And from Seraphina, Gracie, and Cayden.
Returning to Autumn
by Seraphna Johnstun
I step outside, shivering as the wind slaps me full in the face––
October is the warning of winter
My worn sneaker crunches on a bed of leaves
and suddenly I’m six year old again
running home from school, dumping my cares and backpack in the mudroom
and leaping into the diamond sky
collapsing on the colors of autumn
building my leafy palace––a bedroom here, the kitchen goes there––
and the breeze playing with my hair
As the sky deepens,
I shove my palace into a heap
And leap one more time
landing in the present
I wonder why I can taste tears
It’s probably just because of the ferocious wind in my face
But even as I brush off the tears, and I hop onto the bus,
I can’t forget
The crunch of autumn leaves.
My Old Home
by Seraphina Johnstun
it was like this:
a red-walled kitchen,
the dining room
where a four-year-old boy banged his head on the radiator (he still has the scar)
a pink bedroom fit for princesses
there was the kingdom.
a rusty swingset, a sandbox that would spit splinters
and the best place of all:
the one that had a ladder we’d all clamber up
the little playhouse handmade by my hardworking father
the one we painted painstakingly––yellow, white, gray, blue
the tree I’d scurry into when I was upset
and be comforted by its swaying trunks and branches
well, when you’re nine, you don’t really understand
when we left, I thought we’d come back.
we never did.
I saw that house again last summer.
The Tree was gone.
the people who live there now much have cut it down. I guess
some of my childhood was cut down with it.
WUA, my Car
By Gracie Drown
I have a free soul. I go as fast as I want. Make sharp turns, runover curbs.
I’m fairly old, don’t have cruise control, no spot for an aux cord. My AC doesn’t even work anymore, but windows can roll down.
By Cayden Loken
Right there, through the cold air
Standing in the sweet field with chewy seeds
Birds chirping early in the morning
Window open, the gun out, finger
On the trigger, then they’re gone.
Next day, more than usual
Sun is setting just above the trees
And there, 50 yards out, then
A bang happens, there. Lying 50