And soon I am surrounded by holey leaves.

I take my magnifying glass to school. Clouds part and allow me to demonstrate my newfound skill
‘Let me have a go!’
‘I’m next!’
Each, in turn, feels the joy I discovered yesterday.
Again I am surrounded by holey leaves.

But young boys, trying to outdo each other, turn their attentions to innocent ants.
Scanning my dot over the ground
Eventually capturing an ant within its boundaries.
Ant gone
Victorious boys find the next victim
And the next
My discovery, turned into a tool of death.
I silently watch on
The ants pay the price for my want to stay quiet
And be accepted.

Caitlin Mahony (Western Australia)

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