Gemma Charlton


I saunter through the rainforest, striding my feet with strength and courage. I sniff the
autumn air as the trees drop their leaves, hitting the ground softly. I am me, as confident
as can be.

I am alone, watching the trees adsorb me in all my glory as I ponder through the colourful
glistening lake. No one can stop me, no one can join me. I am me, independent as can be.

I challenge myself by the way I hurdle and scamper, my eyes widening as my feet go bang
on the frigid earth where I live. No one expects it, now one knows it. I am me, as I walk
through the trees.

I pierce my eyes down at the dear as I perceive its every move. Its eyes transfix on mine,
watching me as I walk closer, like a spy in the night sky. I am me, as determined as can

I pounce, taking in the deer as I grittle my teeth on its temperature and soft fur. I
am me, I run as I flee.

I peer up at the dazzling, dark night sky. The wind echoes through the trees, going swoosh
against my stripes as I stride through the prickly grass brushing past my legs.

I am a tiger, fierce but confident, independent but determined. I am me, and that is all
there is to be.

Gemma Charlton lives in Tasmania. 'I am 14 years old and enjoy playing cricket and mountain bike riding in my spare time. My favourite subjects are Science and English, and I like to read and write poetry about my experiences and adventures, and/or anything that I am interested in! My favourite book is When the Rain Turns to Snow by Jane Godwin, and I like the poet Emily Dickinson and her work.' Gemma's poem 'Tiger' was an entry in the Andrew Hardy Youth Poetry Prize 2022.