My Childhood Essence

This poem by Calli Hilvitz identifies the relationship between growing up and traumatic experiences.

It happens in screenshots

The screams

The shouts

Next is the reaching

Reaching high

Wide

Down

Up

Around

Stretch until you can’t reach anymore

Then standing

Awaiting the sound you have always listened for

Then you hear it

And you jump

As far as you possibly can

And straighten out-

You are in the air for seconds

But you have enough time to think,

What happens when I hit the water?

Then it happens before you decide on an answer

Then it’s silent-

Absolutely silent.

The only thing you have

Is the air in your lungs,

Your arms stretched above you,

And the bubbles of course.

And you know that when you break the surface

The air is your only ally.

 

Calli Hilvitz is a senior at Peak to Peak Charter School where she is currently working on poetry in her Literature and Composition Class.

Art by Audrey Carver.

Vialpando

Hannah Malik’s poem, Vialpando, explores the idea of childbirth and loss.

The mock-orange tree
looks pale as the flattened scar,
the heath upon which the heathen
screams.
The bough’s extent
graces the cropped and furrowed sky
of cloud and celestial smiles.
Dusk,
as the wail
clips pigeon wings overhead.
The winter breath a
silent re v
                        er
                                i
                                       e…

Top orange flame a hanging amber drop upended like the slaked mind drunk on hyacinth monkshood, heather, blossoms- opened- a jaw with whiskers, the honeysuckle. A sweeter smell against curlequed rubbings, rubbings conceived by the skull, the pale stretch of glossed-over belly: the woman, barren. Autumnal flesh never tasting spring but always chased by winter-
-Skoll, a raking claw to dispose of the blossom which knew no scent but citrus and hunger, no breath. Breathless. He stands beside her, greying hair and hands against her pelvis, she looks to sea in the growing dark. Her eyes a selkie’s greenish hue and knuckles white with hunger for what could have been. What was? What spoken spell beneath her branches could propose the blood and not the name, this woman with no heir.
No bosom full and glowing, pressed upon by the tasseled heads of fog and bitter smells from the locusts upon mock orange petals, fallen without aid of air to glide. She smiles. Her paling, nakedness exposed- the cold ripped her o f h e r b l o o m and took whatever happened, -in a night above the sea, beneath strains of stars- away.
Her branches trailing into dark, her squarish chin quivering as she grows bent by the winter wind that bites her heels. He calls her back, afraid, hands soaked in blood and nails caked with soil. She has already withered. He leaves a mock-orange leaf to seed.

By: Hannah Malik

Army Crawling is Hard Enough

Erin Breen gives us a glimpse of her childhood escapades in her poem, Army Crawling is Hard Enough.

Army crawling is hard enough.
We army crawled through the old basement’s crawl space.
Don’t touch the pipes! Jostling them is hazardous.
We liked to use words like ‘jostling’ and ‘hazardous’.
They’re the house’s gas lines. We don’t want anything exploding.
Then we got to our destination,
where the floor dropped and distanced us from the pipes.
We had a weird little club.
It was hippie meets sci-fi,
kind of like that show “Avatar”.
A lot like “Avatar”.
I was sky and you were fire.
Then we switched.
Lizzie didn’t get an element.
She was just an annoying little sister,
but she army crawled with us anyway.
[box]Erin Breen is an Interdisciplinary Arts Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her poems, "I hated being little" and "Army Crawling is Hard Enough," were short-listed in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest.[/box]