The cafeteria of my elementary school is now a shoebox -
a diorama made with paint that never fades.
The scene is set with dried glue: Cinco de Mayo
a Mariachi band plays for suburban youth
sipping chocolate milk cartons, eyeing the guitarist
who vaunted a three-fingered hand
We talked about it the rest of the day
over broken crayons. Missing limbs.
Alligators live in Connecticut rivers and
marshes, I insist. A stubborn girl
flipping through the CD binder, booster seat
nestled into worn leather. My Hello Kitty sandals
are peeling, planted on cigarette-strewn
beaches. Restless road trip legs.
The Fourth rolls around and I still
cover my ears like a child.
The parade of family photo albums never gets less
alarming, haunting glint of a wedding ring
purple PJs, and ancestors with familiar
faces that died young. Taut mouths.
I remember the crushing weight of a
Texas sun. Stung by fire ants.
How is one to survive the freefall
Driving home on the cusp of 23, sheathed
by the rural dark of New England
I thrum through radio Christmas music -
my childhood self in the passenger seat.
"I never learned to French braid,"
I tell her with a dry throat, body heat waning
biding time is a gift
I lounge on memory slashed with dream ~
a woman in the pulpit on Christmas Eve
throwing oranges into the open hands of children
an offering; I've yet to learn the meaning of
worship divorced from grief.
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme