This Isn’t the World I Grew Up In

Written by Chantelle Gourlay

This isn’t the world I grew up in.

This one is rife with terror and chaos,
A world where I cannot leave my home.
It’s like a parallel universe of riot and fear,
Death follows us wherever we walk.

How do I navigate this foreign place?
I feel as though I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe …
I can’t breathe …

Didn’t he whisper that before he died,
Stuck beneath the officer’s knee?
There was no way out of this.
I think he knew he was going to die.

I live thousands of miles away,
But I can still feel it—the anger.
An uprising is coming one way or another,
And I fear for those caught in the crossfire.

People can’t speak to one another,
There are tensions rising everywhere.
We’re stuck inside our homes day after day,
No end in sight to this chaos.

Families are turning on one another,
Our refuge is held in technology.
Virtual spaces are our new saviours,
The only way to see those we love.

This isn’t the world I grew up in.


Chantelle Gourlay is a writer, editor, and actress from Geelong/ Djillong Victoria. She recently graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing. Her works have been published in Deakin’s WORDLY magazine, F*emszine, and Matters Journal. When she doesn’t have her head stuck in a book, you’ll often find her journalling, dancing in the sunshine, or baking!


Chantelle’s work has appeared in the Euphoria, Power, Atmosphere, and Retro editions of WORDLY Magazine.

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