We, in defiance,

It is the very first Hunger Games. The Districts are still smarting from the war. No one has forgotten what they fought for. No one has forgotten why they won and why they lost.

declare that you do not have the right

The first Tributes are in denial, as all of Panem is in denial. It can't be like this. This is not the way the world works. Nothing can be this cruel, this unfair. No one, not even the President, can be this cold.

to rule,

These are children. They should not be fighting. But in the Games, the war goes on. The war goes on and on and on, carried through their children's blood and the Capitol's screens. Everyone plays the game of hoping, hoping for a better life for one more year for one more day to live and live in hope that something will change.

to punish,

It is the very first Hunger Games. The Tributes are in denial. They stand in their places and look at the people - children - they are supposed to kill. The Gamemakers set off a bomb. They scatter.

to command.

It is the second Games. The Tributes know what they have to do now. They are determined - I will get out alive. I will see the sun rise. I will not die.

We defy you.

On and on and on. The Games never end. The war never ends.

Your rules.

The third Games. The Tributes walk into the horn of plenty and stockpile food and sit around, talking, determined not to bend to the Capitol. Eight of them die before the rest decide they don't want to be next.

Your cages.

It never ends.

Your world.

It is the tenth Games. They have learned. Now the Tributes enter the arena and they are not determined to win, but desperate. They have seen the other Games. They know how it goes. They know. They will not survive and this gives them nothing, nothing to lose. It is one of the bloodiest Games in history, and ends in fifteen minutes. No one ran. They stayed at the horn of plenty and fought and died. No one won that Game.

We, in defiance,

No one ever wins a game that never ends.

declare that we will fight,

The twenty-fifth, the Quarter Quell. They've thought up something special for this one. The Gamemakers learned from the tenth; now they can force the Tributes apart so the Games go on. And on. And nothing changes. Still twenty-three children die in a war no one wants to remember. Still the war goes on.

to death or freedom or fire,

Why do they not fight back? What could the Capitol do to all of them - nothing. But still some would die and as the Hunger Games have taught them, that someone will be me. That will be me or someone I know and love and what's the risk worth, anyway. We're living, and that's enough.

and in defiance we declare,

That's not enough.

that if we are made to burn,

I want to have the choice. I might stay my entire life in one place - but that doesn't mean I don't need anywhere else. Everyone needs choices. Everyone needs to know they can run.

you will burn with us.

It is the seventy-fourth Hunger Games. A girl from Twelve volunteers in place of her little sister. The world will know the Mockingjay's cry.

That if we fall,

A girl from Twelve sacrifices herself without a moment's thought. Hearts are touched. A war is carried on in the blood of their children and suddenly they remember why. They remember.

we will fall fighting.

A girl from Eleven dies to the sound of birdsong and crying. A girl from Twelve mourns her. They remember why the war was lost.

That as long as one mockingjay sings,

The District Twelve tributes sit in a field, the last of them all. The girl hands the boy a fistful of berries and the Games end. They remember why the war was almost won.

we will not die. We will not give up.

Why did we stop fighting? Why didn't we go all the way, why didn't we give it all? The children know only fear and war and hunger. Cages.

We are the part of you that screams

Two Tributes alone in a field, and the war spills from their blood and into the world again.

when the shackles close tightly,

A boy and a girl to wipe the wool from the Districts' eyes. The war never ended. And it can still be won.

and you can not get rid of us.

Do not tell me this is just a game.