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volume XXIII | 2018 Providence Senior High School volume XXIII | 2018

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PROLOGUE the strength in disintegration In the moments before a softened orange breaks the surface of a rose-colored sky, she allows her toes to find the sand. Uneven but steady, her footprints forge into the ground as she wanders to the edge of glass, lily pads and sunfish pretending to kiss paint-brushed clouds. Small crests play along the shore, lap at the dock posts. They groan, wood waterlogged and stained in algae, and it threatens to dissolve into the stillness of the lake. For a moment, she imagines the water will shriek like shattered window panes. But it doesn’t, and she breathes. She stands just the same. Her toes find no man’s land where the earth has no strong hold, and the water can’t reach its melted glass fingers, and in front of her, the sun turns gentle waves molten. - Allie Debe ’18

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ROARS WHISPERS Providence Senior High School Volume XXIII $15.00 per issue roarsandwhispersphs.com @roarsandwhispers

1800 Pineville-Matthews Road Charlotte, NC 28270 Phone: 980-343-5390 Fax: 980-343-3956 Printer: Jostens

ROARS WHISPERS 2017 Awards NSPA — All-American Rating and Pacemaker Finalist CSPA — Gold Medal Ranking and Crown Winner NCSMA — All-North Carolina and Tar Heel Award 2011 NSPA Hall of Fame Inductee 2010 CSPA Gold Crown Winner 2016, 2015, 2014 CSPA Silver Crown Winner 2016, 2014, 2007 NSPA Pacemaker Winner 2013, 2011, 2010 Pacemaker Finalist

Cover art: Andy Hill watercolor

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LETTER FROM the editors Dear Reader, Welcome to the twenty-third edition of Roars and Whispers literary-arts magazine. Our theme this year is tenacity. The selected texts reflect either the determination to exist or the state of despair when that hope is lost. The cover introduces the theme with its sharp contrast to the magazine’s minimalist interior design. The colors that distinguish the piece call to mind the bright reds of determination, the warm oranges of persistence and the colder blues of existence. The movement in the visual welcomes you into the dynamic of the magazine. The prologue opens the magazine by describing the moment of promise before a sunrise. Despite a shattering dock and waning hope, the speaker pushes through with strength of purpose. The epilogue concludes the magazine by portraying an individual’s persistence in the face of change. From the bitterness of January to the rebirth of May, the speaker’s ability to work through transitions reiterates the common thread of grit. Our evolving passion for creativity and vision for talent drive our publication, and we thank you for sharing this journey with us. Sincerely, Paige Thomas ’18, Managing Editor Allie Debe ’18, Copy Editor Em Carter ’18, Design Editor Zoé Knepp ’18, Publicity and Business Editor

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colophon Roars and Whispers 2018 was printed by Jostens of Clarksville, Tennessee, on #100 paper with a circulation of 800. Body text is Bergamo 10. Credit fonts are Arial 8, Arial Bold Italic 8 and Arial Italic 8. The standard sans serif font for titles is Avenir LT in the weights of Roman, Medium, Book and Light, and Avenir Next LT in the weights of Condensed, Condensed

Heavy and Condensed Demi. The standard serif font for titles is Bergamo in the weights of Regular, Italic, Semibold and Semibold Italic. Hurme Geometric Sans 3 in the weights of Bold, Thin and Hairline are used for the magazine title. The magazine was created on Adobe InDesign through Jostens Monarch. All graphic editing was done using Adobe

InDesign and Photoshop through Jostens Monarch on Hewlett-Packard and personal staff computers. In compliance with federal law, CharlotteMecklenburg Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability

that best enhances the written content. It is an open forum for all students; the ideas presented in this magazine do not reflect those of the Providence High School faculty. However, as a school publication, Roars and Whispers reserves the right to deny publication to those submissions that are deemed inappropriate for a high school

audience. All members of the staff share the responsibility for spreads, so we do not specifically attribute any spread to any individual staff member. Roars and Whispers is the poetic voice of Providence High School. Whether through the strength of our roars or the softness of our whispers, we will be heard

Michaela Francis ’20, staff Madison Gerdes ’20, staff Zoë Kaperonis ’20, staff Zoé Knepp ’18, Publicity and Business Editor Caroline Macurda ’20, staff Ella Mainwaring Foster ’20, staff

Spencer Page ’18, staff Paige Thomas ’18, Managing Editor Natalie Thulien ’19, staff Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, staff Abigail Welch ’20, staff

policy Roars and Whispers is published by the students at Providence Senior High School. Poetry, prose and artwork are submitted by members of the student body. Each written submission is judged anonymously by every member of the staff. The magazine publishes the prose and poetry selections that receive the highest scores and the artwork

staff Charlotte Beck ’20, staff Cayleigh Brown ’19, Art Editor Taylor Calkins ’20, staff Em Carter ’18, Design Editor Gayatri Chopra ’19, Nonfiction Editor Ellie Cotton ’20, staff Allie Debe ’18, Copy Editor

Marva Hutchinson, adviser

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TABLE OF contents writing 06

FIVE Em Carter ’18, poetry

41

Ashes in the Snow Caroline Palermo ’20, poetry

09

Rainway to Mayuri Dongre ’18, poetry

42

Sand Castle Caroline Alba ’18, personal narrative

10

Oversudsing Paige Thomas ’18, humor

45

Ode to Junior Year Em Carter ’18, poetry

13

Monday, Sometime Around 2:17 A.M. Spencer Page ’18, poetry

47

6359 Mitchell Hollow Samuel Shoemaker ’19, fiction

15

Sparks Althea Moya ’18, poetry

49

Battle-tested Cayleigh Brown ’19, poetry

17

There’s More to it than Basketball Allie Debe ’18, feature

50

Watering Plants Mira Thakkar ’18, personal narrative

18

This Halloween Ella Rasmussen ’21, poetry

53

Gateway to India Gayatri Chopra ’19, feature

21

Pseudo Em Carter ’18, poetry

54

I Can Hear the School Bells Paige Thomas ’18, humor

22

The Strength of Survival Abigail Welch ’20, review

56

Sam Zoé Knepp ’18, personal narrative

25

Artistic Freedom Brooke Drury ’18, personal narrative

59

The Little Prince Ainsley Stevenson ’19, poetry

26

The Late Great Andy Hill ’18, fiction

61

Elysium Gayatri Chopra ’19, poetry

29

Lovers’ Sonata Allie Debe ’18, poetry

62

Ink Colette Page ’18, poetry

31

Vena Amoris Mayuri Dongre ’18, poetry

64

In Defense of Midas Althea Moya ’18, poetry

32

Candy Takes Away the Pain Zoé Knepp ’18, fiction

67

Ignite Joseph Jegier ’18, personal narrative

34

Mother Nature Cayleigh Brown ’19, poetry

68

New Shoes Ella Rasmussen ’21, poetry

36

Angelina Maddie Ellis ’18, personal narrative

71

Sunday Night Lights Allie Debe ’18, poetry

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gallery

39

38

gallery

gallery

gallery

artwork 07

Lunch with Dragonflies Polina Sladkova ’20, marker and colored pencil

40

Light as a Feather Daisy Lane ’18, marker and colored pencil

08

Mexican Sunset Mack Hopkins ’18, photography

43

My Sister Rebeca Barba ’18, colored pencil

11

Colorblind Owen Ward ’18, marker

44

Split Michaela Francis ’20, digital art

12 14

Broken-hearted Stone Daniella Ivanova ’19, graphite

46

Pink Geranium Owen Ward ’18, acrylic

Frayed Anna Hudnall ’18, photography

48

Forests Daisy Lane ’18, collage

16

Soiled Zoé Knepp ’18, photography

51

Medusa Rebeca Barba ’18, collage

19

Breathless Melanie Calabrese ’20, charcoal

52

Lavender Haze Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, watercolor

20

Blue Melissa Haueter ’18, photography

55

Nick’s Second Birthday Andy Hill ’18, watercolor

23

Circles Kaden Ray ’18, sculpture

57

Speak Colorfully Teddy Perelli ’18, colored pencil

24

Rage Teddy Perelli ’18, acrylic

58

Into the Cave Mack Hopkins ’18, photography

27

It’s a Sign Betsy Molina ’20, photography

60

Red Polina Sladkova ’18, colored pencil and graphite

28

Flower Bearer Vinny Ligas ’20, marker and colored pencil

63

Perception of Beauty Owen Ward ’18, collage

30

The Beauty Within Alison-Leigh Rosenfeld ’19, photography

65

Inner Space Allie Fleury ’19, collage

33

The Grey Lady Sanjna Kaul ’21, oil paint

66

Hot and Dusty Andy Hill ’18, acrylic

35

From the Heart Andy Hill ’18, scratchboard

69

Interdimensions Seth Fernandez ’18, photography

37

Watchful Thinking Annabelle McSwain ’19, collage

70

Phil Ochs Andy Hill ’18, acrylic

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FIVE Spearmint tastes like Raleigh; I remember Mama’s worn hands on the steering wheel, flying down 49. Grassy farms and their fields roll over the hills like blankets. Sweet orange is home, lazy afternoons filled with tangerine sunbeams and a sagging sofa beneath the ladder of my father’s spine. They both creak with age. Cinnamon’s flare belongs to youth, to blood-rush red knuckles that crush rubber-link chains on the backyard swing set. I push further and further into the sky, even as I am tethered to the grassy earth. Black mint demands a surrender. I collect years among wrappers as the icy dome above becomes cracked porcelain behind ebony bare-bone branches. The young breezes were gentle, but these are crooked. Today is wintergreen, sharp and intact. Intrusive, the pine trees jut out of the earth’s flesh like hipbones. Cold air is sharp in my mouth, and I have grown mentholic. - Em Carter ’18

Lunch with Dragonflies, Polina Sladkova ’20 marker and colored pencil

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Sladkova ’20

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RAINWAY TO Azure droplets drip off crystalline skin, splintering to glistening needles, hazing exposed skin. Distilled water frosts over a charred-to-the-bone, acid-kissed complexion. Sterling zephyr rushes through strands of hair peeking out from under a sopping beanie. Sleeves of wet pastel pink remain heavy; jean cuffs pool above achy ankles. Russet bridge stretches under squeaking shoes— extending into the distance with suspension wires tacked into the strip where the sky melted onto the ground. Lilac arms wave from the horizon. The flowering faces sway, syncopated to the rhythm of rain filtering through the clouds above.

Mexican Sunset, Mack Hopkins ’18

Ebony head tilts back, eyes close, lips shivering, smiling wide, letting gelid clarity slowly fill until the excess dribbles out, mixing and flowing with the spray— Shoes continue to walk; rain continues to cascade. The image, frozen, remains a beautifully corroded azure. - Mayuri Dongre ’18

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PAIGE THOMAS ’18

OVERSUDSING Dear student who sits behind me in history class, First let me say that I once had the utmost respect for you, but recently my admiration has been hindered by your continuous tapping on the back of my desk. I understand you feel the need to stretch your legs, but the cubby beneath my desk is meant for textbooks, not your disgusting feet. Granted, your efforts do provide an immersive experience for me in history class. While learning about the Mayflower, your constant knocking gifted me with a firsthand connection to the nausea the pilgrims experienced on the journey across the Atlantic Ocean. I even understand the zenith of the Scarlet Fever of 1858 because of the borderline-baneful abrasiveness this rocking hell induced. In all sincerity, thank you. My education would be incomplete without this one-of-a-kind, anger-inducing perspective on historic events. One day in history class, while pondering ways to permanently break both your feet, I came to an epiphany: Maybe you are a musician. Who am I to stop a true artist from practicing his craft? Your systematic tapping was the beat to your new hit song “How to Endlessly Enrage My Deskmate.” I expect, based on the intensity of the taps, that you are the lead drummer of either a heavy metal group or Justin Bieber cover band.

The next day, however, I began to notice a different pattern. How could I have been so naïve? Of course, you were declaring your love for me in Morse Code. How could I not realize it before? I can confirm that I like you a lot, but I must warn you, my vision might be a little hazy from wavering back and forth in my desk for an hour and a half. I also have a theory the extreme amount of swaying I withstood caused permanent brain damage. Although I wish for you to stop touching my desk, I will surely cherish the memories. For example, that awkward time when you decided to kick me in the back for no apparent reason. Wow, aren’t you a silly goose? Wow, that hurt. Another time you gave the textbooks in my cubby the boot so you could have a resting spot for your boots. The textbooks hit me in my Achilles, and I didn’t talk for the rest of class fearing the excruciating pain would break me into tears. Wow, so generous. My most prized interaction, however, would have to be the kind words you said about me: You turned to the people behind you, ignoring me completely, and said, “The chick in front of me probably hates me.” Again, wow, our friendship is truly dynamic. We can literally read each other’s minds. Our interactions are so powerful that I believe we deserve a more meaningful name: distant acquaintances. I have decided

to conclude this letter with a short poem in your honor: Child Please stop. I may not have the courage to talk to you in person, but I fear that our relationship will continue to worsen. Tap. Just stop the tapping. My sense of reality and violent instincts are overlapping. Tap. Who do you think you are? A tap-dancing, wannabe star? Tap. My desk is not a home to your feet so taking your toes elsewhere would be a great feat. Tap. Stop! My patience is weaning quick. Why won’t you stop acting like such a— child? Love always, Margaret Barry P.S. I apologize. I am the one who started the rumor you have feet as big and hairy as Bigfoot. At first I really got a kick out of it, but I guess you could say we just got off on the wrong foot Colorblind, Owen Ward ’18 marker

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Humor | 11

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Broken-hearted Stone, Daniella Ivanova ’19 graphite

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monday, SOMETIME AROUND 2:17 A.M.

The globe-printed stress ball she’d never needed now orbits her hands as she fuses hydrogen into helium on the surface of her skin. Plasma drips down her arms, burning her and everything she touches, but she can’t stop grasping, straining, striving to create. Her heart knocks on the wall of her chest and asks her to please drink a little less coffee. The valedictorian with Jupiter shoulders asks what homework is due in chem class; he never wrote it down. The elements in his fingers form reaction after reaction, make compound after compound. He pretends he will never run out. She squeezes the earth until its map is only her handprints seared into bedrock. The oceans evaporate under the heat of her palms, and she remembers the summer they drained the neighborhood swimming pool to fix the cracks in its concrete floor. - Spencer Page ’18

Ivanova ’19

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Frayed, Anna Hudnall ’18

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sparks

Our firewood is not firewood, and what I mean is when I rub my palms together too quickly, I turn embers back to ashes, and your hands are milled dust, and I don’t think you understand that it is impossible to put kindle on stone and call it a spark. Now when I shake hands, I hear the crackle of bone colliding with bone, our skeletons greeting each other, but do not mistake ivory for magic because when I smile, I do not mean hello. What I mean is to welcome the warmth that is seeping back into my fingertips. - Althea Moya ’18 POETRY | 15

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Soiled, Zoé Knepp ’18

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there’s more to it than BASKETBALL Allie Debe ’18 To some, the football field is home: the turf, white lines splitting the ground into territories, the ribbed feel of leather laces. To others, the stage is home: the spotlight, the countless hours of rehearsal, the adrenaline of performing. Chris Wilson, former pro basketball star and current personal trainer, was most comfortable at six a.m. with the smell of sweat and the sound of a dribbling basketball. But when his career took a backseat to his health, Wilson shifted from basketball to help others achieve their health goals. Wilson developed a passion for the sport at a young age, anchored in watching his dad play college ball. When he entered middle school, Wilson worked out at the gym twice a day, shooting hoops and drilling fundamentals before and after school, and he prided himself on always working hard and being a leader for his teammates. “I was always trying to outwork the next person, really commit to my craft,” Wilson says. Wilson entered college as one of the most productive and recruited point guards in the country. He became a leading scorer at St. Joseph’s University, posting almost 900 points and nearly 400 assists in 130 games by his graduation in 2015. Undrafted by the NBA, Wilson played in Germany where two ruptured disks forced him to sit the season and undergo back surgery. Before he could even begin recovering, his hands and feet began to go numb. Over the next few days, Wilson’s arms and legs followed

suit, inducing a heaviness and shakiness that eventually led to difficulty breathing and the inability to move even his finger. “It all happened very fast, and it was all very confusing,” says Wilson. “I didn’t know what was going on.” Wilson was diagnosed with GullaineBarre Syndrome (GBS), a rare autoimmune disease that attacks the fatty tissue around

“I HAD ALL THESE BIG GOALS TO DO ALL THIS COMMUNITY STUFF, TO MAKE A BIG IMPACT, IMPACT KIDS AND WORK WITH PEOPLE.” neuron endings, rendering those neurons incapable of functioning. Physical traumas as ordinary as the flu or a car accident can trigger the disease. For Wilson, his back surgery was the catalyst. The whole ordeal was just another challenge, another test for his endurance, his discipline. Alone in a foreign country, he could either let his circumstances control his outlook, or he could allow himself the strength to fight against paralysis and death. “I had to put faith in myself, or it was sit there and be a victim of my situation.” By spring of 2016, Wilson, finally back

in the United States, shifted his focus from survival to rehabilitation. Unable to jump or even run when he first arrived, Wilson slowly worked to regain his strength and mobility, finding an interest in fitness along the way. In August of 2016, mentally and physically stronger than ever, he made the move to Charlotte, where he started as a trainer for Burn Bootcamp, a gym geared toward helping moms get healthy. It was a perfect fit. “As a pro basketball player, I had all these big goals to do all this community stuff, to make a big impact, impact kids and work with people,” says Wilson, and with basketball gone, he didn’t want to lose sight of the impact he aspired to have. At the gym, he established relationships with people on their fitness journeys to improve their experience and their lives. Back in Fayetteville, Wilson started the Chris Wilson Skills Camp. Held every summer since 2016, he develops disciplined, young leaders through basketball. “If you care about something, you have to work on it,” says Wilson, and he wants to teach kids that discipline is applicable to everything every day, whether it be school, a job or playing on a basketball team. He knows sports aren’t the only way to learn discipline, but to Wilson, sports are the way the world will move forward, which gives him an added sense of duty. He’s happy to mold kids into leaders who will persevere. For Wilson, there’s more to it than basketball

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THIS

HALLOWEEN My sister never eats her Halloween candy. Instead she stuffs it between the heater and the floor until cellophane and caramel sugarcoat the floorboards, melting into little molasses mud puddles. My sister used to be soft with dough edges and small rolls. Now she shivers in the wind, brittle, all ribs and jointed angles, waving like the cardboard skeletons on our door. My sister throws it all away, leaving small, sugar footprints to the bin for the ants, I think, hoping they’ll swarm and snatch away what she never ate. Mom cooks my sister’s meals for the ants now. My sister hates the mirror. I think it whispers mean secrets to her, and I can tell by the dark under her eyes and the pale staining her face that it reminds her she’s a bag of beautiful bones. - Ella Rasmussen ’21

Breathless, Melanie Calabrese ’20 charcoal

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Today I’m holding a hundred thumbtacks, and she’s holding none. She says the thumbtacks aren’t there. 2:47 A.M. Wake up in a cold sweat. With clammy hands and sharp nails, grip your ankles and curl into yourself. The inky black fingers of nightmare dip out of your mouth and crush you back into shocks of sleep.

PSEUDO

9:37 A.M. Your psychology teacher lists your symptoms and chuckles. The class is laughing, and they shouldn’t be laughing shouldn’t be laughing laughing at you laughing at— Dig parentheses into your palms to stay real. Your fingers become ice while your skin catches flame. Grow pale. Tell your teacher that you’re okay. 3:16 P.M. The pool is safe. Count to three with your strokes. Go slow. It is safe. You are alone. Pull your dripping self from the water. Stagger to the locker room and rummage for your towel. Every bone in your body is screaming to be clean again. Focus on the trembling towel. 4:02 P.M. Try not to touch anything. It will turn you to filth. Do not touch yourself. Spread your fingers and toes. Do not let your thighs touch. Do not let anything touch. Hold your breath. Do not let your lungs touch your charcoal ribs. When you get home, wash your hair three times. Unclean. Scrub your body until it bleeds. Unclean. Do not look at yourself. Unclean. 5:34 P.M. Peel yourself from the bathroom after an hour. Flick on the strands of light in your bedroom. There is your soiled carpet, your trembling, filthy fingers, your dirty hair, dirty feet, dirty, dirty, dirty. Return to the bathroom. Whittle your dirty fingers away. 9:23 P.M. Remember you are faking it. The thumbtacks will always be here.

Blue, Melissa Haueter ’18

- Em Carter ’18

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THE STRENGTH OF Abigail Welch ’20

O

n April 15, 2013, over 260 people were injured from the blasts of two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Four years later in the movie Stronger, director David Gordon Green depicts the struggles of one survivor as a testimony to the resilience of a nation. Cheering for his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany) at the finish line, Jeff (Jake Gyllenhaal) is injured in the explosions. After revealing to authorities he saw the bomber, Jeff becomes a key witness in narrowing the suspects. When both Jeff’s legs are amputated above the knee, Jeff struggles to adjust to lifestyle changes and the burden of being an inspiration as a survivor of the bombings. Green’s cinematographic choices focus on the long term impacts of a brutal event rather than the carnage of the explosions. Scenes that could otherwise be filled with gore instead focus on the people involved while still providing a realistic image of the trauma and suffering in the immediate aftermath of the bombings. Green captures the essence of humanity. During flashbacks to the finish line, the camera focuses on Jeff’s face and the hands that reach down to help him. Brief images of his mangled legs and blood running down the pavement emphasize the pain and tragedy, but one of the most impactful clips from the flashback

is when attentive hands mark Jeff’s forehead with a “C” in his own blood to alert medics to his critical condition. Strangers unite to alert emergency personnel and rush Jeff to the hospital in a desperate attempt to save his life. Stronger demonstrates the different ways people react to tragedy, realistically portraying how Jeff’s family and friends mourn his hardships individually and choose to either express or mask the pain. Jeff Bauman Sr. (Clancy Brown) lashes out at Jeff’s manager Kevin (Danny McCarthy) when he supports the family, displaying anger as an expression of his concern. Erin internalizes the calamity and weeps as she observes the rash outbursts from Jeff’s father and heated debates between close friends. She focuses her grief by supporting Jeff as he learns to walk and manage the PTSD. Patty (Miranda Richardson) faces her own battle to accept her son’s new life, but she expresses the tender empathy of a mother as she listens to the doctor’s reports and studies Jeff in the hospital bed. Patty encourages him to practice walking with prosthetics and accept invitations to events such as throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game. Her high-spirited attitude focuses on what Jeff can achieve in the present moment, not what he was able to do in the past.

While the film accurately illustrates the reality of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, the duration of the movie detracts from its significance. Green spends the majority of Stronger focusing on Jeff’s reaction to the trials of life without his legs. Jeff’s daily flashbacks and physical therapy often lead to drinking, his coping method while he is struggling. Jeff’s approach to adversity is important, but the lengthy repetition becomes tiresome. Shortening this part of the film would direct more attention to Jeff’s realization of his significance. When Jeff leaves the hospital he is apprehensive about why people consider him an inspiration, but his confusion fades when he meets Carlos (Carlos Sanz), a stranger who helped rescue him. Carlos tells Jeff, “Helping you made me feel like I could help my son, and for that I am grateful.” Jeff is struck by the sincerity behind Carlos’s remark and opens up to people willing to share their own stories. This connection to people through his struggles provides hope as Jeff adopts his new lifestyle. Stronger is a heartwarming reminder of one person’s struggle and persistence in the wake of tragedy. The anguish of the Boston Marathon bombings lingers forever, but Stronger provides optimism that unifies people determined to prevent terror from dominating a free nation

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Circles, Kaden Ray ’18 sculpture

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artistic

FREEDOM Brooke Drury ’18

I

am a creature of passion and a seeker of perfection. I do everything with a surge of electric energy, and I feel the world with deep intensity. I often find myself perceiving the smallest events as either immensely beautiful or heartbreakingly tragic. At my core, I am an artist. For a large portion of my youth, these untamed parts of my mind were terrifying landscapes I had no clue how to journey. My burning need to make sure everything about myself and my story was polished contradicted with my ultimate desire to be happy. This contradiction acted as the poison I swallowed while growing up. I have spent countless hours painstakingly seeking beauty, and in its wake, perfection in every aspect of my life: my art, my dreams, my self. I paint because the euphoria of constructing the highlights on leaves as the sun shines or the subtle smirk of a smile is the most amazing feeling in the world. When I paint, I dedicate every inch of my being to my art. It is shocking how easy it is to sit down and paint for nine hours straight, my

mind empty except for the mild buzzing of commands to lay blue there and soften the edge here. My artwork became dangerous, however, when I could not stop staring at all of its flaws, as if seeking to create beauty, I created a nightmare instead. The time between my first brushstroke and the finishing touches, like most of my life, was filled with constant and brutal mental war. My solace was consumed by anxiety, and the line between perfectionism and crippling obsession blurred. A crime of passion is a crime committed when someone feels so strongly about something they act out in a violent manner, and I was committing my own crimes of passion every time I sat down to my canvas, scraping and erasing and repainting because I wanted to create this unattainable masterpiece in my head. When I could not take the anxiety of painting anymore, I decided to step back and take a different look at my artwork. Slowly I began to realize that through trying to make sure all the details in my art were perfect, I was ignoring the larger picture. I couldn’t

remember the last time I felt the intoxicating joy that enchanted me in the first place. My relationship with the paintbrush became the classic heartbreak story, and like the cliché, I was not ready to give up on the love of my life. I realized that instead of gently holding my paintings, I was smothering them. It took me years, but seeing that my art, my dreams and my self could be beautiful without being perfect was, in its simplest terms, liberating. Like a country after a natural disaster, I am rebuilding, reconstructing my mindset, my idea of my life and my art. I found happiness in the places I never thought to look before. I discovered beauty in the flaws that used to torment me day and night. There is something stunning about the randomness both my life and my paint strokes follow after I let my desire to control everything fall away. My life’s lesson took time, but I am venturing out and discovering the pieces of myself I once did not understand, and I am utterly and purely joyous

Rage, Teddy Perelli ’18 acrylic

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the late

GREAT ANDY HILL ’18

I str ain a roun d the folks in front of me to see him: long hair in his face, blue jeans over thin legs and tall boots, a collection of roses and bottles at his feet. The first discordant notes of guitar tuning begin, cutting through the murmurs of the room. Each pluck tempts to spill into song. I let him out of sight as I sink back into the crowd, ready for the music to take over. “Here’s a real old one,” he says in a slow, leathertough voice. It is not high and bright like on my records, the early ones. I can taste the smoke on it. The first notes pound out in a patter so familiar it takes me a minute to realize that they are coming from his guitar, not my own head. He is playing. A hundred muscles I didn’t know I had tense right up, plus all the ones I did know. My first song of his—my favorite song of his. I count down each beat until the vocals come in with my mouth hanging open, hungry for that first word. It doesn’t arrive, or at least not when it ought to. A cough rasps out over the wandering guitar, a confession of his failure. On my records, there is a fiddle in this song, a sly complement to the guitar. On my records, there is rhythm guitar, a solid frame under the melody. On my records, there is a bass and clapping hands and quick poetry from a laughing mouth, but tonight, playing solo, each chord booms with emptiness, even more so when his fingers tangle in the strings, when he teeters and threatens to fall. The microphone picks up fragments of lyric, twisted up all wrong, and a quiet curse. I taste more than smoke on his voice now: whiskey, age, thick fugue. He doesn’t remember the words

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It’s a Sign, Betsy Molina ’20

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lovers’

I

Calloused hands glide over ivory keys, and the notes enclose around me, captivate my eyes. Mocha on alabaster: warmth floods every measure, invades my blood, and seizes me.

II

Your eyes melt, ebb and flow with your crescendo and turn to chocolate lava, golden and burning against my ocean. You become your own symphony against a darkened sky, against the sound of a hushed wind, against gentle kisses.

III

Curved lips dance over smiles and move against porcelain features, reaching toward falsetto voices and beckoning chords. Sheets of music bend and fold together and twine their notes into one, compose a murmured melody.

IV

You write a forte between the notes and pencil desire onto my skin under worn fingertips. Feel the rhythms of my breath after each measure; match your beat to mine and compose choruses out of me, written with piano fingers and dancing lips. - Allie Debe ’18

Flower Bearer, Vinny Ligas ’20 marker and colored pencil

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The Beauty Within, Alison-Leigh Rosenfeld ’19

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vena amoris Embed objects within your own skin. Shards of protruding glass reflect a nervousness, an anxiety pleasured. Numbness within the pins and needles of your veins, a sweetness dripping in cherry tears. Your eyes roll back into your skull. Lie entangled with the sensation of emptiness. Feed on the warmth of the shadows. The open expanse of a walled room stretches around you.

Pick at vulnerable, soft skin underneath the nail of your fourth finger. Weave a jagged nail between threads of unraveling, stretching, severed flesh. Peel back the pretty square of dead cells, relish the pulsating beads of blooming belladonnas. Bring the seeping appendage to your mouth. Suck, scrape and bite lightly into the laceration. Just a little bit(e). Rub at the ever-never-fading tattooed scar of a heartbeat encircling that finger, your heartbeat, your promise of vena amoris. Slip the still oozing end in between lips and swallow the pain. Feel fantasy-induced numbness slip, feel, feel, feel and feel. Bring your legs close, drop your head to your knees, cover ears, and let saline liquid leak until you don’t. Until you don’t. Laugh until you laugh and laugh and laugh. Fall sideways, letting your heart escape your eyes. Others drained your insides and filled your bottle with the draught of nightshades. Nothing short of a blessed curse. Confined to the freedom of your mind, you are left. - Mayuri Dongre ’18

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CANDY

takes away the pain Zoé Knepp ’18

I

was five when I learned to use a microwave. I was ecstatic; it was like playing a game—I was the mommy, and you were the kid. I figured out this system, you see; I placed a stool on top of the trash bin and clambered to the top. Suddenly I was tall, a grown-up who could reach the top shelf all by herself—just like you. My other mission was to get to school everyday. What I didn’t tell you was I usually missed the morning bus. Waking you up was always a challenge, and I wanted to make sure I combed your hair and got you out of your pajamas before I left. I didn’t mind though; the two-mile walk wasn’t bad. When I was seven, I started taking the city bus home. The ride wasn’t long, and Edna kept me company. In exchange for a few Pringles, she let me off directly at my front door. Sometimes I came home to an empty house, but more often than not, I was greeted by snores and the muffled voices of the news anchors on Channel 4. I tapped your cheek more and more until you finally woke up, your voice croaky and dry. I already knew the drill. Your head was pounding, and as if by reflex, you reached across the side table and grasped the tiny bottle of multicolored tablets. Popping two or three into your mouth, you winked and reassured me, “Remember candy takes away the pain.”

As you trudged into your bedroom, I sat in the warm spot of the couch. Surrounded by discarded chip bags and empty bottles, I started my homework. A month or two after I turned ten, I started noticing changes around the house. Your candy was expensive, but candy took away the pain, and that was priceless. First Grandma’s loveseat in the corner went missing, then the dining room table. We ate on the couch, watching late-night soap operas until one day the TV was gone too. With nothing else to entertain myself, I sat by the window and watched the sky. My favorite was when it thundered. The rain was so fresh compared to the musty air inside. I watched every droplet fall and soften scorched dirt, leaving behind a landscape of fresh, clean air and dewy grass. I remember wishing for it to rain inside more than anything. For my eleventh birthday, I asked for a dog. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I knew my wish wouldn’t come true. You didn’t even look at me when you responded, a sort of angered disbelief coating your words, “How could you possibly ask for a dog? Are you really ready to take care of an animal? Feed it all by yourself? Clean up after it? Brush it? Keep its teeth clean? Give up what’s left of your pathetic life? I don’t think so!” I figured you were right, but a question

still lurked at the back of my mind: Wasn’t I already doing all this for you? At the age of twelve, I came home from school, and, as usual, you were fast asleep on the couch. I couldn’t help but notice how the fine lines on your face faded when you slept. The dark circles practically vanished, and your furrowed brows relaxed. I liked this picture of you and decided to let you stay that way. I walked into the kitchen, hoping to sneak a snack while you slept. We had been setting aside food, but I figured a bag of Lay’s wouldn’t hurt. As I quietly munched on the buttery chips, I heard you croak, “Damnit, Cleo, why didn’t you wake me up?” I rushed to hide the snack behind the fridge. You were holding your head when you stomped in, but even with the pounding headache, you detected the crumbs on my uniform. My last memory of you is the burning sting you left across my cheek and how you stumbled out of the room. I curled up, reducing myself to nothing until the tears finally came. I remember an intense shaking; my spine was rattled from the inside. I stayed like this for what seemed like forever until I remembered candy takes away the pain. Reaching into the highest cabinet, I grabbed all the candy in sight. Some were white, others blue. Swallow by swallow, I let the pain ease

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The Grey Lady, Sanjna Kaul ’21 oil paint

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MOTHER NATURE Mama told me you catch more bees with honey, and cracks in the sidewalk don’t break nobody’s back. Mama told me to spit in one hand and wish in the other to see which fills up the fastest. I wished, and I wished to inherit her spine. I spit, and I spit toothpicks into a tower, building my own backbone. She gave herself a stronger backbone no matter how long it took and how many times she had to do it again. And when she drove to an empty parking lot to let me cry, the breeze drying my cheeks, I knew my mama understood. Her gentle voice taught me to never waste my time plucking

flower petals for boys. The thought of spiraling can be dangerous, but I can never stop breathing through the shipwreck of my lungs. Whenever I felt my back was slicing into scattered fragments, she reminded me that I would only ever bend, and she cradled me until I was able to stand on my own again. I hope that I am enough to repay the favor and hold her hands for all the times she held mine. A soul she crafted with her own two hands. I’ll spit in one hand and wish in the other for the smiles in my eyes to give her faith. My mama told me that catchin’ bees don’t mean nothin’ unless you got vinegar for the ones who sting. - Cayleigh Brown ’19

From the Heart, Andy Hill ’18 scratchboard

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Angelina MADDIE ELLIS ’18

My grandmother scolded me. I loved Angelina Ballerina. The little, disproportionate, animated, dancing mouse was my favorite character, emblematic of my own somewhat shy and mousy disposition and my lasting love of dance. My grandmother gave me a lovely plush duplication of my favorite childhood figure with the same pink tutu and leotard. The doll was soft with movable joints and could do all the same steps, splits to high kicks and pliés. I loved that doll. She always slept beside me, even though her hard joints left blue bruises up and down my arms. I squeezed her tightly, like I would squeeze my grandmother when she visited. One day I wanted to change her outfit. I put on a much simpler American Girl doll skirt which barely fit. When my grandmother next came to visit, she noticed the doll and asked where her costume was. I admitted I didn’t know. She looked disappointed, and I still remember her next cutting comment. “They don’t make these anymore. You can’t get another one,” she said. This was the first time my grandmother scolded me. My grandmother never got to scold me a second time. My grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010. “She was lucky. They caught it early,” was all I heard for years from family, but these

words didn’t stop her hair from falling out or her legs from growing tinged with blue and black. Everyone said she would be better, but the disease was omnipresent: looming, powerful, independently assertive of its relevance. Bouts of remission were marked by family meals and toasts to renewal, but they never lasted. It always returned. I guess part of what made it so powerful in my mind was the tendency to refer to it in the third person, like it was there, but we acted like if we only spoke about it in hushed tones and ambiguous pronouns, it would realize it was being ignored and then meander away to another unwilling family. Eventually we knew there would be no more moments of bliss. Annual events were attended with an unspoken yet mutual understanding that this was the last. We had many lasts. At my last dance recital, they wheeled her down the aisle, and I lost it when I saw her sticking out in the middle of the aisle like a malignant cell amidst a cluster of benign. I remember sobbing in the middle of the dressing room. Someone I barely knew came up and comforted me. The strangeness of these moments reflected the strangeness of the whole summer: the surreal summer haze, the morbidity that seemed to physically hang in the air like the city night smog. The week she died was the week of our annual dance intensive: nine

to four, Monday through Friday, mandatory for competition dancers. My mother asked if I wanted to come with her to Greenville that week. Incredulously I responded, “Of course not; I have dance camp!” Not knowing at the time what this answer would mean, I thought nothing of it. I saw my mother off and returned to the blissful ignorance of picking outfits and preparing lunches. Two days later, my mom came home. Her tear stained face and puffy red eyes told me all I needed to know. For my brothers, however, the words themselves were necessary: “Daboo passed away last night.” I am still ashamed to admit my next thought. “What about Intensive?” We went to Greenville. We greeted at the wake. We cried at the funeral, and then we were home, like that. I went to camp on Monday and Tuesday and was back for Friday classes. Death and its remembrance were given a two-day life in my mind. The whole time I wondered what I was missing. I could have been with her in her last moments, but I wasn’t. I could have kept the original Angelina Ballerina gift forever, as a gift for my children someday, but I didn’t. My grandmother never scolded me again, but now I wish for nothing more. I should have learned the first time: You can’t get another one

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Watchful Thinking, Annabelle McSwain ’19 collage

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Clockwise from the top right: October, Andy Hill ’18, watercolor Sign of Faith, Ragen Munavalli ’19, ballpoint pen I Like Trains, Mack Hopkins ’18 Hostile, Allie Fleury ’19, collage Ella, Brooke Drury ’18, acrylic

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MYinSTRENGTH my tenacityLIES Gallery | 39

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ashes in the

SNOW She brushed a few stray flakes off the old man’s tattered coat, the one Mama said they’d be borrowing for a while. He was quite a strange man in the girl’s opinion, though she supposed it was because the old man had a staring contest with the smoke-filled sky all week. She assumed the uniformed men would pick him up and throw him into the cart like all the other people who shared her yellow, six-pointed star. The girl tugged on the leather coat, getting used to the large size that could never match her feeble frame. Her nimble fingers traced the worn copper buttons that had lost their shine ages ago, and she looped her pinky finger through the loose strands of thread. A small giggle managed to escape her cracked lips at the sight of a few children her height spinning in circles. She smiled from one freckled dimple to another, keeping a sturdy gaze over the falling white powder. The girl stuck out her tongue, awaiting the cool, soft flakes. It wasn’t the sweet, sugary taste she remembered, more of a rotten charcoal than anything else. She bit down on her lip, drawing a bit of blood. She wondered how something so beautiful and fair could become unrecognizable, almost like Mama without her chestnut hair tangled in a knotted bun, like Papa without his prickly beard tickling her cheek when he leaned in for a good-night kiss. How everyone had changed in these four short months. It was strange. The girl tilted her head to the right and noticed how the salt-and-peppered flakes sat weightlessly in the wind because how could something so beautiful become so horrid? - Caroline Palermo ’20 Light as a Feather, Daisy Lane ’18 marker and colored pencil

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SAND CASTLE C a ro l i n e A l b a ’ 1 8

W

hen I was younger, my family and I went to Sunset Beach every summer: my sister, two parents, two cousins, three aunts and uncles, two great aunts and two grandparents. The house was always alive and vibrant, and I savored the smell of pork sausage, shrimp, corn and hush puppies. I watched VHS tapes with my sister and gazed at the stars with my dad. Bedtime was the best adventure; my sister and I were small enough to sleep in our parents’ closet, and sometimes I stuck my feet in her face just for fun. Then I woke up, soaked up sunscreen and slipped on my pink Barbie swimsuit to greet the beach. My dad set up a rickety umbrella and dragged the lunch cooler behind him, leaving tire tracks in the sand. My sister and I played in low tide pools, letting our naked feet embrace the soft ground. Dad guided us to gargantuan waves, and I flew with the boogie board to shore. Then we built a sand castle. My dad used his rusty, metal shovel to stack as much sand as possible before the waves arrived and filled our moat. The tide was coming in; we worked quickly. I smoothed down the walls and the base so the future burgeoning chateau could rise. Next, we gathered the watery sand and let it strain through the cracks in our hands as it coalesced in a ripple design. Dad carved out holes for my windows and formed tunnels where imaginary people could drive their cars. Ironically, my favorite part was when we let the waves consume our creation. I delighted in the destruction. It never discouraged me to watch the sand castles wash away as I knew that I could build another one the next day or the next year.

Then we grew up. Swimsuits stretched, sunscreen crusted, and the umbrella snapped. DVDs replaced VHS, and my feet unintentionally invaded my sister’s face when we were stuffed into the closet. We rented a smaller house and brought friends instead of family. For a few years, they visited throughout the week, but then cousins got busy, aunts and uncles got old, and grandparents died. The ambient light from new buildings concealed the constellations I had once admired. The low tide pools were hot, and I was terrified to expose my bare feet to sharp sea creatures that could be lurking in the opaque water. Boogie boarding lost its sparkle; waves became ripples. It felt like the world was changing, not I. My dad and I still built a sandcastle every year, but in my growing maturity, it excited me less. I yearned to enjoy building them again, but I wasn’t the same. Soon, he built them alone. We stopped going to the beach house every summer because we wanted to travel to new places. Now I mourn the apparent loss of my childhood. I want to stay young; I want to stay in the casing of the closet and know that I can build a sand castle when it falls. As I cannot hide from my growing feet, I cannot hide from my maturing life. I know I will achieve great things, but I know I will fail too. I’ve learned to challenge myself and persist, pushing past what I thought was impossible. I refuse to let the threat of failure inhibit me from accomplishing my dreams. My defeats will not dictate my life or define me. I’ve accepted that sometimes my sandcastles will fall. When they do, I’ll just smile at the release of something beautiful

My Sister, Rebeca Barba ’18 colored pencil

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ca Barba ’18

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ode TO J U N I O R Y E A R

My best days are those when I go to Taco Bell around five because the guy working the drive-thru always asks me how I’m doing and gives me extra freeze drink. It’d be cool if I knew his name. When I drive home, I take the long way. I go out where the land can breathe with the heartbeat of the rain, and the streetlights’ flickering reflections are washed by wet asphalt, glinting like tiny suns underneath blankets of sky. Hopelessly I oscillate around my own beginning and end: stuck in this sleepy town, travelling at the speed of light to today’s event horizon just to be sucked back into another tomorrow. Soon it will be summer, and summer is built out of thick, goopy days. They stick to one another, bleeding into one giant, sweltering heap. At least they have in the past. I imagine trees will grow from this summer. When I fly back down the spines of these back roads, I’ll look forward to their tiny suns welcoming me back. Maybe then my days will be better than Taco Bell. - Em Carter ’18

Split, Michaela Francis ’20 digital collage

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Pink Geranium, Owen Ward ’18 acrylic

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6359 MITCHELL

HOLLOW

Samuel Shoemaker ’19

I never thought I would be back. I stand before the stained-glass angels on the front door that my mother and I adored. It’s no surprise they were never sold. She left them standing at the threshold of her torment to fade from sight and mind. Remarkably their color endured in stark contrast with the stucco. My hand shakes as I grasp the iron door knob, once gilded, now rusted. Eager to escape the piercing gaze of the angels, I nudge the door open. Leaves scatter across the tiled floor as I glide into the foyer. A Budweiser sits in the corner. Stacked cardboard boxes line the sides of the room like memories packed away and forgotten. The peeling wallpaper reveals a sick shade of grey. I reach up and touch a piece, but it disintegrates between my fingers. I move into the living room without a sound. More boxes, packed to move. If not for the thick layer of dust coating everything, one might think the inhabitants were waiting for a moving van to arrive. Each box is labeled and sealed save one stranded in the center of the room. A book lies on top, its corner peeking over the edge. Dusting it off and holding it to the light, I read Calvin and Hobbes. The title is barely

legible, faded from the years since it was last in my hands. For a moment, I return to the couch, clutching the comic book for what seems like the hundredth time. The quiet was broken by my brother. He ruffled my hair and planted a rare kiss on top of my head. “I love you,” he said. “I love you too,” I replied, my eyes unwavering from the page. Perhaps, if I had turned my gaze to him, I would’ve seen his sad smile. I would’ve noticed the fresh tears on his cheeks. I would’ve registered the torment in his eyes. I didn’t, and he walked out the door, leaving the angels to weep forever in his absence. Blinking tears away, I return the book to the box, a feeble attempt to leave the memory behind forever. My feet find their way up the stairs into my bedroom. The mattress, on the carpet without a frame, is stained brown but otherwise unchanged. I sit on its edge, feeling the springs struggle under my weight. Unlike the rest of the house, my bedroom sits unpacked, untouched. I feel at home, pulling the chain on the lamp next to the mattress, but nothing happens. Next to the lamp, a gleam of silver catches my eye.

“It’s from your brother,” my mother lied. I slipped it onto my wrist, the lights of the Christmas tree behind me reflected in its face. In an unconvincing attempt to pretend he never left, I managed a pathetic, “It’s beautiful.” A smile flickered across my mother’s lips, her agony temporarily soothed. Almost mechanically, I returned to my bedroom without so much of a glance over my shoulder. I didn’t need to be reminded of the sobs that seized my mother’s frail body. I moved, pulled by an unknown force to the window, just as I did before. The window, left wide open, lets the wind whistle into my room. I lean out and my eyes shift to the brick wall below. Of course, the dark stain isn’t there. The years have erased what my mother could never escape, no matter the miles thrust between. Now, as I climb onto the windowsill, I don’t look at the ground in fear, but the sky. This time, when I leap, I hope my wings do not unfurl. I hope a halo does not appear around my head. Maybe the dust will settle around my lifeless body, and my pain will forever cease. Praying that I do not ascend to the heavens once more, without my brother, I fall

ard ’18

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BATTLE-TESTED Extinction in the night sky is dispersed and unashamed in its darkness. He was Eden in the beginning. Like a tender hurricane, he arrived inaudible but still bringing everything to the ground. He manipulated his hands and fingers to soothe the pillow by his side, and lately when he extends toward the ceiling, he’s in reach of all he finally believes. His mother is right: It is dangerous to be so gentle. The softest hands will bruise and brown his dainty peach heart. He’s in love with the aftermath of the dust descending and the commotion fading. She murmurs to his sleeping body lullabies about uncaged birds learning not to fall. She hopes she can salvage a garden from his wreckage, hoping he wakes to flowers blossoming on the surface of his body. For a bruise to heal, he must stop touching it. Sometimes he has to stop staring and carve it away. His body is battle-tested. So he stays and he stands, surviving. - Cayleigh Brown ’19

Forests, Daisy Lane ’18 collage

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WAT E R I N G

PLANTS MIRA THAKKAR ’18

My skin is a mistake. My skin is an accident, a rotting corpse abused by years of sunlight and burning. My skin is the shade of foundation created by mixing different shades, for one shade will never define my color monstrosity. My mother calls me her Siopao, a nickname that comes from the soft white buns enjoyed in the Philippines. She tells me that my pale face would turn the white moon green with envy, and my wide-toothed smile and bright, glowing face rivals the sun. I would join the sun and moon outside and explore what a small, elementary school girl could explore. My fingers reached for the magnificent magnolia branches of my front yard and dug into the dry soil where the roots lay. My adventures left their marks. Dry dirt caked under my nails and leaves clung to my bright fuchsia shorts. Twigs knotted in my voluminous pigtails, and mosquito bites adorned my arms and legs. The sun left the biggest mark of all, staining my skin with pigment that never left. It was then that I received my first bar of papaya soap and my first bottle of papaya toner. Day and night, I washed my face

with the papaya products. I grew to envy the idols that once inspired me. I no longer wanted Fan Bingbing’s melodic singing voice or Shriya Saran’s acting talents. I envied the pale, luminous skin that taunted me through movies. The list of whitening products began to grow. I stopped receiving toys and was gifted Fair and Lovely, Ly-Na Pearl Face Cream, and Chin Chun Su Cream. My once even skin began to show the wear of burning product after burning product. I obsessively scrubbed my skin three times a day. No matter how hard I tried, my skin would never be the light olive I had admired since birth. I awoke one morning to rashes. Bright red, angry, ugly rashes littered my chin and cheeks, stinging even more once tears of frustration started to drown them in floods of self-hatred. Years of denying my Ilocano and Gujarati descent, paired with skin lightening products, had torn me away from who I am. The poisonous words and stares for being too dark to be Chinese or Filipina had finally eroded my skin. I once blamed the sun for charring my skin, but it wasn’t the one who destroyed me. The seeds of hatred were planted by the standards of my ancestors and

proliferated by their children. The rashes made me understand that I only hurt myself trying to become who I am not. I slowly learned to be proud of my heritage. I no longer denied my Indian ancestry to those who questioned it. I uprooted the beauty standards that confined me to the skin I thought of as a prison with a life sentence. The fertilizers I had once spread on my face to hide my Indian roots were replaced with gentle moisturizers and aloe to repair my skin. As my rashes began to diminish, my pride for being multiethnic sprouted once again. My skin is cultivated from the rich red soils of Gujarat. My skin is sprouted from the golden fields of Shandong. My skin has grown and prospered like the purple yam of the Philippines. My skin has roots from all over Asia that give it its unique pigment. I have learned that skin color can never be a blanket term, for even the most similar shades can have different backgrounds. No skin is equal. No skin is better than another. I may not look to be my mother’s Siopao anymore, but that doesn’t stop me from being the girl with the wide-toothed smile as bright as thousands of suns Medusa, Rebeca Barba ’18 collage

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ca Barba ’18

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gateway to

INDIA Gayatri Chopra ’19

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ollywood music blasts the September air of North Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte. Shoppers make their way through the sea of white tents splayed in typical bazaar manner, soaking in smells of fresh-baked naan and admiring the intricate embroidery on pleated saris. For newcomers, the Festival of India is a chance to gain insight into an unfamiliar culture; for natives, it’s a chance to reconnect with traditions and celebrate iconic parts of their heritage. For Charlotte, it’s a chance to teach people about sharing different cultures and promoting diversity. The India Association of Charlotte (IAC) has organized an annual festival since 1994. When the festival first began, it showcased only a handful of dancers and offered food from a few vendors, and the turnout was almost all Indian. Now nearly twenty thousand visitors stroll down a line of vendors selling fried pakoras and the latest style of lehenga skirts. Toni Sawhney, the Corporate Liaison and Fundraising Lead for the IAC, says the festival lets

people “feel the richness in the culture” because they open themselves up to learning more. Newcomers embrace other traditions too. Popular activities include yoga demonstrations and instructions on the proper way to tie a sari. The most popular, however, is the mehendi, or henna. People wait in long lines for these temporary tattoos made from plant extracts, letting the artists freehand intricate designs. Sawhney says the IAC believes in “sharing their culture and heritage” with everyone, and locals are happy to immerse themselves in the lifestyle. The performances also attract large audiences. People crowd into the Belk Theater to watch dance forms ranging from the classical kathak to the traditional and upbeat bhangra. Other dances include fusions of Indian songs with Latin music, Irish Riverdances and contemporary artists like Ed Sheeran. Former Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who spoke at the festival, says “so many diverse cultures” in Charlotte make the city welcoming to people of different ethnicities.

The festival also partners with local schools. Elementary schools submit research about India’s history and traditions, middle school students create websites to promote cultural awareness and diversity, and high schoolers participate in essay contests. Sawhney says these educational aspects are great opportunities for “younger generations to be involved in this and come forward.” Volunteers of all ages contribute to the authenticity of the festival since they “come together and pour their hearts out” to make an event of this caliber so successful. The Festival of India integrates authentic Indian culture into Charlotte and encourages various groups to share their own heritage and customs with the community. Roberts says people bring their friends and families so diversity can grow, which “adds to the culture richness of Charlotte and our ability to be welcoming to everyone.” Whether it be through chicken tikka or jewelry teekas, the Indian culture in Charlotte has become a paradigm for fostering diversity by redefining the community we live in for the better

Lavender Haze, Bhavana Veeravalli ’20 watercolor

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I CAN HEAR THE

SCHOOL BELLS PAIGE THOMAS ’18

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’m not normally one to brag, but I will admit that I had the most memorable proposal of all time! Even though he popped the question over a week ago, I remember every miniscule component of that magical day. I can still feel his phantasmal tap on my shoulder as he enticed me to follow him into a less populated area. I can still smell the sweat permeating his crimson button-down. I can still see him getting down on one scraped knee to ask, “Will you marry me?” I can still taste the bittersweet flavor when I pulled back his blond, mop-like hair and kissed his cheek. He may not have asked on the Jumbotron in the seventh inning of a baseball game or in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World, but I believe the playground is a close third. Some people disagreed with my decision to marry young, but I would simply respond by stating, “Wedding ceremonies run very cheap for two seven year olds.” During nap time that day, Jake and I held whispered discussions of wedding logistics. Since we were eager to be pronounced husband and wife, we settled on hosting our wedding during recess the next day. We would not need to send out a guest list, the playground was romantic because it was where he proposed, and it would cost us absolutely nothing, important because we had a total budget of $10.27. Our entire class encircled the jungle gym as they waited for my entrance. The first graders grew so nervous that Nancy the Nail Biter reached her cuticles, and Ned the Bed Wetter had to change his pants. Rumors circulated that I abandoned my hubby-to-be; the truth was I just had to pee.

After my bathroom break, I skipped to my fiancé wearing my best Sunday School dress, carrying an elegant arrangement of dandelions and honeysuckles. At the end of the swing set, my Pre-K sweetheart stood beside our pastor, Bobby the Booger Eater. The pink lace around the bottom of my cream dress matched perfectly with Jake’s fuchsia hoodie and orange Crocs. When Bobby instructed us to recite our vows, I said, “I promise to love you more than I love the Jonas Brothers, maybe not as much as Justin Bieber, but definitely more than Taylor Swift.” His vows brought tears to my eyes as

“Wedding ceremonies run very cheap for two seven year olds.” he captured the true essence of our love by saying, “I will love you forever, unless you get ugly.” After we both said, “I do,” we showcased our newfound disregard for cooties. Jake must have been saving up for months to confirm our everlasting love with a Blue Raspberry Ring Pop. Our honeymoon was so romantic. Jake and I debated Jamaica, Hawaii and Paris, but we decided that the lunchroom’s aroma of spoiled milk, freezer-burned fish sticks and mystery-meat hamburgers set the perfect stage for our first meal as newlyweds. Sitting on opposite sides of the table, my hubby and

I ate all our food Lady and the Tramp style; this was fairly easy and quite dreamy until we got to the popsicle. After our gourmet meal, we consummated our marriage. Now this is a very big word so I just want to clarify the meaning for all the kids. To consummate with another means to tickle your beloved’s armpit. You can see why our teachers were shocked to hear about our post-union affairs. Our honeymoon stage diminished quickly. Over the next week, recesses lacked the same passion. Jake wouldn’t even touch my beautiful mud pies after playing soccer and ignoring me for thirty minutes. I realized that we needed help so I tried scheduling an appointment with B.O. Bea, the six-year-old psychologist, but Jake never agreed. I caught him pushing Precocious Puberty Penelope on the swings during our scheduled dates. After I watched my husband cheat on me through a hole in the rock wall, I sprinted to Bobby the Booger Eater to get a divorce. The separation process was easier than I expected as it only consisted of one step. Our week-long marriage ended after I slapped Jake during math class and screamed, “We are divorced!” Almost two weeks wiser, I look back with much nostalgia for the event that molded me into the matured seven-year-old I am today. Since then my standards have risen: I now am into older men. Call me what you wish, but my lust for third graders far exceeds that for juvenile boys. As I venture further into the ever-changing world of dating, I am excited to go steady with a hunk of an eight-yearold, and even more excited for the school lunch’s mashed potatoes next week Nick’s Second Birthday, Andy Hill ’18 watercolor

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SAM Zoé Knepp ’18

I’d lie there, staring at the plastic stars taped to your ceiling. I’d wait, not wanting to wake you. Eventually I’d be daring enough to whisper, “Sam? Sam, are you up?” More often than not, your groggy voice whispered back from underneath layers of polka dot covers. Slowly we emerged from the blues of your bedroom to find your mom curled up on the couch, clasping an empty mug. As if by instinct, you trudged to the kitchen and brewed her another cup. If we were lucky, the smell of batter drifted into the room. Our ears perked at the sound of apple slices sizzling, rolled in layers of buttery cinnamon-sugar coating, rather than the oatmeal we so deeply despised. We were 10. As the years went by, these mornings seemed less frequent, or maybe it was just that they changed. We woke up later: me with black residue lingering around my eyes and you still fresh faced as ever. We grew accustomed to staring at phone screens in place of the board games I always lost, but we still talked, hoping one day to compete with the many hours of chit-chatting our moms had under their belts. We were 13. Then one day we stopped. Did we run out of things to say, or did we forget how

to say them? Somehow I, the younger one, was older, more experienced. I was no longer on the same path. While you always had a clear goal, mine was lost in a sea of forgotten homework and ever-spinning records. The perfect duo we were: I needed a steady rock just as you secretly desired a tornado to whisk you away. We were 15. In the end, even a tornado wouldn’t move your feet, firmly planted on the ground. Our paths split. Quiet nights were no longer my thing. You watched from behind tinted windows as I boarded a plane. I skipped up the warm metal steps, already on the lookout for someone who thought of me as a work of art rather than a work in progress. Even through thick glass, I could feel your cold stare, hiding your happiness to rid yourself of the unsolvable equation. You are 16. Looking back, my heart was beating too fast, my brain too scattered to notice your tears. I was always out, ignoring the quiet ringing of the phone as you begged me to pick up. We may have strayed from one another, but the first thing I did in my new room was tape the same stars to my ceiling. If I concentrate hard enough, the familiar smell of buttery cinnamon apples tickles my nose

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Speak Colorfully, Teddy Perelli ’18 colored pencil

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the little prince Le vent murmure la rêverie aux étoiles, chaînes de délire enlacées entre mes doigts. Le clair de lune se renverse dans les collines de mon lit, inondant les vallées et coulant à travers les fenêtres. J’essuie la brume de la vitre fraîche et jette un coup d’oeil aux arbres. Ils se balancent au rythme des tromperies éparpillées du vent, songeant à travers des constellations écroulantes et un clair de lune brisé. Mais je n’arrive pas à trouver consolation dans la descente enflammée des étoiles ou la puissance d’infuser ma propre valeur dans les bouts de mes doigts. Les draps de mon lit deviennent mon seul passage aux montagnes de l’artistique. La Terre s’est endormie et l’éclat de minuit d’une lune brillante défie la plus sombre des nuits. - Ainsley Stevenson ’19 Into the Cave, Mack Hopkins ’18 Read it in English here: bit.ly/stevenson-english

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Red, Polina Sladkova ’20 colored pencil and graphite

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elysium She sits silent, curled into herself on a sofa of faded denim and torn throw pillows. Vivid pink and orange pastels streak the sky, a symphony against her stagnancy. The bronze pendulum of the grandfather clock mourns the loss of another hour, and she grows somber as prospects sink between the seams of stained fabric worn with too many stale days. Night crashes through withering window panes, and she fixates on ethereal stars through rolling gray clouds amid a sea of cobalt. They waltz with every drip of forgone vitality. She feels the sting of another day vanished, melted shards of reluctance and adversity. Her celestial bones illuminate as she stands with a certainty as deep as the sky, letting her light consume the darkness. - Gayatri Chopra ’19

adkova ’20 and graphite

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He attached a lamp between his brows, slowly trading parts, flesh, for steel. Unafraid of the dark, he was afraid of sorrows that came with the inky black of new moon. Slowly trading parts, flesh, for steel, he exchanged his heart for a space heater. He was afraid of sorrows that came from inky black of new moon and adored pretty smiles and twinkling eyes. He exchanged his heart for a space heater. He handed the bloody, beating organ to the boy and adored pretty smiles and twinkling eyes. He stared for a moment and shut his eyes. He handed the bloody, beating organ to the boy with black-lacquered fingernails clipped down to the flesh. He stared for a moment and shut his eyes, watching the sun rise after endless nights. With black-lacquered fingernails clipped down to the flesh, he holds his lover’s cold hand tight, and that boy sighs, watching the sun rise after endless nights, beginning to hate nightfall. He holds his lover’s cold hand tight, and that boy sighs, clutching the life he let go. He is beginning to hate nightfall, sitting alone in the inky, velvet hole steel left behind. Clutching the life he let go, he is unafraid of the dark. Sitting alone in the inky, velvet hole steel left behind, he attached a lamp between his brows. - Colette Page ’18

Perception of Beauty, Owen Ward ’18 collage

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IN DEFENSE OF

MIDAS I. I, too, would be greedy if I could immortalize the world just by loving it. To caress a chin and keep it there; to weld arms like chains. II. To touch is to remember, but I have dried blood in the cracks of my nail bed. I settle for watching the creases in my palms seep golden in the sun. Laughter is warmer than songbirds when I can feel the bubbling coalesce between my lips. III. Now the only river I cleanse my hands in is my body. My fingers are soft enough to remind me I still have bone under skin and heart under cage. It is enough. - Althea Moya ’18

Inner Space, Allie Fleury ’19 collage

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ignite Joseph Jegier ’18

B

efore scouting, my idea of wilderness was Bear Grylls in Man vs. Wild. Thanks to my twelve years as a Troop 15 Cub Scout, Boy Scout, troop leader and Eagle Scout, I grew comfortable in difficult environments and soon discovered a passion for the wild, the exciting, the unpredictable. Weekends filled with hiking, canoeing, archery and camaraderie ended with hearty Sunday morning breakfasts cooked on an open fire. I loved attending these campouts as a younger Scout and planning them as a Senior Patrol Leader. Naturally the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge thrilled me. I mastered the art of identifying plants and tracking animals, persevered to start a fire with flint and steel and even wove a shelter from soft branches packed with grass and leaves to create a warm cocoon to protect me from the harsh winter night. But it was at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico where I learned the deep satisfaction that comes from pushing yourself past your limits. My crew hiked 110 miles in ten days, stopping only twice for provisions along the way. Other Scouts and adults used the supplied iodine tablets to purify their water and deemed my water filter unnecessary extra weight, but when our crew ran out of tablets on the trail with

no clean water for miles, they were ecstatic I had brought my water filter to provide drinkable water for the crew. Scouting taught me how to be prepared and how to think beyond what is expected of me. Before I was elected Senior Patrol Leader, I was timid and reserved, mindlessly obeying the direction of older Scouts. Eventually I became the older Scout in charge of leading the troop. As I received this new weight of responsibility, I felt a rush of excitement to create and lead the best meetings, campouts and outings. Rather than simply following the troop’s Senior Patrol Leader guide, I established meeting schedules and digital communications for the Scouts. I wanted to do more than what was required of me; I wanted to create the most memorable experiences for younger scouts and leave a better troop for the next Senior Patrol Leader. Scouting took a shy boy, the youngest of five siblings, and turned him into a leader. Before I started my Eagle project, I never truly understood what a real challenge was. I did not appreciate the work involved with planning, obtaining all the proper approvals, fundraising, ordering materials and organizing volunteers. I chose to do something that would both benefit my

former elementary school and showcase my math and engineering skills. My challenge was to transform an unused tract of land into a GaGa Ball pit, an arena for a new, dodgeball-like game for all children to play and enjoy. The established plans for my Eagle project only required basic materials, but I raised extra money selling homemade barbecue and beef jerky to order more durable and appealing materials. Random children in my neighborhood still stop and ask me if I am really the Joey Jegier who built the awesome new GaGa Ball pit at their school. My Eagle project taught me how to plan a project and see it through from inception to completion. My years in Scouting have ignited my passion for learning and my enthusiasm for mastering new skills. Scouting taught me the value of working beyond the established requirements, to appreciate nature and to challenge myself. The passion and enthusiasm that Scouting first ignited is now ingrained in me and is part of who I am in all aspects of my life, not just Scouting. I see how far I can go and what I can accomplish not because of a grade or award, but because “do your best” is not only the Scout motto, it is my motto for life

Hot and Dusty, Andy Hill ’18 acrylic

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NEW SHOES This year I want Mom’s hands to be soft again, no crinkled edges or pavement-rough patches. I want sneakers I can tie so I can string the laces into little bunny ears like my brother taught me. I want a tangerine in my stocking that doesn’t leak juice into little pools of syrup, and I don’t want my brother to be like that leaky tangerine either, or like rain: No more crying little drops into little puddles. Or maybe something other than newspaper-rolled wool socks under the tree this year or for the corners of the ceiling to stop dripping as much rain as he does. No more cold carpet marshes under unsocked feet.

Interdimensions, Seth Fernandez ’18

And I want Jesus to stop by for his birthday to show my sister that he’s real. Most of all, I think I want Mom to be home, not working everywhere else at once. Or maybe working just a little, to make Christmas dinner. - Ella Rasmussen ’21

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Phil Ochs, Andy Hill ’18 acrylic

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sunday night lights A rusted pickup truck drags the gravel off the road. Rocks roll and crash along tire-worn ruts; dust clouds the rearview mirror. Long hair whips out the window with crashing music, and the notes clatter against the busted rattle of an ancient, dying engine. Off-key voices and yips shoot into empty cotton fields over troubled melodies fighting for an upper hand as threadbare tires slide through turns, lift over rises in the landscape. It’s a Sunday. And southern South Carolina morphs into northern Georgia under a tangerine sky growing dim at dusk. The Milky Way blazes overhead: supernovae flashes and galaxies radiating trillions of hydrogen-to-helium reactions. But the worn tires will keep going, back road after back road, until the Gulf looms under a rising sun. - Allie Debe ’18

Andy Hill ’18

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thanks

patrons Kalpana and Rajesh Ahuja Bojangles’ Pete Kaperonis and Kymberly Cantrell Lane and Dick Carter Rob and Kim Carter

Junius and Barbara Clark Fenwick’s Restaurant Francis Music Studio Betty Sue Johnson Kevin Jones

Jimmy and Litsa Kaperonis Bill and Judy Macurda Symone and Paul Mainwaring Foster The Thomas Family Raghunathan Veeravavalli

Charlotte Youth Rowing Elizabeth Ireland

Cathy and Chuck Ruifrok SourceAbility, Inc.

Donna and Chris Heim Bob and Jean Jones Bill Keehne The Knepp Family Hannah Magraw Monica Malhotra Keith and Beth Marie Miller Karen Jones & Tom Racioppe

The Rhudy Family The Sarna Family Jessica Sisagooth Sunshadowsltd Leo W Uiker, DDS United Communities Association

Mary and Stephen Ashley Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry Jack and Barbara Barry Sherri Bernier-Lucien Alexander Brookins Gwen and Thomas Calkins The Chandler Family Carolyn and Chris Cotton Emily Debe Marva Debe Patti Francis Paula R. Gerdes Irina Hamrick Stephanie Hatcher

Dede Heath Andrew Hilt Jen Debe Health Ava Johnson Jenny Kleven Remy Lucien The Marsh Family Kevin McCarthy Samantha O’Keeffe The Page Family Madeleine Page Ana Panomitrios Marilyn Polis Will Posse

Michele Reich Casey and Chuck Ruifrok Patrick Santa Lucia Anjie Spencer Richard L. Spencer, MD Surma Tennis Ken and Cindy Thomas Tim Thulien Transition Consults, LLC Michelle and Drew Vigor Katherine Welch

Roars and Whispers has served as the voice of Providence Senior High School students for twenty-three years. Each year reveals new talents in our writers, artists and photographers. Each year also presents new challenges we could not face without the support of our teachers, administrators and community. We thank the students whose verbal and artistic prowess defines the magazine. We also thank Dr. Harrill and our school

administration; Ms. Glendenning and Ms. Simpson who inspire beautiful artwork; Mrs. Lazo who guides us through publication’s financial labyrinth; Whitney Schuner at Barnes & Noble; Dawn Sigmund at ArtFest of Matthews; Alison Klopp for her invaluable counsel and Jostens for providing the medium for our expression. Most importantly, we would like to thank Ms. Marva Hutchinson who brings the publication together. Without her

unwavering support, counsel, guidance and dry wit, the magazine (and we as individuals) would not reach and surpass the level of award-winning excellence our community has come to expect. Though this issue of Roars and Whispers has ended, we know our voices will continue to resonate in these pages. Our publication is kept alive by your readership and support, and for that, our gratitude exceeds words

benefactors Amy and Rob Brown The Caterino Family

contributors Ashwini Kathak Dance Academy The Brown Family The Calkins Family Jennifer and Rich Carter Wes and Margaret Carter The Chopra Family Beth and Chris Cotton The Gerdes Family

friends

Indicates former staff member

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a EPILOGUE letter to father time Sitting beneath a red-streaked September sky shattered by the arms of naked trees, I understand I am young until June. The trickle of my neighborhood stream whistles, and I shift. I refuse to ache as if calamity hasn’t become the epitaph on every tooth in my mouth. If I grind my teeth hard enough, I will collapse into the echo of last autumn, of youth. I make my way up the hill. Underneath my feet, ribs of trees crack. In the coolness, my pressure-detonator jaws wire slowly shut, and I wait for explosions to electrify my sluggish synapses. In the fraying edges of January, I do my best to ignore the burning rooms I mistook for immaculate childhood. Instead I remember fall’s scarlet horizon. I trace the hollows of a child’s frozen creek bed. In May’s staleness, I sit on the roof. I can see my stream from here. - Em Carter ’18

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volume XXIII | 2018 |P Providence Senior High School

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Profile for Roars and Whispers Literary Magazine

Roars and Whispers Volume XXIII 2018  

The 2018 Edition of Roars and Whispers Literary Arts Magazine

Roars and Whispers Volume XXIII 2018  

The 2018 Edition of Roars and Whispers Literary Arts Magazine

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