Deloris Samuelson: Circles
Estuaries Editorial Board Managing Editor Andrew Walser Christina Weisner
Literature Sylvie Lynn Green Andrew Walser
Visual Art Gabrielle Graber Nora Hartlaub Kathryn Osgood Christina Weisner
Design & Layout Patrick Detwiler
This magazine is the fifth annual edition of Estuaries. It features creative contributions from students, faculty and staff. It was produced and printed at College of The Albemarle, Elizabeth City, NC, in 2019.
ON THE COVER
Janice Smith: Hanging Around Michael Williams: Modern Day Samson
Carson Davis: Untitled
Vickie Kittrell: Floating
4 7 11 13 22 25 27 30 35
Michael Temple: Here\\There Cindy Hayes: Treasure Anna Lewantowicz: A Woman’s Virtue Aaron Bass: Luna Michael Temple: Pray/Prey Dana N. White: One Thousand Miles Per Hour Michael Temple: Husk Leila Beeman: Under the Trees Michael Temple: Borderline Serenade
7 14 28 32
Jordan Lane: King of the Goats Olivia Buzzacco: The Math Placement Test Ellie Woolard: Forever Sudeepa Pathak: Smile – The Wireless Energizer
Kelsey McNutt: 27-700
Kevin Moore: Screen
Cover Janice Smith: Hanging Around Inside Michael Williams: Modern Day Samson 1 Delores Samuelson: Circles 2 Kevin Moore: Screen 3 Kelsey McNutt: 27-700 4 Lisa LeMair: Pearl Diver 5 Malcom Gethers: This One 6 Elizabeth Grana: Gemini 7 Kitty Dough: Seven Deadly Sins 8 Allison Williams: Cardinal Locket 9 Suzette Holmes: Pearl 10 Renee Lane: Self Portrait 11 Dorothy Ansell: Deep Sea 12 Hanna Lebedynska: Untitled Naomi Michelle: Home Kelsey McNutt: Claws 13 Kitty Dough: Van Gogh’s Purry Night 15 Hanna Lebedynska: Digital Age. Pathological Scar 17 Taylor Newton: Blue Heron Silhouette 18 Calah Sparrow: Mirror of the Past 21 Perry Lumi: Paper 22 Brianna Hall: Decendit 23 Hanna Lebedynska: Self Awareness 24 Malcom Gethers: Project Playground 25 Lauren Evans: Magnet Mania 26 Olha Fidyk: Lost 27 Naomi Michelle: Magnolia 28 Heather Bell: Broken Grace 30 Mark Slagle: Spring Surfglass 31 Lauren Evans: Little Miss Sunshine 32 Brianna Hall: Acta Urbana 34 Heather Bell: Self Judgement 35 Alison Williams: Graphite Pendant Emily Holmes: Into the Woods Lisa LeMair: Caldera Fissure Lava Cover Holley Hackett: Target of Transphobia Holley Hackett: Clocking the Yarn
Here\\there Michael Temple
In lieu of your absence I started painting again Without you there I needed to create my own beauty In the silence brought forth by your departure I started singing again If you learn to throw your voice just right it almost sounds like you’re not alone Sometimes when it’s dark and I can barely see my hand in front of my face I try to write in the low lamp light I pretend that you are across the room Gazin’ over at me with lovelorn jellied eyes Eyes that I can only hope will graze upon my latest publications I want you to see the puddles my brain bled The ones that take the shape of Olympic-sized swimming pools every night and then evaporate with the morning light In the precise body of viscous fluid I find myself doing dizzying languishing laps In this dunk tank of language I will awaken with water in my ears and rocks in my skull
Lisa LeMair: Pearl Diver
Malcom Gethers: This One
Elizabeth Grana: Gemini
King of the Goats Jordan Lane
I live on a farm with my folks. Today we mainly grow crops, but in my younger years we used to own pigs, goats, and even a horse for a short time. From a young age I have always enjoyed working with animals and have been able to connect with most any creature that has crossed my path. My mom could tell you of the countless times I came into the house all dirty, with anything from a snake to some insect cupped in my hands. One of my fondest memories was of Bingo, a large male goat we had nearly eight years ago. He became the leader of thirty other goats that we kept in a large fenced-in field. When we got him, I was about six or seven, and I remember the first thing I thought when I saw him: “He looks like a king.” Nearly twice my size with large curved horns and a white, shaggy coat with brown patches on his face and shoulders, he easily stood out from all the other goats. As was expected, he took no time in proclaiming himself master of the herd. Six others vied for the position of alpha male, and each was quickly and brutally defeated by Bingo and his powerful horns and muscles. These tests of strength were no laughing matter. Two males vying for power would circle each other, pawing the earth with their hooves and grunting savagely. Then, without warning, one would quickly lower his head and charge the other. His opponent would only have a split second to lower his head to counter the assault. The two clashed horns and pushed back and forth before breaking apart and repeating the processes. This would go on until one male finally gave in and retreated. Well, my dad told me not to go into the field because obviously if Bingo decided he didn’t like me, he would head-butt me and seriously injure me. Naturally, being the little rebel I was, I knew I had to get into that field. And, one day, I did. It was a sunny day in the middle of summer, and my mom had told me to ride the four-
wheeler down to the barns and feed the chickens. Well, when I got down to the farm, I noticed Dad was out plowing fields with one of our tractors. Instantly, I thought of Bingo and the forbidden field and an idea began to form in that little head of mine. Looking back fourteen years later, I can’t imagine why I ever thought it was such a great plan. Let’s take a step back real quick. As stated earlier, I had no fear when it came to animals and, in fact, would jump at the chance to play with one. Also, before Bingo came, I had often gone into the field to feed the goats and was joyously greeted with lots of bleating whenever I stepped in with a bucket full of corn. So I had come to this conclusion: the easiest way to win any animal to your side was to offer food. My plan was quite simple: after I fed the chickens, I would go and get a bucket of corn. Once in the pen, I could find Bingo and offer the corn as a tribute of friendship. I figured he would happily eat it, and he would not view me as a trespasser but as a welcome guest. Well, here is how things went down. The chickens soon had their feed, and I was walking to the pen with my bucket of corn. Once at the pen, I opened the gate and walked in. What happened next I will never forget. As I had mentioned earlier, I had always been welcomed by a riot of goats bleating hungrily for the corn, but this time there wasn’t a single sound. Not a single goat came near me. Looking around, I saw thirty pairs of eyes staring at me like I was a stranger. I didn’t understand; they always jostled each other, clambering to get to the corn and let me pet them. But now, it was as if they had never seen me before. That’s when I saw him. Bingo made his way through the herd towards me. I will admit, this was the first time I had ever been afraid of any animal other than venomous snakes. In my five-year-old mind he looked even larger, and his horns looked quite menacing. He came and stood right in front of me.
I felt like running, but I figured he could easily catch up and trample me if he wanted to, so I stood my ground. In books, I had read how animals could smell fear and wondered if Bingo could smell it coming from me. I concluded I had come this far, so I might as well see it through. I took a deep breath and scooped out a handful of corn and offered it to Bingo. He looked at the food warily and took a tentative sniff. Then, slowly, he ate the corn out of my hand. Once he was finished, he looked me right in the eyes. Bingo took another step closer and sniffed me as he’d done with the corn. The next thing I felt was a big wet tongue on my cheek. Gross? Yes. But I was so happy and relieved I didn’t care. Bingo liked me, and after he had licked me he bleated just like the others and dove for the corn bucket. Soon all the goats bleated and surged forward. I decided that was a good time to go and not to push my luck with Bingo any further.
Alison Williams: Cardinal Locket
King of the Goats
I picked up the empty corn bucket and began walking back to the gate when I felt a light bump on my back. Startled, I turned to find Bingo had followed me up to the gate. I couldn’t help it, I had to pet him. As I reached my hand out to touch his shaggy coat, my dad yelled at me. This is probably a good time to mention that Bingo didn’t exactly like my dad and had even chased him a few times beforehand. My dad opened the gate and came racing toward me, yelling at Bingo to scare him off. Yeah, that worked. Bingo came between me and my dad and began pawing the ground with his hooves. Then he lowered his head and charged my dad. My dad skidded to a halt and began running for the gate with Bingo hot on his heels. I couldn’t help but laugh at the turn of events: not only did Bingo like me, he was protecting me. Once my dad was out of the pen, Bingo came back to me. He bleated again and nudged his big head against me. In case you were wondering, yes, I was in big trouble when I got home for disobeying my dad. But now I was allowed to go into the goat pen again. From that day on, Bingo and I were the best of friends. I could ride on his back, play fight, and let him out of the pen sometimes when I was at the barns. He was the first to greet me when I fed the goats and always followed me back to the gate. Over the next five years, I had many pets, but none could claim the bond between me and Bingo. Unfortunately, Bingo was already an adult when we got him, and after five years I came to the pen as always and found my best friend lying out in the field with all the other goats around him. He was barely hanging on when I saw him, but he still knew who I was. I knelt down beside him and gently petted his coat. He raised his head and looked at me. And for the last time he licked my cheek like he had five years ago.
Treasure Cindy Hayes
In my mind, I see you and I strolling along the beach Wind blowing our golden locks across our faces The sun’s rays wrapping us in their warmth Breathing in the smell of the ocean and All life’s problems seem to slowly slip away Admiring the heron and pelicans as they Glide over the water and plunge into the waves Laughing as the seagulls cackle and search for food And the dolphins play and perform tricks as if they know we’re watching them too Listening to the rhythm of the waves As they roar and splash and roar and splash again Walking along the water’s edge and squealing as an enormous upsurge almost knocks us over Beachcombing for treasures to collect and share Sea glass, unusual shells, and other rarities Gathering and saving each moment in time Smiling until our cheeks hurt and then laughing again While we were there, you were so alive And I can bring you back, but only in my mind.
Suzette Holmes: Pearl
A Womanâ€™s Virtue Anna Lewantowicz
What is virtue? Is it the white sacred flower that we are told to keep pure? Is it the rosy lips that we are told to use only to speak or eat? But virtue such as this is not always ours to give. It can be taken, abused and lost by those we are told to save it for. We are told to cover ourselves and hide away to avert their eyes, and then scolded for trying to make ourselves look or feel better. Casting shadows over our eyes as dark as our blackened hearts, cracked and torn from the battle of our virtue. Turning our lips red; as red as the blood that boils in our veins, the blood that has been shed when we refuse to give our so-called virtue to another. But virtue is more than that. Our righteousness is not defined by how many men have touched our lips or found us vulnerable. That is not a number we control. Virtue is not always the purity of virginity, rather it is the purity of our souls. How kind and selfless can we be? This is a virtue that cannot be taken. Men can try to rape us, beat us and shame us into a world where we have nothing. But we will remain strong, because we are more than what a man makes us to be. We have our virtue, and it is ours to keep.
Renee Lane: Self Portrait
Dorothy Ansell: Deep Sea
Hanna Lebedynska: Untitled
Naomi Michelle: Home
Kelsey McNutt: Claws
Aaron Bass Oh moon, you ply the freckled sky, through the islands of the night. You veiled lamp, your moods are many and mysterious: sickle harvest red, pumpkin amber orange, pale mountain blue. You gentle daughter, you are not proud like the sun, deafening the day, nor conniving like the stars, whispering among themselves; you are graceful. You humble pioneer, you sail the endless ocean, navigating the night, past sleepy drifting vessels and jagged meteors To journey into dawn. And when the day is done, I’ll await your return, till I stand under you, and I write by your light.
Kitty Dough: Van Gogh’s Purry Night
The Math Placement Test Olivia Buzzacco
It’s a Friday at the end of July, and I don’t expect to be bothered at the desk. Students taking summer courses never come to the library on a Friday. I learned this quickly when I started this job in June and learned to bring a book with me to pass the time and a sweater to endure the cold of the library basement. I expect my eight-to-five shift to go smoothly.
cat was in one piece. She did not tell me this until the day she handed me the key and left for the airport.
Working the tutor desk in the basement of the Buhl Library is an easy job, and it was gifted to me by my boss at the end of the spring semester, as he frantically ran from writing tutor to writing tutor to find someone who was staying in the area for the summer. No one stays around Grove City College for the summer – no one but me, apparently.
So I was pretty alright with my boss having me work the front desk for the summer. At least I would make a little money to keep myself and the cat alive. My boss also said that there would be fewer phone calls and students stopping by for tutoring, so that made me feel reassured that I would still get a little bit of my isolated summer back. Plus, I liked libraries. They had order and quiet. It was a nice combination for a person like me.
Boss: Where are you going to be this summer? Me: I’m staying in the area, I have to— Boss: You’re hired.
I am staying in Grove City because I volunteered to stay at Dr. Fja’s house while she vacationed in Florida all summer with her daughter. Dr. Fja taught a Medieval Poetry class that I took last year. She is one of those instructors that is always a mess in her work and home life, so everyone ended up getting an A at the end of the semester. I volunteered for this job because all I had to do was live in a nice house by myself, keep the yard nice, and take care of two fish (names unknown) and one cat named George Bush. I would get paid to relax and be unsocial. It sounded perfect.
Dr. Fja: Your payment will be staying at my place rent-free, how does that sound? Here’s the key, I’ll see you in August! Me:
About two hours into my shift, a set of parents approach my desk with a girl. I assume this is their daughter. I figure they’ll ask me to show their daughter around the Writing Center and tell her everything the library has to offer. I stand up and begin to recite my spiel. “Greetings, welcome to the Writing Center in the Henry Buhl Library. The Writing Center is where—” “—students gather to talk about writing and get support for all of their writing needs,” the parents say, reciting my spiel word-for-word. “It is not controlled by Grammar Police and it is not a purgatory for bad writers. The Writing Center is here to help.” I am utterly impressed and smile.
I would not have volunteered for this job if I would have known that Dr. Fja was not going to pay me to take care of her millions of flowers and try to revive the tomato and kelp plants and mow the hilly lawn and get food unjammed from the fish tank filters and make sure the
“We know, we look at Grove City’s website every day,” they say, and then point to their daughter. “She needs to take the math placement test.”
Hanna Lebedynska: Digital Age. Pathological Scar
The Math Placement Test This is the time of year when incoming freshman figure out where they stand on Grove City College’s math spectrum. I tell the parents to wait right there, so I could get the math placement lady. Math placement lady is usually in her office grumpily staring at her computer. I’m not too keen on her, as she reminds me of Mrs. Schmelts, a neighbor from back home in Aliquippa, who had a chubby son named Barry, who wore the same blue Power Rangers shirt every single day and had a permanent chocolate milk ring around his mouth. None of us neighborhood kids cared too much for him and never invited him to do anything with us. Mrs. Schmelts called us out on it one Halloween: Us: Trick or Treat! Mrs. Schmelts: Aren’t you guys going to invite Barry to go with you? Us: Her voice was nasally and too calm, much like math placement lady’s voice. Any time I had to interact with math placement lady, I wanted to ask her if she had a Barry in her own life that caused her to hate children and have a terrible voice. I go to math placement lady’s office, but the door’s locked and the light’s off. Okay. There is another lady who distributes this test. I go to back-up math placement lady’s office. She doesn’t have anything to do with the math placement test, really, but she knows how to distribute the test in the event of a math placement lady emergency. She’s nicer and sometimes brings her grandkids into work, who don’t have chocolate milk rings or blue Power Rangers shirts. Back-up math placement lady’s door is also locked. Okay. There is no one else who distributes this test. I have never distributed this test. I don’t know what to do. “No,” I say to no one. “I can fix this.” I’m proud of myself for staying calm in the face of calamity. If I get too worked up and worried about “little things like this,” as my mother calls it, I get what she also calls “hysterical.”
I go to my boss’s office. I have no idea if he knows how to run the math placement test, but he’s my last hope. He’s behind his computer playing FreeCell. I tell him about the girl at my desk, and he says, “Oh yeah, we’re in charge of that today.” We’re. We’re in charge of that today. “We’re” as in he and I. I was not told about this. Irresponsible people drive me crazy. I don’t like being thrown into sudden situations, no matter how “little things like this” they are. I don’t say anything, and my boss follows me to the desk, where he greets the parents and takes the girl to a computer lab, located behind my desk and down the hallway. The parents take a seat in some chairs not too far away. “Let me know if any more come in,” my boss says and goes back to his FreeCell game. I doubt we’ll get any more—it’s usually one or two kids a day. It’s been slow all summer. But aside from that, math placement lady is usually here to take care of this. I take a moment to myself and make a list of things I need to do when I get off work today: – get milk and rice – check grass The grass will probably take me the most time because I’ve already spent so much time with Dr. Fja’s grass problem. She has Kentucky Bluegrass, which I know is quite common in Pennsylvania, but I think she’d benefit more from Fine Fescue or maybe even a Creeping Red Fescue, especially since parts of her lawn are so shaded by trees. I tried to text her about this last month but Dr. Fja was just a Dr. Fja the entire time: Me: We need to talk about your grass. Dr. Fja: Hi! How are things? Is the weather ok? Me: Yes I’m fine the weather is fine but your grass is in need of some serious help. Dr. Fja: 88 degrees and sunny here every day, never want to leave! How’s G. Bush? Me: He’s fine. I think it’s time you considered something rather than bluegrass. What about ryegrass? Could be neat. Fescues would also be great too.
The kids disappear down the hallway with my boss, leaving the parents with me. “How long will this take?” one of the parents asks. “It varies for each student,” I say. “Well, how long will this take for a 3.98 GPA student who plays football, baseball, and runs track and serves as the President of his class?” “Probably a little longer than it will for my 4.0 daughter who is drum major, is on the debate team and has gone to state four years in a row, plays softball, and has written her own play that the school produced,” another parent says, and other parents whisper in hushed tones to one another, making notes in little notebooks they keep in their pockets. My boss returns to my desk. “Go in my office and get a stack of writing tutor manuals.” I do what he say, and when I bring them into the lab, he frantically begins to hand them out to the test takers, telling them to use it as scrap paper.
Taylor Newton: Blue Heron Silhouette
When I return to my desk, the parents are still standing there, staring at me. I tell them it might be an hour or so. “Is there a newspaper around here?” one of the parents asks.
Dr. Fja: What? Having strawberry daiquiri rn so can’t think too much at once LOL. Talk soon! I haven’t heard from Dr. Fja since, so I am taking matters into my own hands. I look up from my list to check the time and see ten kids standing at my desk, each of them accompanied by their parents, and one with a set of grandparents. “They have to take the math placement test,” a parent from the group calls out. I say sure, wait right here, and go get my boss, and he herds the kids into the computer lab. The parents suddenly grab their children for last-minute goodbyes.
I direct them all to the main floor and show them the periodicals section. They follow each other like ducklings, and I go back to my desk, happy to be alone, but immediately unhappy when I see seven more kids and seven more sets of parents. My boss spends the next twenty minutes walking kids to the computer lab, and I spend the next twenty minutes walking parents to the newspapers. The computer lab is running out of computers. The parents are running out of newspapers. I tell myself, “little things like this” won’t get to me. Today, I’ll take charge of the parents and keep them away from the “little things like this” list. Later, some parents come back to my desk.
“You’ll do great, son. Good luck.”
“Is there any coffee in here?” “Ironhead” Johnson asks me.
“Remember, the next digits that come after 3.1415926 in pi are 5358979323846264338.”
I tell him I do not think so. “We want coffee.”
“Oh, I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry.” “If you don’t do well on this, you’re sure as hell never going to become the son of the legendary ‘Ironhead’ Johnson, 1986 intramural badminton champion.”
I tell them that the dining halls are closed for the summer. “How am I supposed to get coffee?”
I tell them their best bet is to go to one of the coffee shops off campus.
But my mother did not partake in child bragging because she did not believe in it.
“Absolutely not,” 3.98 GPA parent says. “What if my son needs something and I’m not here for him? I don’t think so. No way.”
The parents begin to wander through the library. I think they might be looking for coffee, but I’m not sure. They keep checking their watches. They try to look into the computer lab. They try to see what question their child is on. They take shots at one another about their child’s ACT scores and their class ranking. I listen to their bragging, fascinated as to which kid will come out on top. I think about how my mother would have done in this situation: Mom: My child had a 4.0 and was made Student of the Month at least once each year and makes me aware when it’s time to cut the grass and never has a messy bedroom and volunteers to put the dishes away because there’s a system to it and never needed to own a pet because you can find company in yourself and is an amazing writer with structure and academic tones and likes to help other students out that just can’t make it to where my child is and—
Mom: If you’re happy, I’m happy.
I don’t know how long it has been, I’ve lost track of time dealing with coffee nonsense and trying to keep my cool about “little things like this,” which wants to become a much larger thing, but I think I’ve been handling it pretty well. Some of the parents come back up to me. “Is there a television in here?” I tell them yes, there is, in “the rare book room.” There are no actual rare books in “the rare book room,” but this is what everyone in the library calls it. It does have a television though, and that is mostly why people use it. There are also a dozen expensive-looking vases in “the rare book room” for who knows what reason. “Does the television work?” I tell them yes, it probably does. “We want to watch the twelve o’clock news,” the set of grandparents say.
The Math Placement Test I tell them I do not have access to the media room. “We don’t want to miss the top story.” I pick up the phone and call Library Media Services, and what a surprise, no one answers. My boss comes over to my desk shortly after and shyly laughs. “We’re the library media people today, too,” he says, and I want to slap him very hard. He directs the parents to the media room so they can watch the news and comes back to my desk and checks in on the math placement students. It’s quiet back there. “Need anything?” my boss asks me.
because my sister doesn’t come home much anymore since she’s married and has a vendetta against mom for leaving dad, so I feel that it’s my duty to be the go-backto-Aliquippa-and-visit-mom sibling because I know that she must be lonely by herself, and I do feel genuinely bad. Last time I went home, mom tried to convince me to transfer out of Grove City. Mom: The Community College of Beaver County is nice, so I’ve heard. You could commute there and live with me, you’d save money. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’ll admit that it’s a nice thing to think about, but the Community College of Beaver County gives me the creeps. But I bet their tutor center isn’t in the basement of their library.
I tell him I am fine. Most of the parents are out of sight. Some of them are watching the news. I don’t know where the others went. I assume they’re exploring the different floors of the library. I assume maybe they’ve found some coffee. I go back to my list to finish my agenda: – get milk and rice – check grass – check closets for George Bush vomit – water flowers – pack bag for weekend
The truth is, my mother is as lonely as I am. The difference is that I know how to live with it, she does not. A parent comes up to my desk. She is holding a raw carrot. “I need to give this to my daughter.” I tell her she is not allowed in the lab while the placement test is still going on. “Can you go back and give this to her?”
I cross out and re-add the last one several times. I’m supposed to drive to Aliquippa this weekend to visit mom. This was her idea, and she calls me several times a week every week trying to get me to come home. Mom: You could use a mini vacation. Me: There are pets here. Mom: Bring the cat with you! It’s no problem. Me: What is a problem is that I cannot transfer the fish. Mom: Use one of the 3-day feeders Dr. Fja told you about. Me: Maybe. Mom: Well, let me know. I’ll talk to you later. Love you. Me: I haven’t been in Aliquippa since March; I try to limit my time there because going back to Aliquippa is always depressing, mostly because everyone has grown up and changed, so I don’t hang out with my old friends. But I still make trips home now and then, mostly
Calah Sparrow: Mirror of the Past
I smile as genuinely as I can. “I am not allowed to disrupt the test-takers.” “How is my daughter supposed to eat this carrot if I can’t get it to her?” “Why does she need to eat a carrot right now?” “She needs her carrots. They’re good for eyesight, you know.” I say I do know, thank you. “Well, what if her eyesight starts going during this test? She doesn’t have a carrot to nibble on.” I tell her I am sorry about that. “Well, what if you open the door and I just throw it in there? She’ll know it’s for her.”
The Math Placement Test I tell her sorry. The parent looks around for other parents watching her, probably, and slips a $50 bill onto the desk. “I won’t say anything if you don’t,” she says. Fifty dollars is enticing, but I am above this and put “little things like this” behind me. “I will call the campus police if I need to.” The parent scoffs away and stuffs the money and carrot into her purse. I look at the clock behind me: it’s 12:29. The twelve o’clock news ends in one minute, which means a hoard of parents will be bored again. “Ironhead” Johnson comes back up to me. “Do you have coffee now?” “No, Ironhead.” The door to the media room opens and the parents pour out. I do not remember that many parents going into the media room to watch the news. One of them comes up to me.
My boss goes in and out of the computer lab and tells me so far, so good. He too vanishes into his office. I try to busy myself with my list, but I find I want nothing to do with it anymore. In fact, all I want to do is pack my weekend bag and go home. I imagine sitting on the backyard swing with mom and listening to the heat of July. For whatever reason, this sounds nice. I throw my old list away and make a new one: – pack bag – get carrier for cat – put feeder in tank – tell neighbor Joe to keep an eye out on the grass – get gas My boss emerges from his office holding two Styrofoam cups. He hands one to me. It’s full of coffee. “We’ve got to stay functioning,” my boss says. “More students are on the way.” I smile. “Thank you,” I say, and I mentally apologize for being angry at him earlier about math placement lady not being here. He goes back into the computer lab, and I go back to my list, adding activities that maybe mom and I will do when I get home.
“Do you have any maps?” I do not know what this means. “I want a map of the library.” I tell him I do not think we have any maps. “I can’t walk around the library if I don’t have a map.” I say sorry, no maps. “How am I supposed to know where I’m going?” I tell him there are signs placed throughout the library. “But I want a map.” I tell him there are still no maps. He wanders off and soon vanishes. In fact, all the parents have vanished. I assume they found maps. I assume they found coffee. The library is very quiet.
I take a drink of my coffee and it’s pretty good. I feel happy, I want to text mom and say, “I think I got past ‘little things like this’ finally,” but before I can pick up my phone, I hear a voice echo through the basement. “I smell coffee.” I look up and across the way is “Ironhead” Johnson. He’s staring directly at me. I try to hide my cup. “She has coffee,” another parent says and more of them are now standing there. I don’t know where they came from. They start walking towards me. More of the parents show up—they emerge from chairs and computers, underneath bookcases and from ceiling tiles, from aisles of books and records, they file down flights of stairs, they pop out of elevators. They’re now all moving towards me in one big hoard. I stand up, clutching the coffee to my chest. They stop at my desk, wide-eyed.
Perry Lumi: Paper
“You have coffee,” 4.0 dad says. I don’t know what to say. “You said there wasn’t coffee.” “Yes, I did.” They crowd my desk. They stand too close together. “What else ‘don’t’ you have back there?” the grandma says. “Test scores? Answer keys?” The parents press up against the desk. “Little things like this” is making my face hot. “I can assure you that I do not have any test materials,” I say, trying to keep my voice calm. “I am not involved with the process.” “Process my ass,” a dad says. “There is no process here. You’re all just going to make them do bad on purpose, I bet.” The dad is shaking and is making other parents panic. “Is…is everyone going to fail?” “My son will not fail this test.” “You cannot fail this test,” I say. “It is just a placement test. They are going to be placed somewhere no matter what. Please calm down.” “I demand to see my child,” “Ironhead” Johnson says. “Not until they are done.” My voice practically shouts, quieting the parents and shocking them.
It’s quiet. The parents stare at me. “We want coffee.” I have regained control. “No.” One of them swipes at my coffee—I hold it farther away. One of them reaches over my desk at me, so I back up further. I look for my boss, but he’s still in the computer lab. Everyone in the lab is too far away. They can’t hear a thing. The parents pick up the items on my desk and throw them at me. The grandma knocks over my computer screen, and “Ironhead” Johnson tears out pages of my books. The parents reach out again, further, their stomachs pressed onto my desk. One of them tears my shirt. Another takes hold of my hair. They hit me with newspapers. The parents are crawling over the desk and grabbing onto me. “You cannot let little things like this get to you,” I hear my mother in my head. “Youcannotletlittlethingslikethisgettoyou,” over and over and over. I scream “You’re all just a bunch of little things” a couple times, and I think my words get jumbled up in the process. I run down the hall towards the computer lab, pounding on the door. The parents press up against me and wrangle me to the floor. I don’t know where my shoes went. They’re crushing me, piling up on me, and I’m becoming very claustrophobic, screaming nonsense. My coffee spills to the floor. A group of them crouches around the spilled coffee and begin licking it up. I don’t stop screaming until the lab door opens. A couple kids look down at me and the parents, who wipe their faces and lick their hands, and stand up to greet their children. I don’t move. “Hey there kiddo! How’d it go?” “Was it too hard? Did you know all the answers?” “You look great!” “Did you remember the pi digits?” Little by little, their children leave the computer lab, parents hugging them and smiling and proud that their kid didn’t ruin their future. They leave the library. They leave the campus. A new wave of parents arrives with their kids. My boss hustles manuals and students into the lab. My mother puts new sheets on my bed. Dr. Fja pours another daiquiri. I start a new list.
Pray/Prey Michael Temple
You were my fever dream night sweat The place where I went to lick my wounds The wish on the face or every dandelion Before I blow its head off The coyote snared in my veins I was the viper in your bosom The tumor in your ovaries The fox caught in your trap You spent every Sunday in church Sugar water in this life and fire insurance In the next I spend every Sunday with the bottle Burning in this life and drowning In the next Keep me honest Keep me clean Keep me kind Hereafter, thereafter, whereafter
Brianna Hall: Decendit
Hanna Lebedynska: Self Awareness
Malcom Gethers: Project Playground
One Thousand Miles Per Hour Dana N. White
The world is fast-paced Spinning one thousand miles per hour Twirling around and around Spinning faster than my life But slower than my thoughts No one feels the speed of the earth But I see it everyday Watching others ride the earth Hands raised Mouth open to taste the stars Iâ€™m too short to ride.
Lauren Evans: Magnet Mania
Olha Fidyk: Lost
Naomi Michelle: Magnolia
Michael Temple My scars exist on the inside of my bruised and battered rib cage It is 11:56 at night and I do not know who I am anymore Going on 8 years now and I still do not know what to do with my hands Still carving my name into things & making mountains out of molehills Pacing pacing Missing you is like phantom limb syndrome Sometimes I reach for the phone like you are still there As if you are gone but somehow still connected to me In a world where there is no such thing as a clean break Where everyone is dead and there’s no such thing as stopping I grasp at an appendage that is long gone 20 something years and I am still the same bourbon barrel chested Bertie Mae legged heavy handed sad sack
Forever Ellie Woolard
On the backside of the main streets, on the corner of Eighth and Third, there’s an old man with his back up against a brick wall and his body covered with a ragged blanket. People pass without looking at the old man, the old man doesn’t see them. His eyes are clouded with the passage of time, and his head is filled with the weight of it. The light of tens of thousands of stars passes under his eyelids, and smells of his youth fill the filthy twilight air. When he was born, he was celebrated, and when he died, he was mourned. When he was forgotten, the years began to suffocate him. A warrior’s king has no place in a culture of negotiations. Conniving though he may have been, even he could not put a stop to the wheel of time. The past is never truly gone, it’s only ever distorted and replaced, the same ripples and feelings go on. He is but a snagged thread on the bricks of the universe, ages ago he should have ceased to exist. He should have been sent to wherever the past goes, recycled into shiny new chrome, into tinny electronic buzzing, or into an empty man in a pristine suit. He remembers the day he took the throne, remembers it distantly, as if he were not there (and perhaps he was not, not this him). The gongs and drums of yesterday ring glory in his ears, and the bodies of his subjects glisten with sweat as they wait in the sun for a glimpse of his face. It’s naught but a cracked memory now. Spiderweb fractures run through his most sacred remembrances. His people, once in a lost time, had thought him a god. Perhaps they had been right, for what is a god, but a thing worshipped in good fortune and forgotten in bad? When he was ruling, he had believed himself divine. He had believed that he had the power to destroy nations with his fingertips, and that his reign would last into eternity. He learned all things with time. A reign always
ends, and no creature, man or god, should live forever. Eternity is an abomination. Being shunned by his people, being forgotten by his people, all were better fates than this. He was forced to watch the mutation of his people into something that he knew not. He chooses to believe that his people do not exist anymore. They died with him, died within their time. They died rightfully, died as he had in ages long past, but without imprinting this echo of shattered feeling. His kingdom is truly gone. He lies alone in time, but much worse, he is alone in remembrance.
Heather Bell: Broken Grace
Man always wants to live forever, but never in the forever that will happen. Always in the forever where nothing is changed, nothing is mutated, and everything is preserved. Never the forever that is foreign, the forever that is unimaginable, the forever that is cold and lonely. Even the sun feels different on his skin now, its beating rays have turned to ice. There is no warmth in sky or face, the people know him not. He does not know them anymore, they are as ignored by him as he by them. Their strong useless bodies disgust him as much as his frail, dirty body does them. He is not ashamed
of this, for this is where he was always going, age creeps, but he is ashamed for them. He is ashamed that they know no pride, that the feeling of the wind on their skin does not awaken the need to run in their hearts, that the food they eat does not nourish their souls, and that their spirits lie dead in the shells of their bodies. He is ashamed for them, and he wishes for their swift deliverance, as well as his own. The old man on the corner, the one who has lost his mind, he dreams of death, he dreams of time, he dreams that forever will end.
Under the Trees Leila Beeman
Come sit with me, here under the trees. Tranquil are we, on the smooth blades of green. With the sun above and the fair sky, under the trees where we lie. A barn swallow speaks to its flock, as the leaves sway on the cedar trees. The setting sun, like a clock shines an orange dream. Come sit with me, here under the trees. In late May, when we see the humble bees. Close your eyes and listen, the whistling wind in the distance. Come sit with me, here under the trees. We don’t have to leave, you and me.
Mark Slagle: Spring Surfglass
Lauren Evans: Little Miss Sunshine
Smile â€“ The Wireless Energizer Sudeepa Pathak
Brianna Hall: Acta Urbana
The little fourteen-year-old girl was very nervous. She was not sure whether it was fear, anxiety, or a plain nervous attack that was making her so jittery. All her thoughts were of getting that one day over with – the first day at a new high school, the day which she wanted never to exist. She was trying her best to get the negative buzz out of her system, which was prompting nonstop that something wrong was sure to happen. She still remembers, as clear as crystal, the face of Alison, the first girl who looked and smiled her way in morning science class. Alison’s smile infused her with strength to bear the burden of the day; it gave her the confidence that all hell was not going to break loose. That one smile from a total stranger made her feel good about almost everything; she just knew her dress was pretty, her hair was in place, her personality was stunning, all because someone smiled at her. Later at night, when she was running through the whole day in her young mind, she wondered what this day would have been like without Alison’s smile. She wondered why she was so weak mentally and emotionally that she needed assurance from totally unknown faces. Why did she need others to smile and shine on her world? Unable to find answers and too tired to discuss it with her mother, she went to sleep, looking forward to the next day and feeling excited at the prospect of making more friends tomorrow. Almost a decade later, she was clutching her husband’s hand with all her might as they waited to be checked into the labor ward of the maternity section of St John’s Hospital. She had a million emotions zipping in and out of her like a hurricane; the physical pain which was reaching unbearable heights looked small in front of the horrible fright that something was about to go wrong. The fear of the unknown, the responsibility of another life about to be born just because of her was so overwhelming. She was trying hard to listen to her husband’s words, which were comforting her and insisting she remain calm as they were in the best hospital of the neighborhood. Nurse Emma entered the labor room and witnessed a sight she had probably relived almost every day of her nursing career. The sight of young couples huddled together, trying to whisper confidence into each other’s ears and hoping that the whole process of childbirth gets over with as fast as possible. The young mother opened her tear-filled eyes between two very heavy breaths and saw Nurse Emma’s face, and that was when the nurse smiled at her. That smile made her take her first normal breath of the day. The smile instantaneously was saying, “I promise you girl, you will be more than fine in just a moment.” The next day, when the couple were leaving the hospital with little Jason in their arms, the woman looked back and searched for Nurse Emma. A thought had occurred
to her that a last look at that Nurse’s beautiful confident smile would go far to ensure her of a successful motherhood ahead. Why did an unexpected smile from an unknown nurse infuse her with more strength than her own husband’s hours of consoling? Little Jason was a mirror image of his father and was sleeping soundly by the time they arrived home. She was so ready for a new day, new adventures ahead, and just the joy of being a parent thereon. Almost two decades later, she was running late for work; her secretary had called her earlier that morning, outlining a bunch of interviews she was supposed to conduct, and she could foresee a very long day ahead. The Maxwell Accounting Firm was on a look-out for fresh new interns for future accounting position, and since the accountants of this firm were highly paid, the posting brought them seventy-four applicants for two positions. The waiting room was full of fresh apprehensive faces, and since she was the human resources head, it was her job to finish the selection by the end of the day. Thad Campbell was fresh out of grad school with a major in accounting and statistics. The last six years had been long and nerve-racking, especially the death of his father in the first year of undergraduate and the struggle that came thereafter, trying to support his mother emotionally along with working two part-time jobs to support his finances. Thad could vouch the innumerable times he had stopped himself from giving up entirely and getting out of all the stress in life. He somehow never had the time to do anything fun or happy in life anymore; friends often remarked on the serious, sad look that had become a part of his personality nowadays. The interviews started promptly at 8 a.m., with the secretary announcing the name of the next candidate to go inside the interview chamber. Thad was somehow feeling very anxious and nervous; a vague feeling in the pit of his heart told him something really bad was about to happen again. He watched patiently as one after the other, the candidates entered and left the interview room with grim looks on their faces. Finally, his name was called around noon. His brain almost instantly reminded him that lunch time interviews were not very successful as the panel is more interested in breaking for lunch than talking to the candidates. He entered the room with a heavy heart; he needed this job not only for his own well-being, but also for his mother, who had prayed hard all these years for her child to succeed. When he wished good noon to all in a slow meek voice, and very softly moved the chair to sit down, the head of human resources looked up from the resume folder she had been reading. She glanced at his sullen face . . . and then she smiled.
Heather Bell: Self Judgement
Alison Williams: Graphite Pendant
Borderline Serenade Michael Temple
You are the Nile You are my corpus callosum You are the mason dixon line The only strand separating serendipity and calamity and that neighboring island where they intersect She moved as if she were from another time Antebellum cerebellum You make my blood roar Running hot and hardy, hungry through Hyper salivating Hypothalamus Where we dance on the border of restraint and utter abandon
Emily Holmes: Into the Woods
Lisa LeMair: Caldera Fissure Lava
Biographies Dorothy Ansell Dorothy Ansell is a graduate of the COA Professional Crafts Jewelry program. She specializes in one-of-akind fused glass jewelry set in sterling silver. The focal point of each piece is created in a glass fusing process that takes place in her kiln at temperatures up to 1500 degrees. Aaron Bass Aaron Bass is the writing coordinator in the Academic Support Center at COA’s Elizabeth City campus. Leila Beemon Leila Beemon is dual enrolled at J.P. Knapp Early College High School and COA. She has lived in northeastern North Carolina for most of her life, despite being born in Virginia Beach. After high school, she plans to major in forensic psychology and minor in writing at a four-year university. Heather Bell Being labeled at a young age as learning disabled life was hard for me, but at 20 years old I feel I have grown and come such a long way from the label’s that held me back. Here at COA I have been able to push personal boundaries through art, and make connections with people in ways I have never been able to before. Olivia Buzzacco Olivia Buzzacco received her MFA in fiction at Bowling Green State University in 2017. She currently teaches English at College of The Albemarle in Manteo, North Carolina. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry has appeared in The Broken Plate, Prairie Margins, Jenny, Zaum and other magazines. Kitty Dough Kitty Dough attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and earned a certificate in Botanical Art from the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. She belongs to the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the Color Pencil Society of America. Kitty is an artist for the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and a student in the Professional Crafts Jewelry Program. Lauren Evans Lauren Evans started taking the pottery class at COA in 2015, right after she was diagnosed with epilepsy. “I wanted to take on a new hobby that would help to relax my mind. Pottery has been a wonderful outlet, it’s my favorite few hours of every week!” Lauren owns a small, international, import company, Wana World Market, you can find a few of her pottery pieces at the shows she does around town. Olha FIdyk Olha Fidyk is an international student from Ukraine who graduated from College of The Albemarle with Associate in Fine Arts degree in May, 2018. She was studying computer-aided design in her home country. She appreciates traditional well-performed art. However, her instructors from COA helped her gain a better understanding of contemporary art ideas. Currently she practices her skills in digital art.
Malcom Gethers Malcom Gethers, a 62 year-old student at COA, working toward a degree in General Education. In 2018 he took an art class for the first time ever and found he enjoyed working with paints to create works of art. His painting style of choice is the cubism style. After a degree in General Education, he is plans on earning a degree in Visual Art. Holley Carmin Hackett Holley Hackett is a student at COA and says, “I strongly believe in the idea that something doesn’t have to be one or the other; it can be both, or everything at once. I don’t know what I’d be, if not a trans artist. My work is about my sense of self: my gender, my struggles and being trans.” Brianna Hall My name is Brianna Hall. I’m 18 and a Fine Arts student at COA. I’ve wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember and have dabbled in a number of mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpting and more. Cindy Hayes Cindy Hayes is an artist and poet who was born in San Antonio, Texas, but has lived in North Carolina for the past nineteen years. After living in several large cities, she loves the laidback country life in northeastern North Carolina. She enjoys traveling, painting, writing and spending time with family. Emily Holmes Emily Holmes is a student in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program. She enjoys experimenting with a variety of materials, including metals, resins, concrete and glass in her jewelry designs. Suzzette Holmes Suzzette Holmes is a student in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program at COA. She creates jewelry from a variety of metals, and often incorporates patinas and textures in her pieces. Jordan Lane Jordan Lane resides in Perquimans County and is a freshman at COA studying for an Associate in Science degree. His interests include biology, creative writing, kayaking and drone piloting. Renee Lane Renee Lane is from Hertford, North Carolina and is a Fine Arts major in Visual Arts at College of The Albemarle. She has been a member of the Perquimans Art League, and has donated a piece to the town of Elizabeth City to be displayed in a window at the Southern Hotel. Hanna Lebedynska Hanna Lebedynska is an inspired artist and a voracious learner. Originally from Ukraine, she graduated from College of The Albemarle in 2018 with an Associate in Fine Arts degree. Hanna is obsessed with the knowledge of how our minds work in the modern world. As an artist she loves to share her ideas, experiences and vision of life. “The goal of all goals, to grow yourself as a person”.
Lisa LeMair Lisa LeMair is a wearable art and jewelry artist in Southern Shores, NC. Her work is inspired by a love of texture and tension found at the edge. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and is pursuing a Diploma in Professional Crafts Jewelry from College of The Albemarle. Anna Lewantowicz Anna Lewantowicz is a student at COA and president of the Writers Club. Betty Lowe Bettie Lowe is a graduate of the COA Professional Crafts Jewelry program embarking on her second career as a jeweler and artist. She enjoys working with sterling silver and enamels. Kelsey McNutt Kelsey McNutt lives on Hatteras Island and is a student at COA’s Dare County Campus. She was adopted at the age of seven by her foster family of two years. Kelsey’s urge to create art began at an early age. In high school art class she began a more methodical creative process. Kelsey feels there is always something new to be learned and always room for improvement. Naomi Michelle Naomi Michelle was born in Westerly, RI. She has received an AFA and is completing an ABA. She’s always enjoyed photography. However, in 2010, at the age of 36, she first tried painting. She has continued to experiment with multiple mediums and is now pursuing an art career. Taylor Newton Hello, my name is Taylor Newton. I am thirteen and currently I attend at First Flight Middle School. I would consider myself as a growing amateur, mainly capturing the moment of landscapes and wildlife. I have been taking pictures for two years. Sudeepa Pathak Sudeepa Pathak is an assistant professor in COA’s math department. Her work has appeared in every issue of Estuaries since 2014-15. Of this year’s contribution, she notes: “I smile a lot and so thought of glorifying this habit of mine in a small fictional creation.”
Janice Smith Since retiring from my work as a librarian and moving to OBX, I have enjoyed dabbling in various art mediums. I started with watercolor painting and am now experimenting with acrylics and drawing. I have been fortunate to have had several noted local artists as my instructors. These include Hudson Williams (deceased), Carole Trotman, Judith Bailey and Robin York (COA). Calah Jade Sparrow My name is Calah Jade Sparrow, and I enjoy sketching, painting and contemplating. My focus is in Fine Arts Visual Arts, and I want to earn an associates degree in Visual Arts then head to a four year college to pursue a career in animation, cartoons and character design. Michael Temple Michael Temple is a student at COA. His interests include writing, running and making music. Dana White Dana White is currently attending College of The Albemarle and working towards obtaining a business degree. She enjoys arts and crafts and is hoping to combine her love for the arts with her business degree to one day work for an art store. Alison Williams Alison Williams is a COA student pursuing a diploma in the Professional Crafts Jewelry Program. Her work is heavily influenced by her former career as a graphic designer. Michael Williams Michael Williams, Jr. is from Hampton, VA but moved to Elizabeth City, NC, six years ago. Michael usually goes by Mike when it comes to his art. Currently a Visual Arts major at College of The Albemarle with hopes to being an art teacher and practicing artist. Ellie Woolard Ellie Woolard lives in Columbia, North Carolina. She is currently enrolled at College of The Albemarle earning an Associate of Arts degree and hopes to continue furthering her education. In her spare time, Ellie enjoys pursuing her passions of writing, history and classical ballet.
Deloris Samuelson Deloris Samuelson is a student in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program. She creates jewelry from metals and gemstones often utilizing stones cut and polished by her husband Lenny Samuelson. Mark Slagle Mark Slagle is a student in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program at COA. He enjoys surfing, fishing, boating and any excuse to be in, on, or near the water. Mark loves to walk the beach and creates jewelry from materials including surfboard resin and reclaimed driftwood.
Holley Hackett: Target of Transphobia Holley Hackett: Clocking the Yarn
Dare County Campus 132 Russell Twiford Road 205 S Business Highway 64/264 Manteo, NC 27954 252-473-2264 Edenton-Chowan Campus 118 Blades Street Edenton, NC 27932 252-482-7900 Elizabeth City Campus 1208 North Road Street Elizabeth City, NC 27909 252-335-0821 Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center 107 College Way Barco, NC 27917 252-453-3035