Featured Web Pieces

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.

Big 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

kills me.

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. 

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