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Vibrato The Hockaday School


Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.



-Barbara Corcoran

Vibrato The Hockaday School 11600 Welch Road | Dallas, TX 75229 214.363.6311

Contents Volume 51 | 2016

LITERATURE 04 | The Bear by Mahima Agrawal 06 | How the Tsunami Hit... by Michelle Chen 09 | Drowning by Claire Fletcher 13 | The Baker’s Wife by Mahima Agrawal 15 | Family Portrait by Frances Burton 17 | Examination by Callie Smith 18 | Round of Angels by Sharon Zhang 20 | rumple by Maye McPhail 24 | Tamir by River-James Brooks 30 | prepositions by Maye McPhail 34 | Mirrors by Callie Smith 37 | Brain Dead by Cameron Todd 38 | It by Sarah Taylor 41 | Snow Filly by Alexandra McGeoch 44 | New Orleans by Ida Cortez 47 | The Van by Caroline Greenblatt 56 | Seven Months by Callie Smith 59 | Ten Rows Ten Columns by Tala Vaughn 65 | A Sailor’s Burden by Ellea Lamb 67 | Motionless by Anastasia Stewart 68 | A Gun; A Drink by Mary-Carolyn Sloan 70 | Just Blue by Frances Burton 74 | Hog of Wart and... by Madison Smith 76 | Ballad for the... by Sidra Siddiqui 78 | Love and Hate... by Youngeun Lee

PHOTOGRAPHY Raindrop Reflections by Kate Cooper | 04 Umbrellas by Mary Margaret Jaynes | 11 Albany, TX by Ellie Bush | 15 Hover by Harper Lay | 19 Sparks on Sand by Kate Love | 21 Post-it Notes by Ellie Bush | 23 Guy in Air by Molly Waring | 29 Lightning by Paige Goldstein | 31 Reflection of Austria by Aurelia Han | 32 Balance by Gabriela Gomez | 39 Hiking Snow by Audrey Magnuson | 40 Lost by Cirrus Chen | 49 Adulthood by Cirrus Chen | 51 Barrels by Grace Zhang | 58 Untitled by Sawyer Bannister | 64 Smoking Man by Claire Marucci | 69 Jellyfish Skeletons by Kate Cooper | 70 Family Gathering by Marguerite Knowles | 75 Caged Bird by Sarah Chan | 76

ART Mr. Donald by Heidi Kim | 07 Austin Street Portrait by Kate Cooper | 13 Blind Contour by Nicole Klein | 16 Oracular Rock and Roll by Nicole Klein | 37 Ceramics by Nicole Calonne | 42,45 Ceramics by Wendy Cohen | 45 Butterfly People by Kate Cooper | 55 The Printed Woman by Natalia Henry | 57 Aquamarine by Raney Sachs | 66 Breathing Hues by Tasneen Bashir | 78 Watercolor background art by Madison Smith Foil art design by Sarah Chan

The Bear

Mahima Agrawal My anxiety sleeps deep in the twisting cave of my brain Fur of stress, bone of anger, sinewy muscle of fear. I tiptoe, sneaking around The gaping mouth. I hope—pray—that The wet, blossoming day of spring never comes And wakes the sleeping bear.


Raindrop Reflections | KATE COOPER | Photography


How the Tsunami Hit My World Michelle Chen

Dear reader, It seems that grasping the concept of death proved to be a slow process. My brain was stubborn and nostalgic, for a week grief has been building up at the back of my head, yet the fissures remained shut. It hit me after one week while I was on a bumpy carriage, squeezed between girls I knew, with the smell of horse dung lingering in the air. The impact hit me so fast that all the airbags that I had been installing inside my body failed to work. First I had felt it tickling my mind, teasing it, poking it, then it started seeping through the brick wall my brain had built to keep it out. It finally collapsed. A tsunami of grief washed over me, the salty water shot through my veins, benumbed my nose and aimed straight at my eyes. My vision blurred. I looked up at the night sky, trying to trace the stars back to the other side of the world, where my grandpa lied still and waited for his cremation. In two years’ time, I had forgotten what his voice sounded like. I had forgotten how he had used that voice when I was a toddler to sing me the lullaby he wrote for me, and to explain all the knowledge he had stored in his genius; in merely two years’ time, I had forgotten how painful he seemed when he laid on his bed, and how devastatingly quiet the machine was when my grandmother inserted the needle into the left side of the torso. I turned around to hide my tears, to hide myself from the girls laughing on the carriage. I do love my friends. I adverted my eyes onto the burning Christmas lights, they seemed to turn into flames that burned the trees, scattering ashes and dirt onto my rivers of grief, turning them into clay that filled the veins of my body. All the weight sank me into the hollow stomach of emotions. By the time we turned the corner and rode onto another street, I found it hard to breathe. And I wondered if he was watching me from above, or perhaps he was right beside me.out.


I will never know for a long time, will I?


Mr. Donald | HEIDI KIM | Oil on Canvas

Drowning Claire Fletcher

Waves of hands crash overhead and a sea spray of eagerness wafts from wiggling fingertips. Except for a single stationary body, her head tucked down between the rocks, eyes searching for any open sink hole. Predators circle above her shoulders, their fins jostling against her head. The b’s and d’s bare their teeth. Crossing over. Crossing under. Sticking out forward. Sticking out backward. One constantly disguised as the other. The p’s and q’s wrench their jaws in her ear. Open. Snap. Open. Snap. The m’s and n’s cackle, bumping her over and over again. Who am I? Which one is it going to be? Tick tock, tick tock. A rogue wave silences all the watery ripples. “Why don’t you read the next few sentences?” The threat no longer lingers around her head And her own personal hell emerges.



It’s not a fiery inferno… Instead, a drowning sea of letters.



Umbrellas | MARY MARGARET JAYNES | Photography

In their little shop, she sits— On slow cinnamon Sunday nights—counting And counting her keys again. She is the Baker’s Wife, Collector of Keys, Silent amongst the frosted cakes. To none she speaks, to she speaks none.

The Baker’s Wife Mahima Agrawal

But if one were to meet the baker’s wife Behind the sugar paste flowers, Behind her husband’s syrup-soaked gaze She would bestow upon him a secret: In that little pastry shop Live a hundred ghosts not yet forgotten. A waitress—tethered to work By her apple round belly— Stumbles across on crane legs. Her key, Plump, tarnished, pallid brown, Slips through her apron. Under the table booth It skids, to the feet of the baker’s wife. The guitarist—hair curling round His ear in goldilocks— Is ejected from his flat. He drops His key—toothy, metallic, golden— In the sewer. Nothing but muck. The baker’s wife fishes it out. A father—divorce papers crushed In a shaking fist— Stampedes over the school steps. He is late, And the son’s mother has swept him away. The key flies out of his hand, shatters under his heel. A gift from the baker to his wife. These three keys (The mother-in-waiting) (The homeless musician) (The broken ex-husband) These three lives and ninety seven more Float across pastries in sugar dust. I walk into the shop on a Sunday evening, White sugar sprinkles trapped in my hair. The metal door chimes, but the air is dead. The little pastry shop, once clattering With lost voices, holds only the baker. The wife is gone. Her husband, starch amongst His pastry shelf, is unbaked sorrow. Behind sugar-coated confections Citrus salts his bitter tongue. It appears to me that the baker’s wife Is his wife no longer.


I do not deign to ask the cause, Nor the effect. But even so he tells me this: She grew tired of searching for keys And chose to search for locks instead.


Austin Street Center Portrait | KATE COOPER | Pencil


Family Portrait Frances Burton

I used to think my parents were paintings. At one time (long ago, before I knew them) an artist had stroked them into existence, fully adult, and had smoothed their edges and made them complete. Frozen in canvas, unchanging. I thought this until the day my mom left sobbing. Didn’t come home for two days. Never told us where she’d gone. She was no longer perfect. Until the day my dad lost his job. Told us as tears inflated from the corner of his eyes. Then burst down his cheek like a balloon losing helium. He was no longer invincible. I was so busy growing up that I forgot they might still be, too.


Albany, TX | ELLIE BUSH | Photography


Blind Contour | NICOLE KLEIN | Black Pen

Examination Callie Smith

17 19

My neck remains immobile as my eyes follow your hands, grazing the scar over the left side of my chest. Fingerprints dragging on the ridge across my skin, you look up at me. “What happened?” “He tried to kill me.” You pinch the scarred tissue between your two fingers and it peels off. Not a scar at all. A fake. An imposter. Frustrated, you look back down and trace your fingertips down my left side to my shin. Crouching down, inspecting the surface of my skin, you notice. A small divot marks the absolute center of my tibia. Puzzled, you raise back up to meet my eyes. “What happened?” “No seatbelt.” Satisfied, you continue your search. Your left hand gently moves my jaw from side to side, inducing a slight pop each time. “What happened?” “Dislocated, has been for six years.” Both hands on my shoulders, you pull down your mask and raise your glasses. “You know, in order to put you back together, I have to know what’s broken, right?” I drag your hand back up to the left side of my chest. “You had it right the first time, doc.”

Round of Angels Sharon Zhang

This poem is based off of a contemporary ballet called Round of Angels. A ballet involves two important factors: the dance and the music that accompanies it. This poem can be read in three ways. The first line of the poem caters to both the music and the dance, but the indented lines create a poem that just describes the music, and the non-indented lines construct a poem that describes the dance.

Empty space is filled with the presence

Of a single note, low, stretched out. The harmony

Of long figures emerging from the shadows,

In contrast with the soft-spoken, plucked melody

Rising against the distant stretch of stars,

Ascends like the melting sun reaching for heaven.

They appear like broken angels, their wings

A disturbance that causes a dulcet discord,

Shattered against their gloomy gate

And pours through the gaping black hole,

Which does not protect from a couple

Stretching higher and higher towards dizzy peace,

Clothed by the sheer light that shines through

A gossamer lyric that quickly thickens

The smudge of purity. Her delicate body parallels

And hastens towards the low pulse of

Her lover’s, in lines that elevate and revolve until she is

Standing still, the silence that once penetrated vacancy,


Trapped in a bittersweet barrier filled with desire.


Hover | HARPER LAY | Photography



Maye McPhail

when i was young i fell in love with the way words fall off a page. i scooped letters into pockets to warm my frozen palms and pulled icy splinters out of numb fingertips, kissing the ground i danced across as my skin wrinkled and writhed across the bones of a body i could not recognize as my own. when she was young she fell in love with the propinquity of the stars. she punched holes in the sky until crimson stained her knuckles and she fixed her cerulean eyes upon the sun’s afterglow, feasting on flames collected in soda cans as the neighbors’ children bowed their heads to whisper nursery prayers. so she knit a blanket from her halcyon youth to wrap around her barren shoulders as she stumbled in search of something better, but i mistook the undulating light that bobbed through her seams for strands of gold and i called her radiance alchemy until one night in a starless field fifty miles south, i emptied my pockets and begged her to rewrite our endings. letters spilled onto the frosted grass, and with shaking fingers she spelt my name. what i deemed love she knew as sacrifice; i prayed the gods would not be appeased so quickly. when she cried out i could taste her anguish in the sticky air; prescription bottles and five hundred word essays had spelled out her future in dripping black ink until she wondered if the little life she reserved might vanish before she cupped it between her slender fingers. i watched her unravel under the influence of stories no one else could hear, spinning metaphors out of straw while white sand slipped through the folds of our hourglass. am i to be blamed for seeking solace in her agony? she studied orbits intersecting once every thousand years and spinning apart forever; she understood the trajectory of my fall. when the dawn broke she wept for the time lost she could never reclaim; i missed the caress of her golden whisper against my withered cheek as shadows danced by the light of an oil lamp and summers vanished into scrapbook pages. in my dreams she threads her lips through mine.


Sparks on Sand | KATE LOVE | Photography



Post-it Notes | ELLIE BUSH | Photography


River-James Brooks

INT-HOME-LATE AFTERNOON The sun is preparing for a dramatic exit. Childish laughter can be heard from the living room of my Aunt Sam’s house. The sound of a basketball echoes throughout the neighborhood. My mother and Aunt are intertwined on the leather couch discussing the secret lives of our neighbors. My Aunt’s hand search for the remote as the six o’clock news begins. NEWS REPORTER (ON TV) Good Evening ladies and gentleman. Earlier today, a police officer mistook a cell phone for a gun. Following a confrontation with the alleged suspect, Officer Moore repeatedly ask the victim to drop what he believed to be a weapon. Tyler Hill, the victim, was shot three times in the chest. The incident was caught on camera. Oxygen is sucked from the air as the News cut to a surveillance video of the murder. I watch in silence from the corner of the living room. The tape is played three times, each one with a new perspective angle. Meanwhile, my eleven-year-old cousin prepares for his afternoon escapade with his friends. He swiftly ties the laces of his bright red Nikes and reaches for his navy hoodie hanging from the hall closet. My Aunt’s voice spoils his escape. AUNT SAM Where do you think you’re going? Xavier releases the door handle and gently places his basketball on the ground.

XAVIER Out to play with Chris and Paul on the court. AUNT SAM You’re not wearing going out with that on. XAVIER With what on? My mom mouths the word “Hoodie” from behind my Aunt. Xavier’s face scrunches up like a used sheet of paper, as he attempts to understand my Aunt’s decision. XAVIER Why can’t I wear it? It’s cold. My mother and aunt sit nervously on the leather torn couch. The television drowns out my eleven-year-old cousin’s voice. My mother eyes glance at me and then return to my Aunt Sam. She nervously reaches for the remote. As the volume lowers my cousin repeats his question. XAVIER Why? My aunt Jackie’s hand become busy twirling and spinning the silver remote. MOM You’re wearing a long sleeve shirt, you should be fine. XAVIER But I’m cold.

The remote slips from her hand, splitting the back and spilling the batteries on the ground. My mom sees the opportunity to exit the conversation and in one swoop scoops up the batteries and scurries out of the room. Aunt Sam eyes glare at her as she disappears around the corner. AUNT SAM If you’re so cold stay inside. Xavier’s nostrils flare as he sighs deeply. XAVIER But why – AUNT SAM Xavier! What did I just say? His eyes pierce the ground as he returns the jacket to the its dark residence of the closet. His hands find their way back around the basketball. He turns away from my Aunt and reaches for the golden knob. XAVIER (MUMBLES) It’s just a hoodie. AUNT SAM Not to everyone.


Guy in Air | MOLLY WARING | Photography

prepositions Maye McPhail

you observe the world, wet, against the back and forth of your father’s windshield wipers. you’re on your way home to fall asleep to the memories of kisses she never gave you, to the patter of rain against your front door. “i love you,” you spat into an ever-dusky sky, the sucker punch of the words knocking against the gap between your two front teeth. “do you?” she replied as you stepped backwards into the hurricane and let her winds carry you farther and farther away. “i do.” there’s an old r.e.m. song leaking out of the cracked car windows. if you were a dog you would lean your head outside to feel the wind against the hollows of your cheeks. you do not mind the taste of the rain. sometimes, when she wore red lipstick on the weekends, you pretended she put it on just because she knew you liked the way it rested against her skin. a parking lot lit by an oscillating neon sign reminds you of another drive, another synthetic glow. you mean to scream but words spill out instead: “i loved her.” your father looks up, then away. you walked her to the front door of her apartment, thumb running over the fingernail marks on the back of her hand, wet eyelashes blamed on the rain. she dared you to lean closer to her phosphorescence. you bit your lip and pulled her head against your chest. “happy birthday.”


you miss the ache of lightning.


Lightning | PAIGE GOLDSMITH | Photography



AURELIA HAN | Photography

Lick the honey off my spoon and you will see perfection in its speckled reflection.

Mirrors | Callie Smith


Brain Dead Cameron Todd I lie there— Still, as if watching myself in a dream. I surpass stress and anger and just Be. Paralyzed A small child caught in the act, Heart clenched,

Mouth souring,

Brain scorched.


Oracular Rock and Roll | NICOLE KLEIN | Oil Stick


Sarah Taylor It woke up in a windowless white washed room With a white couch And a white bed With a white duvet cover That had perfectly sharp hospital corners Tucked into the sides. It looked at Its hands And Its feet And gasping withdrew at the sight of itself In the white-rimmed mirror. It didn’t know where It was Who it was What anything was. And then It saw a screen On it were objects that didn’t look like The objects in the white room. They didn’t look the same But what made them different? It didn’t know. And with the other objects There were things That had hands and feet Just like Itself.


The things were holding small silver objects Pointing them at other things.

Those things were crouched in a corner, Their faces looked funny Scrunched up, wet, shaking. And then the things with the silver objects Placed their fingers on the trigger And by twitching their fingers And jerking their hands up The things in the corner went limp. A startlingly loud noise echoed from the screen. A metal casing flew through the air. In Its own white washed room It spotted a silver object Just like on the screen And It grabbed the silver object Running Its hand along the cold pieces It came upon the same spot Where It could hook its finger onto its trigger Just like the other things on the screen. Suddenly the white wall moved And a thing walked into the room So It placed Its finger on the trigger To be just like the other things And pulled the cold, hard, piece of metal To do exactly what they did And the thing from the inside of the white wall Fell. And the white wall was not white Anymore.

Balance | GABRIELA GODINEZ | Photography


Balance | GABRIELA GODINEZ | Photography


Hiking Snow | AUDREY MAGNUSON | Photography

Snow Filly Alexandra McGeoch The filly stumbles out of the barn, Eyes widening as they drink in For the first time Freshly Fallen Snow. Spindly legs shake as they Step Step Step Step Into the pasture. She bucks She dashes She runs out, Sprinting along the fence, Making her mark in the great white expanse.

Snow Falls on


The little filly.







New Orleans Ida Cortez

The heat is oppressive. And the doors are closed. Summer in New Orleans is like an escaped convict roaming the streets–you stay inside if you know what’s good for you. The heat is oppressive. And there is water in the air. A whole ocean. If we could simply pull it out, | WENDY there wouldCOHEN be no more drought. Anywhere. In the world. The heat is oppressive. And yet, it is beautiful here. The sun catches the cars and winks at passersby, and the trees are as green as jealous eyes. It is hard to imagine how all life has not shriveled up and died. The azaleas are all in bloom, each bush a mass of bright pink flowers. At first glance, they look more like jewels than plants. The heat is oppressive. And the streets are cracked. Ten different shades of concrete poke their way through the pavement: the world’s most unassuming patchwork quilt. The sidewalks are just as ragged, made up of broken bits of concrete, ancient layers of brick, and patches of grass and stone that bleed into the little bits of lawn passing for front yards here. In New Orleans, gardening is like protesting at a Trump rally in rural Georgia: you only do it if you’re insane, or just really really dedicated. The houses are older than many cities. They do not rise out of the street so much as grow from it. They have been here so long they have taken root. On the corner one building is sagging over onto the one beside it. Any day now, they will both collapse. One man owns both. But he will not spend the money to tear the other down, not even to save his own home. How’s that for a metaphor?



The heat is oppressive. And the café is sparsely populated with an assortment of regulars. It is inconceivable that anyone would have come in this weather for the greasy tables, the persistent flies, and the enveloping smell of old bacon. But here they sit. The ones who

are simply desperate for a decent piece of toast and the ones who are simply desperate in general. At the counter, a man orders a coffee and confesses that he cannot pay. The waitress gives it to him anyway. The patrons look away. No man should beg with an audience. The heat is oppressive. And the water laps at the levee. Any sane onlooker can see how far it has risen this year. It’s dirty, opaque, and filled with things best not thought of. The city grew up around it, and now the river coming back to envelop us. The liberal observers shrug and mutter “global warming,” the conservative ones just shrug. In fifty years, New Orleans will be underwater. The heat is oppressive. And across the river, buildings stretch toward the sky. New Orleans is shorter and squatter than most cities. From Algiers Point, you cannot see the famous superdome. You cannot see Café du Monde. You cannot see Bourbon Street. But you can see Jackson Square and the church that rises up from it. In New Orleans, religion is like the summer moths–it’s always there, whether you want it or not. In New Orleans, churches are part of the fabric of neighborhoods: even if you don’t attend, somehow, you are always praying.



The heat is oppressive. And the spirits of the past are intimate friends. Algiers Point is a place of ghosts. Every house has been lived in and every street has been walked on since before most other cities were even thought of. Suffering runs deep here. Laughter too. In New Orleans, people learn to live with their ghosts. In New Orleans, they have to. The heat is oppressive but the music is constant. It lingers on the air like the smell of fresh beignets. The church bells play a little tune before they ring the hour mark, and the jazz drifts over from the French quarter. In New Orleans, music is like air, it’s everywhere and you need it to live.



The Van


Caroline Greenblatt


he only left when she had to. The world was a dangerous place, and the van was the only safe haven she knew of. It rumbled and pattered down broken roads all across Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, wherever, lurching and gurgling as old cars do. She didn’t even like to look out of the tiny windows often. Sometimes, when she got so bored, she would peek out, and imagine that she lived a different life. But the van was her life. She only had three possessions of her own. There was a faded, off-white, lumpy pillow, with torn edges that had pieces of fabric stringing off, a light pink baseball cap that had a ragged, unreadable logo, with splotchy yellow patches from some sort of food or liquid, and a BIC lighter given to her by Brother before he disappeared. She spent most of her time in the van flicking the lighter on and off, remembering Brother. He was her favorite. The lighter flicked on, she remembered him helping her take her first steps out of the van many years ago. The lighter flicked off, the memory disappeared. Just like Brother. She wasn’t sure where the van was at the moment. Maybe somewhere in California, or maybe Nevada, or Colorado. It didn’t matter where they were – they never stayed long anyway. She hummed a tiny tune, trying to pass the time. “Shut up.” Her father said from behind the wheel. She stopped for a bit, but picked the tune back up a few minutes after. “He said shut up!” Mother yelled, reaching over from the front and slapping her on the cheek. She reached a hand up to her stinging pink skin and shut her eyes, trying to keep the tears out. “Quit your whining. Eat.” Mother tossed her a strip of beef jerky. “But Mother – ” “Eat or starve. I don’t care.” So she ate. Eldest looked at her and shrugged. Eldest didn’t get any beef jerky. “What about Eldest and Sister?” She asked. “They had food yesterday. Eat your food and shut up.” She felt guilty for eating in front of Eldest and Sister, but she didn’t eat yesterday, so she ate. Just as she ripped off a bite, the van shuttered, popped, lurched, and jolted to a stop.


“Shit.” said Father. “Stay in the van. Mother, come with me. Don’t you even think about trying to leave again or you won’t be able to walk ever again, Sister.” Father opened his door and went to check on the old jalopy with Mother. She sat for a


Lost | CIRRUS CHEN | Photography

few minutes, chewed her jerky, and rubbed her cheek. She wondered where they were, and decided now was a good time to peek out the window. They were on a highway, like they always seemed to be, and the sky was wide and blue, with a few scattered clouds dotting the horizon. There were a few houses along each side of the road, a couple of shops, and beautiful, big mountains in the distance. She knew it was daytime, but she didn’t know the hour. She wasn’t supposed to know how to tell time. Father and Mother never taught her. Brother was going to, but he never got around to that before he disappeared. She wasn’t supposed to know how to read either, but Brother taught her. She wished he was still here. “Youngest, gimme some beef jerky.” Sister said. “I don’t think I’m supposed to share.” She said. Eldest and Sister rolled their eyes. “You dummy. Mother and Father aren’t here. They’ll never know.” Eldest said. He smirked and held out his hand. “No, I don’t want to get in trouble.” She told them.


“If you don’t give us some, we’re going to push you outside of the van. And then you’ll never get back in, and you’ll die out here.” Sister popped the latch on the back door and shoved the rusty hinge open a bit. The sky came flooding in, and the dark van had some light. She shielded her eyes. From under her arm, she got a rare look at Eldest and Sister. Eldest had streaks of dirt on his face. His brown shirt

had a rip from the belly button to the ribs. His skinny arms were pale and bony, and his brown hair was jagged and messy, after just getting a harsh cut from a cheap razor blade by Mother. Sister was even skinnier than Eldest, with greasy blonde hair down to her shoulders. Her fingernails were yellowing and brittle, a sign of the cigarettes she smoked when she got the chance. She wasn’t supposed to have them, but sometimes when they made the rare stop and went to the outside world, she would find a greasy looking teenage boy with dirty hair and freckles, talk to him for a few minutes, and then lead him behind a shed or into a bathroom. She’d come back with a pack of cigarettes or two, and she prized them more than anything. Mother and Father never noticed. “C’mon Youngest!” Eldest pleaded. She shook her head and ate the rest of the beef jerky. Sister picked her up and threw her out of the van. She hit the pavement harshly, scraping her elbows and knees. The light was so bright, she couldn’t see anything. She shakily stood up. Sister glared at her and slammed the door shut. She hated her siblings sometimes. Being the youngest, she was often picked on the most. She remembered when Brother would stand up for her. Brother had her back. She wished it was just her and Brother, and that Eldest and Sister would go away. She knew they never would. She wished she could go away instead. Sometimes, when she was dreaming, she thought she remembered another family. One that lived in a little house on the mountains, and they had goats and cows and she had a little brother. But that was impossible, because all she knew was the van.


Adulthood | CIRRUS CHEN | Photography

She remembered the time Brother told her how they all came to be. First came Eldest, Mother and Father said they found him abandoned on the side of the road. He was adopted, they told her. Next came Sister, and then Brother, and then her. Brother told her he remembered coming from another family. She thought that was impossible. He would tell her this over and over again every time after Mother and Father beat him for being bad. She was being bad right now, she was outside of the van, and she was going to get beaten. She thought it was best to forget about that and put her mind somewhere else. Well, she thought, it doesn’t look like the van is going to be fixed anytime soon. Maybe I can go get something from one of these shops, like Brother used to. She walked towards the trucker store on the side of the road. The door had a little bell that jingled when you opened it, and shelves of ceramic pastel bunnies with baskets full of cutesy patterned eggs. She tried to read the sign above it. “… sss…Easter sale.” She had no clue what Easter was. “Do you need something sweetie?” A fat woman asked. She looked up at the clerk and read her name tag. “No, no thank you…Kr…Kris..Kris-tie?” “It’s pronounced Kristy, cutie! My, you are just covered in dirt…and bruises…and your clothes are all torn! Where are your parents, sweetie?” She didn’t answer the question. Mother and Father would beat her if they found out she talked to another person. “You don’t know? Oh! Well, lemme get you a coke and maybe you can use the phone.” Kristy went over to a metallic silver box, pulled out a coke, twisted off the cap, and handed it to her. “Here you go sweetie. Drink up.” Kristy walked into the back of the store. “You don’t know? Oh! Well, lemme get you a coke and maybe you can use the phone.” Kristy went over to a metallic silver box, pulled out a coke, twisted off the cap, and handed it to her. “Here you go sweetie. Drink up.” Kristy walked into the back of the store. She remembered coke from back when Brother was around. He would steal them from stores sometimes, while Sister was getting her cigarettes, and Mother and Father weren’t paying attention. He would smuggle them in his shorts and then when everyone was asleep in the van, he would open it and share it with her, telling her about things he read in the newspapers he stole. She and Brother always had the most fun when everyone was asleep in the van. He would put his arm around her and pull her close and tell her how good she smelled, and play with her stringy blonde hair, and he would make her feel all tingly and good and tell her how much she was his favorite sibling and how much he loved her. She missed brother. She loved Brother.


“Sweetie?” Kristy came from the back and handed her a black square.

“Oh…Um…” She stared down at it and held it in her palm, flipping it forwards and backwards. “Do you want to use my phone?” Kristy asked her. She looked up at Kristy. “Do you know how to use a phone?” She still stared. “Do you know what a phone is?” She stared more. “Who…who are you? Where did you come from?” She didn’t answer. Kristy stared at her for a bit, took her phone back, and then walked away, mumbling to herself. She turned away and began reading things around the store. There was a wall of missing children on her right. Kristy stared at her for a bit, took her phone back, and then walked away, mumbling to herself. She turned away and began reading things around the store. There was a wall of missing children on her right. “Have you seen me?” They read. She zeroed in on the face of a young girl who had the same birthmark on her nose as she did. She thought that was interesting. She pulled her lighter out of her pocket and flicked it on and off, looking around the store. There were some papers in the corner, and she thought about stealing them like Brother. She read the headline. “Teen…teen-age…teenage boy’s…bo…body…fownd…found… teenage boy’s body found.” She saw the body bag on the front cover. She thought about Brother. She looked out at the van, at Mother and Father yelling at each other, at Father hitting Mother on the cheek, at Mother kicking Father. She remembered how hard Mother would kick Brother. The day before he disappeared, they beat him so hard he could barely speak or move. You deserved it. Mother and Father told him, you had it coming. You are so bad. So bad, you don’t deserve to be in our family. You don’t deserve to live. She didn’t think he deserved it. She thought he deserved to live, and that Mother and Father didn’t. She knew Brother didn’t really disappear. She walked out of the store and pulled a container of gasoline off of the shelves. She walked over to the van quietly and began to pour the gasoline along the sides of it. Mother and Father were too busy fighting to notice her. She poured it until there was none left. Then she stood back. She pulled her lighter out of her pocket. “This is for you, Brother.” She flicked it on, threw it at the gasoline, and watched them burn and scream. She walked away without saying a word. Kristy from the store stood at the entrance to the store with her mouth wide open. She handed Kristy the empty container of gasoline and thanked her. She walked back into the store and sipped her coke





Butterfly People | KATE COOPER | Oil Painting on Glue-Starched Muslin Fabric

Seven Months Callie Smith

The bartender delivers another sunset drink from his end of the bar. He licks his lips and slinks Back in his chair. Coward. What’s the point of sending these if he won’t let me get a good look at him? Pungent. Bitter. . . Familiar! I caught a glimpse. The concentrated perfume of the bartender slams into my unwary eyes and nostrils as she tiptoes over the bar, towards my ear “Is he bothering you?” Shaking my head, I push my fiery drink forward on its paper wheels, I slide out of my chair, out of the perfume cloud, into the jungle, eyes fastened on my unwitting, naïve prey. “Colby, right? I’m Petra, I dated your friend Jack a while ago.” (seven months, to be exact) Clarity visibly pulses through his veins, bulging out the sides of his face, his neck, his arms. His mouth jerks abruptly at both sides. like a nervous jack-o-lantern. Then, he winks. I grab my coat from the back of my barstool, but I snatch his, too. An invitation to join me.


An invitation to help me take my revenge one step



The Printed Woman | NATALIA HENRY | Linoleum Print


Barrels | GRACE ZHANG | Photography

Ten Rows Ten Columns Tala Vaughn






































































































Untitled | SAWYER BANNISTER | Photography

A Sailor’s Burden Ellea Lamb

Inspired by Gerhard Ritchter’s Matrosen It – the salt we mean –whirls perpetually beneath the surface of the sea, Tumbling among hydrogen atoms to create the brackish mass we call the ocean. But the salt skates above the water too. As we toil endlessly on this ship, It bleeds into the air around us so that our spongy skin may Absorb it in and sweat it out in high doses. We had chosen this life once, hadn’t we? Yearned for salty skin, calloused hands, open sea. Adventure. We traded in our comfortable lives for Navy and white sashes, Pretending newfound camaraderie could substitute our brothers and sisters at home. But the rough shoulder pat of a fellow sea-mate could never Replace the feminine caress of our wives: it is this kind of companionship we long for. And it is this kind of loneliness only a sailor could know. It is what diminished the jovial smiles we once wore on our faces As we called merrily to one another atop the slippery decks.


We still pose with bright facades. But now, whirlpools of grief stir indefinitely beneath our expressions, Where we have hidden our burdens with the salt in our skin.


Aquamarine | RANEY SACHS | Acrylic

Motionless Anastasia Stewart

He sits across from me and I across from him, a table in the middle but no words. Clinking on cheap clay plates, our silverware attempts to fill the hole of silence in the air. His eyes lock on me while mine drift off, avoiding his stare; his body relaxes into his seat while mine stays stiff, anxious, too scared to even shake. A candle in the middle provides light in the poorly lit room and the salt shaker sits close to the candle, perhaps too close. The burning heat from the wick melts the wax that holds it up to glory. Dripping down, the wax falls onto the slightly rusted metal top of the salt shaker, covering the holes, smothering it. I watch this play out. I want to move the salt shaker but I fear what his reaction might be to me moving, so I stay still. Looking up, I give into his gaze and meet it. A cool moss green color burns in his eyes as he continues to stare at me. I squirm in my seat, made uncomfortable by his stinging glare. In order to break the eye contact, I look down and notice how the colors of the carpet match my thighs: black, blue, some purple. My face is a mystery to me but the slight taste of metal in my mouth and the severe headache don’t give me much hope. The finger-sized stripes of purple line my arms and join older, yellower, marks on my hands and wrists. Now the salt shaker is close to being completely taken by the wax. I want to move it out of the wax’s path to save it but I cannot bring myself to lift my arm. Helpless, motionless, the salt shaker sits there and continues to take on the burning wax. With each drop, the creamy wax defeats the salt shaker a little more.


Completely enthralled by this saga, I forget where I am, only to be brought back by a large crash and a searing scream. A shattered plate lies on the floor along with leftover food. He stands before the mess, cursing, yelling. His yells tell me to clean up the mess, to get on the floor and pick it up, but still, I cannot move. I hear him and see him but my body refuses to do as he says. Yanked out of my seat by the collar of my dress and flung onto the floor, my knee catches on a jagged piece of the plate. The tiny sharp edge slices the thin layer of skin, thick blood flows out, absorbing either in the thin cotton of my dress or pooling in my hands then dripping to the floor. I feel no pain. I think that’s what scares me the most. More yells hit my ears along with fists. Leaving a cerise liquid trail, I am dragged again. Along with the blood, my energy leaves my body, keeping me from fighting back. Lying there, numb, close to unconsciousness, I see that salt shaker on the table, far away from me now. Completely covered in wax, it still has not moved. I remind myself that it can’t move, it is an object. Perhaps that’s why I can’t move either.

A Gun; A Drink Mary-Carolyn Sloan

The television plays sappy music. Uncle hums along as Twisted thoughts plague his brain: Why are you here? Why continue bearing the burden? Family suffers because of You. Why Can’t You Stop? His fearing hand hoards A bottle –Like a baby a mother’s milk– The cold glass, The bitter taste, Pretended peace. Memories fog for thirty blinks… His head droops slightly Five hours later


A gun; A hand on a gun; A cold trigger. Bang, Bang, Bang,


Smoking Man | CLAIRE MARUCCI | Photography

Just Blue Frances Burton


Jellyfish Skeletons | KATE COOPER | Photography


People always say the sky is just blue. Just blue. No. No, no, no. It’s not a color. It’s tie-dye, a rainbow dipped and twisted, spun around to create a beautiful explosion. No. No, no, no. It’s not quite tie-dye—tie-dye screams at you, but this, this sky sings. La-da-da, la-duh-da-da, Fa la luh la. This sky’s melody cascades—up, down—a chevron of sweet resonance, a harmony so thick it diffuses through the air around it like a campfire’s smolder—winter’s cologne—that welcome kind of smoke that swaggers up my nostrils, slinks back into the deep crevices of my skull, and reminds me of pine trees and fleece blankets. Fleece blankets that wrap me in their fuzzy infinity, fleece blankets that suffocate me in the most welcome way, fleece blankets that make everything okay. Everything okay when I stand alone in a raw field of powerlessness, the night around me so biting, so hungry to sink its ice-cold teeth into my stark-nakedness, everything okay when I myself am raw, the snarling, primordial emotions deep within me clawing to the surface, sinking their ice-cold teeth into my stark-nakedness. This is my feeling of helplessness. It’s claustrophobia, the world pressing in on me from every angle, kneading its fists into my skin, compressing me into a pillbox so tiny, a pillbox that suffocates me in the least welcome way. In my pillbox I think of the ocean. A horse galloping straight from the shoreline straight across the sea’s gossamer waves straight to the horizon straight up the sky straight to the moon. In my pillbox I think of knuckles shattering my skull like glass. Of sharp fingernails excavating the crevices of my face, blood threading down my cheeks like tears. Of physical pain. Does this make what’s in my head more vivid or more hazy? In my pillbox I think of ice. Ice marching through my veins, besieging my muscles so that I freeze and don’t move and can’t move and don’t want to move because I am frozen so I am numb. Frozen so I am numb, and then what I need is fire—fire to thaw the ice in my blood, call back the wolves that chased me into my pillbox with this trumpet. This trumpet calls the wolves back into their dens, and I emerge, racked with exhaustion and relief, and collapse. This trumpet sings me into my dreams, my dreams that are hazy pastel clouds of liberation. But like tie-dye, this pastel cloud dips and twists into a rainbow, a screaming rainbow, a psychedelic intensity of colors that warp my pastel cloud into a headache of visual radioactivity and once again hijack my brain. BLINK! I scream to this tornado of overstimulation. Actually, I scream to myself. So I blink, and the curtains close on this too-much. When they reopen, I see the sky. But it is just blue now. Just blue.



Hog of Wart & Mistletoe Things Madison Smith

Those quiet, cold, wonderful days home from school, with scratchy throats and sniffles in a tiny nose, my mom would make this concoction of lemon juice and honey and something otherworldly. She’d heat it up like fine tea and give it to me swirling in the bottom of a glass mug. I’d scrunch up my nose at the smell and she’d tell me, “It’s hog of wart and mistletoe things from my kettle, it’s for turning you into a frog.” And then my lips would scrunch up but the taste would be golden and bitter. After the second drink it would start to smell like pignolata. After the third drink it would start to taste like syrupy lemonade, hot and smoothing the roughness inside to something calm and happy and healing. On the cold days home from school when there weren’t any little coughs and racking shivers, there was golden light in the kitchen, wonderful soft clanking of metal pots and wooden spoons. There was the smell of chocolate pie, coconut pie, pumpkin pie, and every kind of cookie imaginable. Once, I remember, there really was pignolata. Grandma was there too.


I must have been tiny, because the countertops were mountain-tops and I don’t think my sister was born yet. We hadn’t put up the tree— that day everyone would be home, surrounded by boxes of ancient baubles glittering in ripped cardboard and tissue paper, and the TV would sing us tranquil Christmas songs. That day the TV sung us Christmas songs, but they were softer in the kitchen and only three of us were there to hear them. Today I only remember the

important parts, after the sticky dough was dashed with flour on the counter—things like Mom’s big knife, cutting fat globs smaller and smaller. After we rolled a few dough bits into plump worms Grandma insisted on doing ours together, her soft, cracked hands over mine, pressing and pressing. Then we chopped chopped chopped them into little squares, while Mom got the oil all ready. Grandma let me bite a tacky lump when Mom wasn’t looking, and I giggled and chewed and thought that we were being awfully clever. Eventually the dough puffed up into little golden cubes, which we rolled in fragrant golden honey. At the end of it, the pignolata with its hard round sprinkles resembled the Christmas tree in New York I’d once seen on the news. I ate a few, licked my fingers, and we sat together in that warm little kitchen for a good long while after that.

A Family Gathering | MARGUERITE KNOWLES | Photography


My mom still makes me Hog of Wart and Mistletoe Things when my throat is red and raw, and I can’t help but think of pignolata, little sprinkles, and old, strong hands. Mostly I think of my mom, and all the things I know about her now. A lot of times I’ll think of the things I didn’t know then. Sometimes there will be a flash of stirring spoons and chocolate chips and the bright red nail polish she never wears anymore. I think of being held tight to her chest, and how as different as things are now it will always be there, like Hog of Wart and Mistletoe Things, and saying before bed, “Ti amo con tutta cuore.”

Ballad for the Broken Winged Sidra Siddiqui


Caged Bird | SARAH CHAN | Photography

He was her Home. From the moment She had hatched from that paper-thin shell, peeping with raw innocence, He sheltered Her. There was a shimmering persona about Him— the twigs and leaves from which they derived warmth were enchanted by His sweet words

‘I will keep you safe’

This promise emanated from His every gesture, Enveloping Her with unmistakable comfort and security. She drank up his warmth, let it sweep Her into the cool breezes, until Her wings balanced themselves on its scaffold— She was soaring.

The breeze died after a while. she couldn’t understand how but something had changed— flying was now a balancing act, the faulty strings of

‘I’m sorry’

barely keeping her afloat. The winters grew colder. she huddled feebly in an effort to shelter herself, but each harsh wind carried away with it the sticks and leaves of her youth, reducing her haven to a pile of rubble.

with only wistful nostalgia as her guide, the flightless bird searched southward for some aspect of herself


and a new way to define home.

Love and Hate: A Reverse Poem Youngeun Lee

Hatred There’s no such thing as Happiness The earth resounds with The painful cries Which drowns out The laughter of children The world is filled with Sadness and sorrows It will overcome Love Love It will overcome Sadness and sorrows The world is filled with The laughter of children Which drowns out The painful cries The earth resounds with Happiness There’s no such thing as Hatred


Breathing Hues | TASNEEN BASHIR | Watercolor


Colophon Editors-in-Chief Mary Kate “Spade“ Korinek Callie “three dates“ Smith Cameron “it’s me Todd Kraines“ Todd Shannon “soccer star“ Anderson | ART EDITOR

Neha “hahaha“ Kapoor | ASST. ART EDITOR

Ellea “had a little“ Lamb | LITERATURE EDITOR

Amanda “Christina“ Yang | ASST. LITERATURE EDITOR

Sarah “life-saver“ Chan | PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Teal “reflection“ Cohen | ASST. PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Sarah “crew boys“ Taylor | MANAGING EDITOR Addie “Sims“ Walker | COMMUNICATIONS EDITOR

Peyton “cheerios“ Hart | ASST. MANAGING EDITOR Sarah “oh I get it“ Mathew | ASST. COMM. EDITOR

Ana “family-owned“ Rosenthal | FACULTY ADVISER STAFF

Joann “Brianne“ Kim Grace “open the cabinet“ Zhang Ellen “freshmeat“ Schindel

Many Thanks To Mrs. Rosenthal for your constant devotion and unwavering passion for this magazine. Your love, loyalty, and dedication for Vibrato inspire us every day. You have taught us, molded us, and guided us to be the best we can be and to produce the highest quality of work. We do not know where we would be without you and it is with all of our hearts that we thank you for your hard work and patience to ensure the success of our magazine. Dr. Cranfill for your opinion, time, and guidance with our literature. From sacrificing your free periods to reading all of our submissions, we are truly grateful for your wisdom and help this year. Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Lowry, Mr. Murray, and Mrs. Jones for encouraging our passion of creativity and the arts and for constantly supporting us throughout our endeavors. Melanie Hamel at Impact Graphics and Printing for finding a way to make all of our dreams possible and working to make them come to life. Sarah Chan, Madison Smith, all AP Studio Art girls for putting up with our begging for submissions and willingness to contribute your skills whenever we have asked. Vibrato is a magazine that exhibits the art, photography, and literature of Hockaday’s Upper School student body. Each piece is an original work by the student that was submitted anonymously. Together, our staff members closely review and carefully select the pieces to include in the publication, design the spreads, and distribute the magazine. As you journey through the stories and artwork of this magazine, we hope you experience, explore, and listen to your mind’s reaction to gain new understanding about yourself and your instincts. The text of this issue is set in Sanchez 8.5pt. The titles of this issue are set in Filmotype Gay 22pt. Variances in size are used for titles of literary pieces, art, and photography as well as names of authors and artists. The table of contents is set in Sanchez and Filmotype Gay with variances in size for title and subtitles. The magazine was designed using Adobe InDesign CS6. Content pages are printed on Polar Bear Velvet Book 80# and Cougar Bright white text 80# and the cover is printed on Topkote Silk 130#.Divider pages are foilstamped. All parts of the magazine were printed by Impact Graphics and Printing in Dallas, TX.


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