By Anna Ritchie
I remember throwing your bear under the desk
and telling you it was outside,
the dogs had gotten hold of it and were ripping it
Mom and Dad spanked you,
sent you to bed.
“We’ve told you three times that it’s bedtime.”
I retrieved the bear and said
“Elizabeth, it was under this desk all the time.”
I slept on the top bunk that night
instead of in the queen size with you.
I didn’t realize that almost fifteen years later
I’d ask you to sleep in my twin size with me
because my boyfriend left me.
Neither did I realize that you’d be soon to leave me,
to sleep in your twin size bunk.
Gray sheets, tucked neatly.
Formation at zero six hundred.
I never would have thought I’d take
your bear, the one I’d hidden many nights ago.
I’d sleep with it, hold Him tightly,
wish you were still home.
Live: A Verb
If you take a moment,
And you don’t check
A strangers’ latest update.
A friend’s last tweet.
Before you tell the world just how good your breakfast was
And just how many calories you’ll burn.
Before you finish that last exam
In time to write a paper,
file your paperwork,
work the phones,
write one more paper,
If you take a moment
To reconsider your priorities.
A world seeps of mystery,
Dripping adventure like the maple drips off
The very tree it produces.
A universe where everything is connected
And learning never ends.
A place where there will always be somewhere
not yet traveled.
A place inviting you into its midst.
A world archaic with a love lost.
At one time thriving
With adventurers, scholars,
Travelers and thrill-seekers.
Now bogged down with duty.
Filled with a people who are so concerned
With making a car payment so they can
Get to work, so they can pay for their house,
So they can have a nice place to rest
So they can go to work.
So they can pay for their car and house
So they can go to work.
Filled with people in a senseless cycle,
So absorbed that they don’t even notice its
Take a moment
And define what it is to live.
A waterfall that only dozens have seen.
A Belizean cave unexplored.
Arrowheads with endless stories and possibilities.
A ruin so rich with history it makes one weep.
To stand in a spot where
The hands of a million people connected to the land
And to you
Tug at your heart,
Invite you in,
Saying “You are alive.
You are home.”
Anna Ritchie is a senior at Eastern Kentucky University studying Technical Writing. She has worked as a manager for her university’s literary magazine. She has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a teenager. She plans to collect experiences on a daily basis to keep her ever changing and growing.