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Paha Review Writing and Art from the Hill

Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Spring 2014

The term paha comes from Dakota Sioux dialect meaning “hill” or “ridge,” and it was first applied in 1891 by W.J. McGee to the special hill forms in this region of Iowa… Their distribution and alignment parallel to (and very often near) river valleys strongly suggest that paha are actually wind-aligned dunes that accumulated in response to the strong, prevailing northwest winds that were scouring the Iowan surface during this period of glacial cold. Jean C. Prior Land Forms of Iowa We need to recover the ancient sense of homeland as an area defined not by armies and flags…but by nature and geography and by the history of human dwelling there, a habitat shared by other creatures, known intimately, carried in the mind as a living presence. Scott Russell Sanders Mount Mercy University is built on one of the many paha in Iowa, most clustered near or southeast of Cedar Rapids.


Kristina Mione Tanya Stoyanova

Copy Editors

Katerina Althoff ãiUND'YRŚiNRYi Adrienne Elliff Cassie Green Steven Hoyos Maddy Jones Alaina Kote Alyson Oberdries

Selection Committee

Katerina Althoff Anna Bohr Cassie Green Abigael Klaassen Kristina Mione Courtney Snodgrass Nicole Eversoll Tyc


Tanya Stoyanova

Cover Art

Keva Fawkes

Cover Design

Tanya Stoyanova

Faculty Advisors

Jose Clemente Mary Vermillion

Special Thanks

Andy Casto Chris DeVault Cecile Goding Jim Grove Kathryn Hagy Alicia Livingston Molly Metz Joy Ochs Joe Sheller Benjamin Thiel Carol Tyx

for Mount Mercy University Presidents Norm Nielsen and Laurie Hamen

Contents    6KK‫ܗ‬6KK‫&ܗ‬KULV(PHU\ Daniel Wayson 10 Plea of the Nerds Daniel Wayson 10 L Jonathan Fields 13 Life Jonathan Fields 13 C Steven Hoyos 14 Coming Home Steven Hoyos 14 T 15 The Sad Little Guy Maddy Jones 15 O Abigael Klaassen 16 Ode to my Wrinkles Abigael Klaassen 16 H Kristina Mione 18 Holocaust Kristina Mione 18 L 19 Little Things: A Ghazal Alaina Kote 19 W Kristina Mione 20 What’s Important Kristina Mione 20 S Nicole Eversoll Tyc 21 Strength through Weakness Nicole Eversoll Tyc 21     %URNHQ5RDGV.DWHULQD$OWKRŲ   30 of mice and lice ãiUND'YRŚiNRYi 30 Kristina Mione 31 Depression Kristina Mione 31 R Red and White Nicole Eversoll Tyc 32 Emma Bojorquez33 Emma Bojorquez33 IOut of the Shadows, Into the Light Oldenburg Aztec Face Aztec Face

Gabriel Hernandez Gabriel Hernandez Acosta Acosta

34 34

Octopus’ Garden

Adrienne Hershey



Tanya Stoyanova


In My Own Little World

Jerica Christensen



Danielle Dye


Bob the Cat

Meghan Ryan



Randah Espy


Papa’s Mithridate

Kate Till


Skin Cells

Keva Fawkes



Shelby Kibbie



Rebecca Redmond



Daniel Wayson


Castle of Appalachia

Chris Emery


To My Best Friend

Kristina Mione


I Wept

Carmen Delgado Harrington


Chasing the Night

Abigael Klaassen


The Pond

Maddy Jones


White Knight

Alyson Oberdries


Whispering Pines

Katerina Althoff


Job Interview

Cassie Green


Disappearing Fields

Carmen Delgado Harrington



Nicole Eversoll Tyc


Creative Writing Contest Winners A Wish Too Late Contributors

66 Sara Lyon

67 71



Plea of the Nerds Daniel Wayson FOREWARD: Everything that follows is meant as a light-hearted play on the rivalry between athletes and intellectuals. Nothing is based on fact, and everything is an exaggeration. All my life, I’ve sat on the sidelines, watching. Every football game, soccer match, track meet, I’ve been there. I’ve never been the type to hit the gym and get in a quick workout before class; I was more the type to sneak into the auditorium to practice a monologue for an upcoming play. I was what I guess you might call a “nerd.” With such a great title comes a great lack of success—in the girl department. All my life, it seemed that the pretty girls all gravitated towards those whose worth was tied to the condition of their physique. And this really pissed me off, though not enough to actually drag myself to the gym or anything—that would be too much work. Instead, I just sit here in the library, dreaming of the day when the ladies will realize how much better, for lack of a better word, we nerds are than the athletes. I mean, come on, let’s face the facts. You’ve seen every chick flick ever produced: the athletes are complete morons who have trouble adding two and two, while the nerds have a blast, solving advanced calculus equations in their free time. We live in a world of numbers, people. Bills, taxes, budgets—you name it, there’s probably some sort of number attached to it. To all the ladies who aren’t that great in math, or don’t want to waste their time with filing an S4-I-26 tax form, you’re going to need a man who knows


his way around this stuff. You’ve got two options: the nerd, who will quickly and accurately manage money, smartly investing it so that the two of you can retire at age 70 to the Bahamas and live the rest of your lives in luxury; or you can pick the muscle-bound athlete, who, completely out of his element, will most likely attempt to bully the calculator into giving him all the answers, though once that fails, where will you be? Which reality would you rather live in? Lying on the beach on Barbados, soaking up the sun with a martini in your hand, or lying on the couch in Cleveland, Ohio, watching a re-run of Maury on a barely-functioning television while your children scream and pull out the little hair you have left? Now the ladies reading this might be thinking, ‘Oh, but those football players are so dreamy, with their bulging biceps and rock-hard abs.’ Well, to that I say… no, it’s true. They are extremely dreamy. But that’s beside the point. How do you think they get those defined, steroid-usesuggesting muscles? They spend 23 hours of each day in the gym, working on strengthening muscles that haven’t even been identified by anatomists yet. Because the gym claims the very souls of these lads, guess who is never going to see their beloved he-men again? If you guessed their girlfriends, you guessed right. Ladies, why would you want to be with a guy who would rather spend time with a bunch of other sweaty men than with a catch like you? As a nerd, I can promise you, guys like me would never put a bench press or a dumbbell ahead of the queens of our hearts. On the off chance a muscle-clad hulk finds his way home without getting lost, get ready for the most boring and un-engaging conversation of your life. I’m sorry to say it, but the one muscle an athlete will not be strengthening with their hours at the rec center is his tongue, the most important muscle when it comes to a relationship. Communication is key, and if every response to what you


say consists of a series of grunts, “uh-huh”, or “yeah, babe,” you would be better off talking to a wall. And I mean that literally—drying paint would be a better conversation partner. We nerds, on the other hand, make it a point to expand our vocabulary to both entice and entertain a lady in conversation. We will always be ready to talk about your day, comfort you when you’re feeling down; conversations will never get old, and we will show you ladies that we can create priceless memories just sitting on the couch, sharing with each other the content of our souls and intertwining ourselves with words. Now, I’m not trying to convince the female population out there to ditch the meat heads (using some damn good reasons, I might add) and give us nerds a chance. Well, okay, yes, I am, but it’s all for your own good, ladies. Though you may never see us, as we are tucked away in the library or computer lab, and though we may never have spoken, I assure you: I, along with those who have never talked to a girl before, just want you to be happy. But who I am to take away the joy of a broken television set or a leaking roof? What manner of cruel beast am I to provide a life better than a constant struggle to pay the bills while a crying child pulls on your hair and spits up on your shirt? Athletes might be the stars of a football or soccer field, but out there, on the field I like to call Life, we nerds are calling the plays; we nerds are the quarterbacks; we nerds are going to be the ones coming out on top.


Life Jonathan Fields seems as if it could almost kill you exerting yourself all day to feed your family devoting countless hours mentoring your son striking into the night sorting bills like sheep overdue for shearing yet another day has dawned—but where has time gone?


Coming Home Steven Hoyos There is a fancy black car, the finest of its day. Two men pile in leaving an extra space, yet it is still filled. The ride is quiet and tense. Discomfort settles for passengers. Silence pierces the heart. Two brothers are coming home, as well as a third. Mama is at home, waiting. Two men come home to Mama, as well as a third. Two come home as flesh in pressed uniforms. The third, a triangular flag.


The Sad Little Guy Maddy Jones I’m a planet, the smallest. Wait, a planet no more. Once the favorite, the little guy. Now deemed too little for life. You’ve banished me from the system. “Pluto is a dwarf.” Discrimination, I say. Today’s children will no longer know my name. Only eight to remember now. Lucky kids. Old solar system models rot on shelves. Someday they’ll miss me. Someday.


Ode to my Wrinkles Abigael Klaassen Darlings, you and I are biding our time until we finally meet. While others run for cover— or fill you with botox—I embrace the day. the worry welcomed on sleepless nights with infants the laughter shared with those I love most the blushes leading to smiles from my future better half the days spent on beaches enjoying the warmth of the sun the nights spent in smoky bars drinking, dancing, and shorting sleep— all of these things that make a life leave trails of where they’ve been. Each day that passes— quickens your journey. And when that day comes we will show the world I lived.


Poetry with Set Form The next three poems are all inspired by traditional poetic forms. Kristina Mione’s “Holocaust” is a pantoum. Originally a Malaysian form, then a French one made famous by Victor Hugo, a pantoum consists of four-line stanzas rhyming abab, but the second and fourth lines of one stanza must reappear as the first and third lines of the following stanza. In the final stanza, the first and third lines of the first stanza reoccur in reverse order, the poem thus ending and beginning with the same line. “Little Things” by Alaina Kote is a ghazal. Originally a Middle Eastern form, a ghazal is a lyric poem composed in couplets. Often, as with Kote’s ghazal, the second line of each couplet ends with the same word. Ghazals, like sonnets, are often about love. Although Kristina Mione’s “What’s Important” does not have fourteen lines, it resembles the Shakespearean sonnet in other important ways. Its four quatrains possess the same rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef. Like a Shakespearean sonnet, Mione’s poem also introduces a dilemma that is resolved in the poem’s final lines. The definitions on this page are adapted from A Handbook to Literature by William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman.


Holocaust Kristina Mione don’t look too terrible to behold the world shook when the truth was told too terrible to behold who’s to blame when the truth was told are we all the same who’s to blame was it just one man are we all the same what flames did he fan was it just one man the world shook what flames did he fan don’t look


Little Things: A Ghazal Alaina Kote Unconditional love from daughter to mother. The same from mother to daughter; there is no other. Carefree and happy she plays—then takes a short break; hugging me with fervor; there is no other. Dancing, dancing, dancing around and around— spinning into my arms; there is no other. Exploring new destinations fort by fort— blankets fall in heaps of laughter; there is no other. The horsey walks up the jagged path to the bedroom, and discards its rider; there is no other. Tales of princes and princesses, rabbits and hippos. Eyes swarming with enchantment; there is no other. “I love you mommy you’re my friend.” A big sloppy kiss on my cheek; there is no other. The Sandman sends her on an adventure, while she curls about my frame; there is no other.


What’s Important Kristina Mione

I sit in my room with thoughts of life Is college as important to me As being a mother and a wife What should my direction finally be Do I sacrifice more of my time That I can spend each day with my child What could be better use of my time Than teaching my child how to be wild The joys of being mother are real The importance of studenthood fades If I’m true to how I really feel My decision is already made.


Strength through Weakness Nicole Eversoll Tyc I sat staring into the crimson that was covering the inside of my underwear, the stain, all that was left of the life we had created. After seven weeks of falling in love with the creation inside my womb, the loss of it now stared me in the face like an ugly punishment. Weak and numb with shock, I stood in the bathroom of the dementia unit I worked in as a floor supervisor. The tiny space was like a closet of shame and grief, the tomb where my child and I parted. I flushed and watched the crimson stained water swirl away our baby. Lord, please help me. I can’t do this. Please take this pain….I need to feel your arms wrapped around my heart. I left the tiny bathroom where my miscarriage began and tried to put on a professional face, not knowing if I should work the next seven hours of my shift while bleeding so heavily. After closing myself off in the privacy of the med room where my aides couldn’t enter, I prepared to call my husband Matt. Just three days earlier, after I noticed I was spotting and experiencing abdominal cramping, we went into the emergency room. After some blood work and an ultrasound, we were informed that a miscarriage was in process. The three days I waited for the miscarriage to begin were a fog. That night after we first found out, we left the hospital to return home and collapse into a mess together. I’ve never cried like that before. My sobs sounded more like


a wounded animal than that of a woman. I felt so much shame and sorrow in those first hours. The emergency room staff simply said, “These things happen. No one knows why. I’m sorry for your loss.” All I wanted was for someone to tell me why. Why was this happening? What had I done? Was there something wrong with me? Those words, “These things happen,” rooted the most painful question mark upon my heart. Why? I dialed Matt, and in an effort to control my sobs, I spoke quickly. “It started—I’m ok—I don’t know how long this will last or what to do or if what’s happening is normal—It started so fast, Matt, I’m—” “Oh my God, babe, now? Should I come get you? I’ll come.” “Matt, I can’t just leave. I’m on meds tonight, and it’s the weekend. No one will come in for me.” “Have you asked? You can’t work like that.” “I have to call Dayna. She’s the on-call this weekend. If she sends me home, I’ll call you, but I can’t go if there’s no one to replace me. I’m running the unit.” The sobs I’d been fighting now spilled over, and I found myself sitting on the floor against the wall with my face against my knees. Matt spoke softly into the phone. “It’s ok. Call Dayna, and then call me back. I can be there in ten minutes. I love you.” “I love you too.” I laid the phone down at my side and exhaled. Focusing on the sounds of my breath, inhaling and exhaling, I took back control and made the call to my boss. Dayna, the administrator of the geriatric care facility, told me to finish out my shift. “Well, obviously you can’t leave, honey. There’s no one to cover you.” “I don’t know what to do. There’s so much blood. My pants are stained down the legs and soaked. I feel so stupid for calling you.” “I’ll bring you a change of pants and a pad, and it will


be fine.” Dayna said it with such certainty, I felt like a silly thirteen-year-old girl fretting over a heavy period. She brought me clean pants and several thick medical grade pads to stuff my underwear with and gave me a pat on the back saying, “Everything will be fine, sweetie.” She laughed lightly and walked down the hallway, out of the unit, and back to her Friday night plans. After Dayna had gone, I stood in the med office with my med cart, alone with my thoughts and the next seven hours on the floor ahead of me. This is normal. I just have to stuff it all in and do the job. Forget what’s happening and pass the meds. Knowing Matt was waiting to come pick me up, I sent him a text saying I was ok and that Dayna had assured me it would be safe to finish the shift. I went about my work like a robot. I passed the meds, directed my staff, charted my paperwork, and kept moving. The blood flowed from my womb. You can do this. She wouldn’t have left you here to finish if it weren’t safe, and she’s a nurse. My aides knew what was happening that night. Bless their hearts, they tried to show me the kindness I so desperately needed but would not allow myself to accept. Dayna had told me to finish my shift. If I acknowledged the pain, weakness, and fear to them, it would show my inability to do my job. I want to be a nurse, and she’s a nurse. If she says this is normal, and if I can work through it, then I must. Finally, after seven hours of walking the halls as my pregnancy fell away, it was time to go home. I walked out the front doors into the fresh air of the night. Letting the realization of my loss flood over me, I sobbed through my drive home. Lord, just get me home. I don’t remember driving or arriving home. I suddenly found myself in the safety of my husband’s arms as he


gently rocked me to sleep in the safety of our bed. The next morning, Matt kissed me lightly on the forehead and our eyes met, sharing the pain and grief. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “I have to leave you here. I don’t want to.” Matt had finally been hired after almost a year of actively searching for a job. This was his first day. “I’m sorry, babe,” I said. “I know this is awful for you too. I will be ok here. I’m going to try to sleep all day and just let it happen. I love you.” I placed my hand on his cheek. Regretfully he moved away. “I love you too. I’ll call you as soon as I can.” He walked downstairs and closed the front door, leaving me alone in our third floor bedroom. I slept fitfully but deeply through the morning and into the afternoon, missing Matt’s call on his lunch hour. Upon waking, I was so thirsty and parched, my tongue felt dry and swollen. I began heading down the five flights of stairs to our kitchen for something to drink. As I made my way down, my head started to feel tight and constricted. My vision blurred, and before I considered sitting, I awoke to find myself sprawled across the stairs on the second floor landing. I had passed out. How long have I been laying here? Unable to stand at first, I began to panic. I’m alone.…Matt won’t be home for hours.…no one will be coming over… I felt my phone vibrate in my sweatshirt pocket. Thank you, Lord. I had taken my phone downstairs with me. I saw my jacket with the truck keys on the dining room table. I slowly pulled myself up and moved carefully down the final flight of stairs before calling Matt. After I told him what had happened, we decided I should make the drive four blocks away to St Luke’s to be seen. I called the ER to alert them of my situation and gingerly made my way out to our truck. My head was still woozy but


it felt stupid to make a fuss and call an ambulance. After all, my boss had said this was normal. After I checked in at the ER, a nurse came to observe my condition and examine me. She asked how many pads I had went through per hour, and said that it was certain my symptoms were directly related to a heavy volume of blood loss. Judging by the inconsistency of my blood pressures, she ordered further testing to monitor for tachycardia, a condition where the blood pressure has an erratic and inconsistent pattern. She also wanted to know what I’d been doing when the miscarriage began. “I was at work last night. I’m a CNA. I called my boss, who is an RN, and she said it was fine. I worked the rest of my shift and went home after.” “She didn’t send you home? You worked an eight-hour shift while actively miscarrying, and your boss is a nurse?” A look of barely contained shock and anger crossed the nurse’s face. I wasn’t sure if she was angry at me or my boss. “She said it was normal.” I didn’t know what else to say and began crying. The nurse held my hand and spoke in a gentle voice.“You didn’t do anything wrong. She should not have made you stay at work. This is not your fault. You’re safe.” Over the next five hours several other nursing staff and ER doctors made the connection that I had been told to stay at work while actively miscarrying. I was almost overwhelmed by their show of concern over my boss’s ethical misjudgment. Several went so far as to suggest I report her to the state department. I lay there in my hospital bed feeling confused, ashamed, and scared. Father, I don’t understand why this is happening.…How could You do this to us? I did everything I was supposed to do.… please, help me. My husband arrived, and we sat together while the


nursing staff waited for my blood volume and vitals to normalize. “I’m furious with her for telling you to stay,” Matt said.“I knew I shouldn’t have let you!” “As odd as it sounds, I’m not even angry with her, Matt. I’m hurt and mainly disappointed.” This woman was a mentor. She was someone who had walked the walk of nursing. I looked up to her and trusted her judgment. Unfortunately, she didn’t have my best interests in her mind that night, and I had relied on her to make a decision that I should have made, but couldn’t because of my condition. After I was released from the ER, Matt and I went home. I felt overwhelmed with the fatigue of all I had been through physically, mentally, and emotionally. Over the next several days and nights, Matt and I processed through our grief, both together as a couple and individually. Losing a child, no matter how far along in pregnancy, is one of the most profound experiences a woman can endure. I struggled with holding onto my faith through the anger, the answerless questions, and the deep mourning. There were many moments when I searched for rational explanations and for someone or something to blame. I wanted to fill the void where the question of why could not be answered. It was like being lost inside a fog and searching for something or someone while walking in circles, desperate and lost. Finally, without any cause or reason, total release and clarity graced me with the answers I wanted and needed. They were not the answers I had expected, but they were more than I needed to release and move into forgiveness. In a quiet moment alone with myself, my thoughts, and my prayers to God, I became clear and heard the wisdom and tenderness of His voice speaking through my heart, directly to me.


This is not about anything you or anyone else did or didn’t do. This is not about punishment, fault, or blame. This is about life. The beauty, the power, and the wisdom of your body, created in My image. You are an incredible work of art, created out of unconditional love. I blessed you with this child to show you what it means to create life out of the blessing of true love, brought together by faith. I was with you while you were scared, while you nurtured the new life growing inside of your womb. I was with you while you and Matt grew closer and became bonded to the child you created together. I was with you when you felt the power of your own body build the growing baby. I was also with you when you and Matt found out you would miscarry. I was there when you cried in Matt’s arms. I held you both and wrapped you in the love which you prayed to Me for. I stayed with you. I stayed through the hours as you lost the baby at work. I cried with you as you grieved, and I carried you when you said you could do it. I heard you tell Me you need me, and I opened your heart when you felt like you wanted to close it. My love is the power to create life through you. The beauty of My creation and the wisdom of your faith in Me is infinite. Just as faith is beautiful in life, it is also beautiful in death. Through the blessing, creation, and loss of this child, you have grown closer to Me. You have trusted in Me. You have called on Me and followed my wisdom through the depth of my existence inside your heart. Had I not challenged you to follow Me, how could you have ever known the power, wisdom, and strength of our bond? I am, and will always be, your strength. I cried once again. This time, not out of sadness, but out of joy. There was no longer a need or a desire to question or to blame. The anger I had felt was entirely irrelevant to me. This was a lesson: I realized the wisdom of my own body and of finding healing through faith and trust in God.


It was also a lesson in forgiveness. Since this happened, I have been able to forgive myself for the guilt I felt in the loss of our child, and I have forgiven my boss for her lack of compassion during the worst moments of my life. We are all human. We live imperfect lives in an imperfect world. We are all connected in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan and intertwined in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives through the lessons, blessings, and challenges He provides us with. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think He means for us to be strong all the time. In fact, I believe there is great power in moments of weakness and pain. It is in those moments that He molds us the most. I learned the great power I have in calling on my faith. There is no greater love than the love God has for us. We only need to ask Him to be there. <><


Broken Roads Katerina Althoff As I look down the broken road I look back at all the things I have done all the things I have said everything we had Life used to be a fairy tale before we grew apart my past still haunts me and I need to let go to move on free myself but I just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but think of you now that you are gone


of mice and lice ãiUND'YRŚiNRYi all is well that ends the hell the multitude’s demise for solitude gin to scrub the salt from their eyes joints screeching, tongues dislocating in the blind starkness of the darkness the revelation of all world war four


Depression Kristina Mione round and round I go wondering why I fall through the highs and the lows whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the point of it all wondering why I fall needing a new point of view whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the point of it all I will make it through needing a new point of view I can fight to be me I will make it through just you wait and see through the highs and the lows all I need to survive round and round I go remember to be alive


Red and White Nicole Eversoll Tyc Conception, White with life The abundant wisdom of creation. Birth, Red with blood The rite of passage. Childhood, White with innocence The purest of times. Menstruation, Red with strength The glow of womanhood.


Emma Bojorquez-Oldenburg Out of the Shadows, Into the Light, digital photograph


Gabriel Hernandez Acosta Aztec Face, digital illustration



Adrienne Hershey Octopusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Garden, digital illustration

Tanya Stoyanova Untitled, mixed media


Jerica Christensen In My Own Little World, oil on canvas


Danielle Dye Untitled, stencil cut-out


Meghan Ryan Bob the Cat, black and white film


Randah Espy Patience, linocut



Kate Till Papaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mithridate, woodcut

Keva Fawkes Skin Cells, ceramics


Shelby Kibbie Deforestation, mixed media


Rebecca Redmond Untitled, feed bags and thread


Stranger Daniel Wayson

Strangers are we Two souls, never met Realizing after all this time Alone that Neither of us can persist in Guarding ourselves away Egress, egress from our solitude Reach out to each other instead


Castle of Appalachia Chris Emery Elizah rang up the last can of green beans and gave the woman her total. The clock read 3:02 in the afternoon. Hamblin’s General Store was past closing. “Take care, ma’am.” Elizah spoke with a weary whisper. She saw that the woman looked to be about her same age, forty-five or so, though Elizah felt older. After the woman left, Elizah closed the register. She was the only one working since Mr. Hamblin hadn’t come in today. The stifling June humidity didn’t agree with his stiff, old miner’s joints. It didn’t agree with Elizah’s joints either, but she liked being in the store alone on these days. The narrow, half-stocked aisles provided her passageways to reflect on a kingdom of her childhood princess dreams. Elizah locked up and left, beginning her walk along the winding curves of Morris Road. The Kentucky skies were gray with enveloping clouds. She could smell the dirt and rocks tilled that day on the same mountains Pa had mined in before they only did the tops. She wanted to smell the old smell—Pa’s old jacket, which she’d wear on cold mornings and in winter. It was caked with the dense mine air and sweat he had gathered year after year. “I want your smell,” she whispered aloud, gathering beads on her forehead as she climbed the sloping road. Elizah could feel the pangs of her hour-and-five-minute walk home without lunch, wishing she had change in her purse for two-for-a-dollar peanuts and a cola. Elizah’s house, three miles down from the store on Morris Road, wasn’t a bad walk, but Elizah felt her age with each day and


each walk. A herd of trucks began to groan in the distance. The miners finished their day the same time as Elizah. They were now catching up to her, and she moved closer to the road’s edge, anticipating their passage. The slopes along the edge gave her little safe surface, but she managed to make room. The groans turned to growls as the trucks moved up the slope, beds filled with fellow workers in need of the ride. She stopped her walk and looked at them. The soiled trucks were sprayed in mud from the rains the weeks before, and the windshields clouded with cigarette smoke and dust. The men were silent, somber and unmoved by the road or Elizah as they passed by. Pa, Elizah imagined, wouldn’t speak on his rides home, just like these men—weak from slinging against rock each day for a small, dark prize. Once he came home, though, he’d save enough energy each day to greet and carry young Elizah in his arms to the front door of their little box house with pink shutters. Elizah spent more time with her Pa than anyone, and they never grew tired of each other’s company. Pa never drank, smoked or went out like his colleagues and instead devoted his free time to care for Elizah after her mother died. In the evenings he told her stories, taught her games, and carved wooden figurines. Even with nearly nothing and Pa’s endless labor, they both had a life in their small home they called the Castle of Appalachia. The last of several trucks drove by. One passenger in its loaded bed, a boy in his mid-teens, stared back at Elizah. He looked troubled and hurt, like he was left without family, and he was too young to work with desperate men nearly double his age. She stared into his tired eyes until the truck and the boy grumbled away. She was over half the way home, where the mountains opened up to a green valley below, brightened by the recent rains. The creek running through charmed and refreshed her, even though


it wasn’t safe for people anymore from the run-off of the slopes. She used to play by that creek as a child on Sundays. She was a princess, watching butterflies wave to her and crickets make way for her feet. Pa would come join her in the afternoon after chores and add to her fairytale. He was the ruler in these mountains, making a peaceful kingdom in the valley from their humble fortress—the one-story house with painted pink shutters. Elizah’s walk was relieved by a momentary wind, cooling the sweat on her brow. As she walked down further, the creek passed under a bridge following a high cliff. To the left was a small green space, no more than fifteen feet deep and thirty feet wide, pressed up against the tall precipice. Small grave stones, about twenty in all, were covered with fresh flowers for the start of another season, another year since the mine took its miners. Elizah looked at the one that seemed to stand more erect than the others, partly shaded from the cliff. It read Robert Greenlow. Her freshly picked wildflowers were laid at its base. Pa told her when she was fourteen—the year before he became the upright marker below the cliff—the simple words she could never forget:“We’ll live our lives in this castle, my ’Liza Greenlow, and there won’t be any worries. You’re my princess, and I’ll be watching you from the tops of these very mountains when I’m gone one day.” She squinted, withholding sweat from her blurry, reddened eyes, as she resumed her journey home. As she passed the last bend, homeward bound, her stomach stopped knotting from her day-long fast and she felt her aches lessen in the cooling evening air. She opened her front gate and looked up at the sun peeking through the clouds—a steadily glowing light among the turbulent gray masses—and her castle with pink shutters stood illuminated between the shadows of the mountains.


To My Best Friend Kristina Mione Feelings stirred in an unexpected way canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t imagine what I can say to explain exactly how I feel so you understand my love is real Forbidden love yet love just the same love certainly if I had to give it a name is what I am feeling towards you sometimes I wonder did you feel it too Yet on these feelings I would never act although both adult, age difference is fact plus the love I feel is not the same to cause my husband to point in blame Yet you stirred feelings I thought were dead that opened me to feel for my husband instead the love I felt when our relationship was new this renewed love is all thanks to you


I Wept Carmen Delgado Harrington We spent our days together my little family Mother Father and me. Walked through life worked laughed sighed irritated bickered loved. We had many sunny years blue skies, gentle breezes, some sprinkles. We were happy because we were together. And mother was our sun. One day she stoppedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and slept shining in this world no longer. My father and I wept in silence together in our grief After a time our tears dried and we began to spend our days together. my little family, father and me strolling through life working laughing irritating loving.


We had a few good years clear skies, balmy breezes, infrequent showers happy together. And father was the moon. One day he stoppedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and slept glowing in this world no longer. I wept. And now in silence I wonder: Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;will cry for me?


Chasing the Night Abigael Klaassen Hiding in sweet laced lilacs dirt path beneath my feet flashlight clenched in my tiny, youthful hands —the buzzing of bees— sweet sounds gone to sleep along with the sun under sheets of horizon brief blindness and a squeal and I’m IT


The Pond Maddy Jones I had that nervous, excited feeling in the pit of my stomach. It had been churning for days, and now it was finally the night everything could change. We planned to meet at our spot in the field behind my house. I’d spent my whole life on my parents’ farm and knew the land like the lines on my palms. You couldn’t tell it at the end of the summer with the corn taller than me, but in that field was a small pond surrounded by hundredyear-old oak trees. It was just big enough to be a swimming hole—murky, but not enough to keep you out on a hot summer’s day. I left my house around 1:00, just like I always did. I avoided the creak right outside my doorway and on the first, fourth, and seventh steps down the stairs. I tiptoed through the kitchen and out the back door. From there, I was free to walk as I pleased through the yard and field to the pond. I reached where the yard met the field and in the moonlight I found the corn row that would take me right to the pond. When I got there, Hunter was nowhere to be seen, so I lay on the small dock to wait. For the most part, one of the larger oaks obscured the sky; I tilted my head back and stared at the stars anyway. I had taken astronomy my sophomore year of high school, so I tried to occupy my mind with naming constellations. Ursa Major. Ursa Minor. Cassiopeia. Draco. The rest were hidden behind the branches of the giant oak trees. Where could he be? I checked my watch: 1:37. He


rarely kept me waiting. The air was still sweltering and muggy from the afternoon sun and humidity, so I decided I might as well float while I waited. I stripped down and grabbed the smaller of the two tubes and walked into the water, feeling the familiar sand and mud mixture between my toes. I paddled to the middle of the pond where most of the sky was visible. Pegasus. Andromeda. Perseus. Hunter lived three houses down on our vast stretch of country road. We’d meet nearly every night, sneaking out of our houses in the darkness to the pond to bask in the muggy moonlight. Sometimes we’d talk, laugh, and even venture away from the pond for a walk. Other times we wouldn’t do much of anything. We’d pull out the inner tubes from their place in the small shed by the pond and float on the water, listening to the lull of crickets and bullfrogs. For most, the sounds would serve as lullabies, but for us they were simple reminders that we were awake while most slept. We’d stare up at the night sky filled with stars so bright that you’d swear if you reached up, you could grab one to hold on to forever. But, I didn’t want a star to hold on to. I just wanted our moments to last. I was seventeen and he eighteen, a man not wanting to work on his father’s farm for the rest of his life. He was given the options of the farm, junior college, or joining the armed services. The next day he marched down to the Army recruiter and penned his signature on the enlist sheet. He would leave for basic training a month after he signed. He would leave tomorrow. Tonight would be our last meeting by the pond. Through hundreds of late night meetings, he was not my lover or my boyfriend, but just my friend. I’d thought about furthering our relationship. I’d thought about it a lot, actually. Sometimes I’d catch him looking at me and wondered if he was thinking about it too. I’d smile and


say, “What?” and he’d grin, give a little laugh, and say, “Nothing.” We’d continue with the evening, pretending we weren’t feeling what the other was thinking because the quickest way to ruin a friendship is to turn it into a relationship. I didn’t want to sacrifice what we already had built in our friendship. We understood each other. We laughed. We cried. We stared at the moon and sky. Maybe there should have been something more there, but it was thrust deep down, hidden at the bottom of the small pond in the field. However, tonight it needed to be resurrected from its murky grave. I tried to plan the conversation. How do you tell someone how much you care about them? How do you cross the lines of friendship and tell them you’ve always wanted more? Or do you just do it and hope they feel the same? I decided I’d just wing it, like I did everything else in my life. Hunter would arrive at the pond, and I’d stare at him, taking in every piece. His unkempt shaggy hair would be more than one shade darker than his brown eyes. I’d see his stocky, wrestler’s-type body, which was more than strong enough to pick me up and throw me over his shoulder at his whim. Then he’d put me down and flash his radiant, braces-perfected teeth and act all innocent. I swear, he was always smiling. I’d take in his clothes—probably just an old pair of Wranglers and t-shirt—before I had to speak. What has this meant to you? Where do we go from here? I fantasized about him confessing that he’d always wanted more, just like I did. We’d embrace and embark on our future together. It’d be a rough four years while he was away, but we’d make it work. He’d fly me out to visit him at his base, and he’d always use his leave to come back home. We’d eventually get married and have a long, happy future ahead of us.


A rustle from the spot where Hunter always appeared pulled me from my fantasy. I had no idea how long I’d been floating, and I looked around expectantly. It must have been an animal, because Hunter didn’t appear. I was still there, floating. My hair fanned out across the water like it weighed nothing at all. Sometime that night, I got out of the water and went to the dock. I lay there, confused and angry. Where is he? Why didn’t he come? I walked home only as the sun started rising, numb and alone. Many years later, I saw him in that same spot. My hair had begun to gray, and there was more than one wrinkle on my face. The years had been tough, but filled with happy moments. After college Dad died and Mom wasn’t well, so I moved back home and never left. Sometimes, when I lay in bed next to my husband and couldn’t sleep, I’d get up and go to the pond in the field. I’d step out of my room, avoid the creak by my childhood bedroom and the first, fourth, and seventh steps. I’d tiptoe through the kitchen and go out the back door. My instincts still took me to the same cornrow. I lay on the same dock. It was now more rickety with age. All but one of the oaks that covered the sky had long ago been chopped down. I stared up at the sky and named off constellations. Pegasus. Andromeda. Perseus. Ursa Major. Ursa Minor. Cassiopeia. Draco. I had half fallen asleep when in the still of the night I heard a noise. I’d expected it was my husband to tell me to come back to bed. He’d say it was foolish to be alone in a cornfield in the middle of the night. I sat up and looked around, not seeing anything by the path where he would come from. Grabbing my flashlight, I


shone it on the spot where Hunter always appeared. There he was, illuminated by the white light. Dressed in his Army uniform, he looked like that same 18-year-old I’d known for all those nights. The same brown eyes, a few shades lighter than his hair, looked weathered once I got past their golden color. He looked at me, probably judging me just as I was him, and I stared back at him. I’d never had the courage to ask, but now here he was. When else would I have the opportunity? “What happened to you that night? You never came.” He looked around, taking in the scene. I could almost hear him think the trees are gone. “I was young. I was stupid,” he finally replied. He was reaching far back in time for his words. His face didn’t seem as animated as it once had been. “Most of all, I was scared of never seeing you again. I wanted to hold onto what we had and not tarnish it with what we weren’t going to be able to have. It wasn’t going to work out with me being away. I couldn’t bear to put you through that.” He had no idea what he’d put me through by not saying goodbye. Nothing that could have happened if he had shown up would have been worse than the misery I went through never knowing why he didn’t come. “So you thought leaving without a word was the answer?” “I got to basic and realized it was a mistake. I wrote you the same letter a hundred times, but never sent it. After a while, I knew you’d never forgive me.” “I would’ve.” I remembered running to the mailbox after I got home from school the fall after he left. Every day I’d go, and every day there would be nothing. Eventually I gave up, but deep down I always hoped I’d see him again. “Maybe. I guess we’ll never know.” “I guess not.” Way up in that hundred-year-old oak, an owl hooted. Distracted, Hunter stared up at it. “What do you think would have happened,” he asked, “if I had shown


up that night.” I had thought about it many times, but I was bitter with the sudden surprise of seeing him. Maybe I’d someday regret not sharing my true feelings, but it just didn’t seem right at that moment. “I don’t know.” And then he walked into the cornfield, like he was never really there at all.


White Knight Alyson Oberdries


Whispering Pines Katerina Althoff Amongst the whispering pines thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find me where my secrets are kept my past regrets wept. Wind gently fluttering through my life without any strife. Images of grief appearing from the streets never ceasing to dismiss that forbidden kiss.


Job Interview Cassie Green

My first name? Cassie. My real name is Cassandra, but I rarely go by that name. Been called Cassie for as long as I can remember—always Cassie. Never Cassandra. My middle initial? Why, L of course. No, it does not stand for Lou-Ann; I would hate to have that as a middle name. I mean, I know some people like that name, but I wouldn’t want it. My last name you ask? Well, it’s Green. No, not with an e at the end—it’s spelled just like the color. Green is a pretty color, isn’t it? I’m more partial to blue myself, but I could stand green if I had to. My address? Well, I’ll gladly give it to you—just as long as I don’t get any junk mail. I hate junk mail. Innocent trees are dying just for the sake of advertisement, and we all know that junk mail just ends up in the trash anyway. All those poor trees—wasted. Unless you shred it and give it to your hamster as bedding. That’s what I used to do—when I had a hamster. Same goes for my phone number; I expect not to get any calls from pesky telemarketers asking me to buy the latest product. No, I don’t need a subscription to Hunters Monthly. No, I do not want home owners insurance. I don’t even own a home. Have I ever worked at this establishment before? No— why would I be filling out an application to a restaurant that I’ve already worked at? Do you really think I’d go back to the same place after I quit? If I ever did quit, I wouldn’t come back to the same restaurant chain unless I absolutely had to. In case of emergency, you should contact my mom. She works nights, so if you called the house, she would


most likely answer. Unless she is outside tending to the farm. Then the phone will just go to voicemail. In that case, you can call my dad, but he is a very busy man. He works for the government, so I can’t tell you what he does; all I can tell you is that he is in meetings. A lot. If so, then his phone will just go to voicemail as well. If neither of them answer, I hope you can just call 911. Am I 16 years or older? Of course I am! I mean, I probably don’t look 16 or older. I’m pretty young, but I can assure you that I am. Hours I’m available? Well, Mondays and Wednesdays I have night class, so that’s not going to work. Tuesdays I only have class until 2:00, but then I have to go back for dance practice at 6:00. So that’s going to have to be a short shift. Thursdays I’m busy until 2:00 as well, but after that I’m free. So I can work a longer shift on those days if you want me to. Fridays I’m free after three o clock, but it’s Friday. Do you really think I’m going to want to work on a Friday? Well, I guess I can if you really want me to. Saturdays and Sundays feel free to schedule me whenever you want—except for nights. I need my nights. The school I most recently attended? Well, I graduated from a high school in a small town; it was a pretty good four years. Wasn’t voted prom queen. Wasn’t the star athlete. I just did my homework and laid low, because high school is rough. I didn’t have many friends, but the friends that I did have were true friends. Real friends. Not fake friends. Fake friends are the worst—you think that you have all of these great people backing you up, but then you turn to them for help and suddenly no one is there. Yeah, I’d much rather have a few real friends instead of a boatload of fake friends. I graduated from that place, though, and I’m now going to a local private college. It’s nice there. Been making a lot of friends. Only a freshman, so we’ll see how it goes. Where was I last employed? Well, I did work at this local, family-owned restaurant, so I know what I’m doing when it comes to serving customers and working with


food. They taught me all of the basics—be friendly, the customer’s always right, and no matter how rude someone may be, it is not socially acceptable to spit on their Super Chicken Bacon Burrito Grande. Well, that should be it. I hope I didn’t bore you with unnecessary details, but I will truthfully answer any question you ask.


Disappearing Fields Carmen Delgado Harrington Once we rode in smoky fields ascending to the land of plenty. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to lose the many crops now blending, amalgamating creating hybrid grain strains exterminating native species, damaging the land, and spoiling Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans.


Faith Nicole Eversoll Tyc She fixed her eyes not upon what is seen, but on what is unseen. Listen. The clarity of what is true, not justified by the reflections in our eyes. Only the wisdom of our hearts will tell the story of our lives. Follow.


Creative Writing Contest Winners Mount Mercy University congratulates Sara Lyon from Mount Vernon High School (IA) for winning our fourth annual Creative Writing Contest for High School Juniors. Mount Mercy would also like to recognize the following writers: Second Place: Christine Stuppi, Springville Secondary (IA) Third Place: Lauren Clapp, Iowa City Regina (IA) Honorable Mentions: Cali Cinkovich, North Cedar HS (IA) Maria Theresa Dizon, Marianas HS (Saipan) Nicholas Green, Iowa City Regina (IA) Zhane Johnson, Jefferson HS (IN) Hatte Kelley, North HS (IA) To read the second- and third-place writings, please visit


A Wish Too Late Sara Lyon Come one come all come army boy Come shoot a tank or fun gun toy At all the enemies. Oh the joy To serve your country come deploy I’ll come I’ll come and fight for you I’m proud to be American too Peace and love red white and blue To my country I’ll be true Overseas we go to train Through jarring winds and coursing rain But it is worth it worth the pain For if my freedom I am slain So now we go to war and fight We know how to kill and murder right By shooting the enemy fast on sight We fight for peace with all our might A flash a bang a scream a yell A crimson curtain quickly fell Before my eyes and clearly tells The end of the show of lying spells Darkness comes it is the end Of life upon this earth I spend It’s not a lie it’s not pretend For a life you cannot mend


And then I come to realize This world is filled with filth and lies Come to war come win the prize Of peace while we kill and steal lives A world of fighting through and through We fight for peace for me and you But that’s not peace. If only you knew The peace that only the dead go through This “freedom” and this “liberty” No longer mean a thing, you see Like water to a fallen tree They’re for the living, not for me Now on this land the living cowers The land that saw the bloody showers Of the dead and now it’s ours We make up the earth and grass and flowers This place, this land belongs to me It is not yours, though you are free Since I fought and spent my life for thee Now it’s the place I’ll always be The dead don’t lie but they can’t tell Of what is death’s eternal hell So come now child come listen well Do not let here be where you dwell I wish I could return and say Please don’t throw your life away For words that will lead you astray They’re lies once death has had its way


But now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m here I just began To live my life I had a plan Yet here I am with no more than A wish too late for this dead man


Contributors Contributors Gabriel sophomoreGraphic Graphic Gabriel Hernandez Hernandez Acosta Acosta is is aa sophomore 'HVLJQ DQG 0DWKHPDWLFV PDMRU IURP 0RQWLFHOOR ,RZD Design and Mathematics major from Monticello, Iowa. /DVWVHPHVWHUKHFUHDWHGWKHILUVW'UDPD&OXEORJR$IWHU         JUDGXDWLRQKHSODQVWRJRLQWRLOOXVWUDWLRQVRUDQLPDWLRQV graduation he plans to go into illustrations or animations, EXW ZDQWV WR but wants to IRFXV focus RQ on ERWK both PDWK math DQG and JUDSKLF graphic GHVLJQ design. +H He ZDQWV WR YLVLW GLIIHUHQW FRXQWULHV WR JHW LQVSLUDWLRQ     !      IRU  KLV his DUWZRUN artwork. +H He ZDQWV wants WR to VKRZ show SHRSOH people WKDW that JUDSKLFV graphics DQG and LOOXVWUDWLRQVFDQEHLQFUHGLEOHSLHFHVRIDUWQRWMXVWDQRWKHU illustrations can be incredible pieces of art, not just another MREZLWKEDGSRVWHUV+HHQMR\VFROOHFWLQJGLIIHUHQWJUDSKLFV job with bad posters. He enjoys looking and collecting DQGLOOXVWUDWLRQVWKDWLQVSLUHKLPDQGSXVKKLPWREHFRPH !              DEHWWHUGHVLJQHU push him to become a better designer. Katerina Althoff .DW LVDMXQLRUPDMRULQJLQ(QJOLVKDQG      is a junior majoring in English and PLQRULQJLQ&ULPLQDO-XVWLFHDQG&UHDWLYH:ULWLQJ6KHKDV minoring in Criminal Justice and Creative Writing. She has WZLFHVHUYHGDVDQ2ULHQWDWLRQ/HDGHUDQGVKHUXQV7UDFN twice served as an Orientation Leader, and she runs Track DQG&URVV&RXQWU\IRU0RXQW0HUF\ and Cross Country for Mount Mercy. Emma a freshman in Fine the Fine Emma Bojorquez-Oldenburg Bojorquez-Oldenburg isisa freshman in the $UWV SURJUDP +DYLQJ QHYHU WDNHQ DQ\ DUW FODVVHV EHIRUH Arts program. Having never taken any art classes before FRPLQJ WR MMU, 008 they WKH\ are DUH all DOO really UHDOO\ new QHZ to WR her. KHU $UW KDV coming to Art has DOZD\VEHHQDQHVFDSHIRUKHU always been an escape for her. Jerica Jerica ChristensenLVD6HQLRU.$UW(GXFDWLRQPDMRU Christensen is a Senior K-12 Art Education major, 5HOLJLRXV6WXGLHVPLQRU+HUIXWXUHJRDOLVWROLYHDKDSS\ Religious Studies minor. Her future goal is to live a happy, IDLWKILOOHGOLIH-HULFDnVKREELHVDUHSOD\LQJVRFFHUVZLPPLQJ    


 WDNLQJSKRWRVELNLQJYROXQWHHULQJVFUDSERRNLQJELUGDQG taking photos, biking, volunteering, scrapbooking, bird and VTXLUUHOZDWFKLQJDQGOLVWHQLQJWRPXVLF squirrel watching, and listening to music    is an exchange student from Palacky University,CzechRepublic.CurrentlymajoringinEnglish, shehopestoonedayattendtheWritersWorkshopinIowa City. She has a modest dream: to spend the rest of her life writing.


Danielle Dye is a senior Graphic Design and Fine Arts major from Mount Vernon, Iowa. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in the arts. She enjoys outdoor activities and being a new mom. Chris Emery graduated in the spring of 2013 with a BA in Communication Studies. He is currently an Education Intern with the National Park Service in Gunnison, CO, teaching nature programs at area schools. He took Intro and Intermediate Creative Writing as well as a few English courses. He thoroughly enjoys writing poems and essays about nature and has an unlimited source of inspiration for his creativity among the vistas of Colorado. Randah Epsy is a junior and double majoring in Graphic Design and Fine Arts. She adores traveling and spending time with friends. Keva Fawkes is a senior Fine Arts major and is originally from Great Inagua, Bahamas. Upon graduation in May, she will continue her Fine Arts studies in Ceramics in graduate school. Keva is an avid reader and spends most of her free time making awesome things, antiquing, spending time with family and friends and traveling to as many new places as possible. Jonathan Fields is a senior English major from Wyoming, Iowa. After Jon graduates in the fall of 2014, he plans on substitute teaching. Jon enjoys spending time with his family and watching comedy movies. Cassie Green is from Anamosa, Iowa. She is a freshman English major. Along with writing poetry and short stories, another one of her hobbies is dancing. She is currently writing a novel, and her dream is to have it published. Carmen Delgado Harrington is a junior English Major, and working toward a career teaching adult English Language


Learners. Additionally, she is under contract as a Spanish Translator for the Grant Wood Area Education Association and the Iowa City, Linn-Mar, and College Community School Districts. Adrienne Hershey is a senior Art Education major from Cedar Rapids. Last summer, she completed a five-week internship in Germany. After graduation, she plans on moving to Portland in order to teach art in a non-profit organization for female victims of human trafficking. She loves antiquing and watching Bollywood movies. Steven Hoyos is from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He came to Mount Mercy University on a baseball scholarship as a junior transfer, and he joined the English department. He is set to graduate in the spring of 2014, and he is very excited because he is the first in his family to graduate from college. Maddy Jones is a senior majoring in Journalism and Communications with a minor in Writing. She is from Hudson, Iowa. Maddy is the co-editor of the Mount Mercy Times. When she isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too busy with the Times or schoolwork, she enjoys reading, writing, and going on long walks. Shelby Kibbie is a senior majoring in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. From Palo, Iowa, she is also a member of STEPS. Abigael Klaassen (Abby) is a Secondary Education major who hopes to someday teach middle school language arts. Her hometown is Marion, Iowa and she graduated from Marion Independent High School in 2003. She currently resides in Cedar Rapids with her family. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and camping. Alaina Kote will graduate in May of 2015 with a Bachelors in English and History. She is the mother of a beautiful four-


year-old girl, and the wife of a wonderful and supportive husband. She has lived in Iowa her whole life except the year she spent in Iraq with her former Army Reserve unit. After graduation, she plans on going to graduate school to attain a Masters in Library Science. Sara Lyon is the 2014 winner of Mount Mercy’s Creative Writing Contest for High School Juniors. She attends Mount Vernon High School. Kristina Mione is a graduating senior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Besides reading and writing papers on literature, she likes to spend time with her ten kids. Alyson Oberdries was born in Tucson, Arizona, and moved to Deep River, Iowa when she was eight years old. She is a sophomore Nursing major, minoring in Creative Writing. Her goals in her writing career are to write and publish children’s books and books of poetry. “White Knight” is very special because her inspiration came unknowingly from her love. This is for Jeremy. Rebecca Redmond is a senior Marketing and Fine Arts major from Bernard, Iowa. After graduation she plans to find a career in the Marketing field. Growing up on a farm has influenced her perspective of the world and how she creates her art. Meghan Ryan is a Junior Graphic Design and Fine Arts major from Middletown, Iowa. She loves taking photos and plans to open her own studio one day. After graduation she plans on moving out of Iowa in order to pursue her dreams in graphic design and ceramics. Tanya Stoyanova is a senior Fine Arts and Graphic Design major. She is from Bulgaria. Tanya enjoys travelling, learning new languages, and photography. Her goal is to become an accomplished artist and enjoy life to its fullest.


Kate Till is a sophomore Art Education major from Andrew, Iowa. She loves being involved on campus as a part of the MMU volleyball team, Art Club, Drama Club, and Residence Life. Kate Till appreciates all art forms, but she is especially partial to painting and ceramics. She spends most of her time between fourth and fifth floors in Warde Hall, and enjoys spending any “free time” she comes across with family and friends. Nicole Eversoll Tyc (Coley) is a sophomore majoring in Nursing and minoring in Creative Writing. She and her husband Matt are the proud parents of a daughter named Olivia. Danny Wayson is a Junior Communication Studies major with minors in Spanish and Public Relations. Originally from North Liberty, Iowa, Danny’s goal is to graduate from Mount Mercy and go on to graduate school. He then hopes to travel the world, especially to South America and Europe, before taking a job with an overseas company in a Spanishspeaking country. Danny’s hobbies include hanging out with friends and performing on-stage. .


Paha was composed in 11 point Iowan Old Style and printed on Cougar Opaque Natural 70 lb. text. 80 lb. Sinar Glass and 80 lb. White Sinar Glass Cover. The printer was Welu Printing Company.


Paha 2014  
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