This month we have two featured poems! Jump to the second poem here!
Scraped Knees and Origami by Jennica Dotson
I don’t remember much from my childhood.
The town is a hazy canvas, a collection of
dots rather than lines, my memory
a catalog of facts. Even these lack clarity.
I remember the cracked sidewalk
where I would ride my bicycle.
It wasn’t until middle school that I
fell off the bike and scraped my knee.
I don’t remember the route to school,
but I do the walk to my friend’s house,
one block over. There:
musty, cool. The basement?
I remember the boy that I liked. We were so
combative, a constant battle
of wits between us,
that the band teacher split us
into separate blocks.
When my mom was sick,
he bought me brownies.
I don’t remember that he liked me too, but
my friend says he did. The liking of a boy
whose likeness has long since left my mind
brings smug satisfaction.
I remember that my friend had a crush on me.
I found her ten years down the line, in another
town, one not yet blurred by time. For her,
the past is painted with a clear brush.
I don’t remember the origami
heart she gave me
that, unfolded, said three little words.
too big for a child. Nor do I remember
telling my friends, or the
other kids teasing her.
I don’t remember the girl who would
do such a thing.
I don’t remember me.
Maybe I don’t want to.
Maybe it’s easier to remember
scraping your own knee than
pushing someone else off the bike.
Jennica Dotson is a junior at UW-Superior and is pursuing an individually designed major in Literary Communication. She has been writing for more than a decade, primarily fantasy fiction and fan-fiction. In recent years she discovered a love of editing and now hopes to make a career in the publishing industry. She is proud to serve as the editor-in-chief for the Nemadji Review.
When the Mask Falls by Leslie Owen
Self-doubt in my writer’s mind.
An issue within my heart and writer’s mind.
I count my words.
Rereading my work.
Rewrite, revise, stare at the wall.
Sequestered in my mind.
Another day as a writer.
My short stories are too long.
My poems are too short.
Holding yesterday’s rough drafts in my broken
Tomorrow’s deadline looms over me,
in the likeness of a casket lid over the dead.
I remain trapped between the
polarities of I’m not
good enough, and this is due tomorrow.
Distracted by my never-ending “to-do” list.
Creative pursuits set on the back burners,
while I file my taxes, wash endless
mountains of laundry and battle the endless
cycle of bills and ills.
I will continue to write, even when it’s difficult.
Writing keeps me alive and simultaneously
A story as old as time.
Write, rewrite, eat, sleep.
Leslie Rochelle Owen is a proud artist, UWS student, photographer, and writer that possesses a dedicated penchant for preserving the beauty of nature via photography and written expression. Leslie proudly calls Madison, Wisconsin home, where she writes book reviews, non-fiction articles, short stories, and poetry that inspires others to reconnect with mother earth and father sky.