elementia issue 10
Mother FletcherBy Tripp Shertenlieb
Full-grown Harlem lady
Eyes as black as night
If caught in a situation
Her decision would be right
Full-grown Harlem lady
Welcomes every child
If one makes a wrong decision
They will be reconciled
Blood, White, and Blue: February 2003By Catherine Strayhall
It’s been more than 30 years since Nam. It’s been about 20 years since the Wall went up, but this is my first time visiting it. Right now, my nephew, Robin, is headed to Kuwait, and probably soon, Iraq, for another war.
Lichtenburg LoveBy Rachel Franklin
I used to tread over damp ground
yet seek shelter from the rain.
Those wilted lives, half-truths
fed to half-lovers, are gone.
The hollows of your cheeks
are cracked like parched earth
from years wasted needing me to kiss you.
Crying for the BeautyBy Catherine Strayhall
With winter gone, she can THROW her window open wide
With spring arriving, she can dance in bright SUNSHINE.
This is what it is to LIVE without regret;
To know she can NEVER FORGET, only move on.
With BLUE above, so open, so clear and bright
In The MorningBy Elly Herman
In the morning, I open my eyes
Sit up and stretch, and let out small cries.
I wiggle my toes, and crinkle my nose,
And get out of bed to the sound of rooster crows.
I slip on my jeans, and my long furry coat,
I creep downstairs and out to feed the goat.
The Endless SpiritBy Emily Hilderhof
A bright desire shines, wanting to be noticed.
Throughout the day,
she begins to lose hope, starting
to diminish as if she were to disappear.
Fading to nothing more than a shadow
of what once was.
Call of the UnbiasedBy Lauren McGrath
You see the clothes
You see the hair
You don’t see the person there.
(You see a thing)
You don’t see the scars or bruises
You don’t see the fragileness
You see only what you want to see.
(You don’t see a person with emotions)
These Are My FriendsBy Portia Miller
I am me
They are them,
Three halves make a whole.
They are the oddballs
Nerds and geeks.
People with voices in their heads
And we love being weird.
We’re none of your labels,
And yet . . . all of them.
Welcome to my family
The Mistake GirlBy Portia Miller
The mistake girl is in the corner,
Facing the wall,
Counting how many cracks are in the cheap,
Trying desperately and
Failing to block out her mother’s voice.
Setting a price.
The TigrosBy Sophia Daniel
They are dangerous and frightening,
Like a strike of lightning.
You have to watch out,
Because they can black you out.
You try to hold back,
Until the police come attack.
Watch out they’re coming,
Just like lightning is stunning.
Angela, 10 SingerBy Greta Pereira
Out of my mouth
Comes a beautiful song
All of Harlem
In the church
Saluting our friend,
Big Joe, they sing
The world dances to
The sweet sound
The best is the
Earth’s pulse, all around
When I stop
Leroy Brown, 55 Band LeaderBy Connor O’Brien
My pulse rises when we begin to play
“Amazing Grace” and “One More River to Cross”
This is where I belong
Playing with the All-Star Stompers all day long
I hope they play on my dying day
Freddy Deceased & HomelessBy Chad Roberts
Freddy oh Freddy
Is an alcoholic
He will beg you to lend him spare change,
To grab an ice cold beer at the bar.
He will never be quiet!
He is underground laying in a coffin.
Freddy oh Freddy.
Mother FletcherBy Ashley Ruckman
My skin dark as a winter’s midnight,
Tiny body as delicate as morning light.
As worn as dusty books on the attic floor,
Don’t expect things to happen on their own anymore.
My eyes like coal in a lifeless fireplace,
Beneath a dark and bony face.
Poor Great-Great-GrandmotherBy Calla Hinderks
A creaking windowpane,
Pelted with snow,
Reflecting light onto the dusty, deep brown floor.
The rooms seems to sigh, pained with age,
Abandoned; left waiting,
The cold is kept at bay by a single lamp,
Filling the small space with warmth.
Growing OldBy Hunter Woosley
I used to be young,
Running around Harlem having fun.
But now I grow old,
And the angels are calling.
Time to go home,
Time to go home.