Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quote of the Week


"I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I'll never be tested on. I want to paint because I want to, not because I've got something prove. I want to listen to my body fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite."
- Unkown

The Other Side by Caroline Enos

The Other Side

If you are pushed down
Told you are worthless
Thrown aside to
Fend for yourself
Left alone
As an outcast
And accept it
You don’t get up
You stay down

There is no chance
To change your life when
You believe in the stereotypes
Placed on your people
Or follow the shallow footsteps
Of those who stayed
And drank
And fought
And starved
And gave up

You don’t deserve
To be poor
Or helpless
Or trapped
So pick up a pencil
Roll up your sleeves
And strive to see
Your dreams of
Stability and
Become your

It’s up to you
To find the life you want
You have a chance
If you’re willing to
Ignore the jeers
Disregard the scowls
And open your mind to
A new world

Only you can choose
Your path
Not your family
Or tribe
Not even the man
Across the town line
You may have inherited your struggle
But who said

You have to pass it on

Photograph by Vincenzo Dimino

Okay by Julia Johnson

        I peer over the counter. My big brown eyes widen as a man stops at the front of our door. He just stands there. His fist hovers above the colored wood, and he knocks. Slowly. Once he realizes no one is coming, he knocks faster. Louder. I stare. My younger brother comes over to me. I see his glossy eyes and immediately take his hand. He’s trembling. But so am I. Leaning down, I whisper in his ear, “It’s okay.” Finally, our mom stumbles into the room, finds the doorknob, and lets the man in. “Who are you?” she asks, tightening her grip on the wineglass until her knuckles turn a shade paler. I strain to hear his response, but his whispers are too soft. She sways like the music beats within her. Then, he notices me watching them. I freeze. He strides into the kitchen, and somehow, seeing his eyes fill with warmth, I believe everything’s going to be okay.
        I wake up with a start. My heart feels like it’s being wrenched out of my chest. My whole body shakes uncontrollably. My forehead breaks out into a cold sweat. It’s been ten years since that day. Every night the same dream haunts me. Every night I have to stifle my cries, so my little brother won’t worry about me. I’m the one who has to take care of him. Gradually, I ease myself out of bed and tiptoe to the bathroom. With every creak the floorboards make, I cringe, fearing the consequence of someone hearing me.
        Seven foster homes.
        I’ve lived in seven foster homes. Fortunately, my social worker has been kind enough to keep me with my brother. Most people aren’t as lucky. The only thing worse than living with these people would be living with the knowledge that an innocent boy has to survive in this dreadful world without the protection of someone who cares; me.
        Inaudibly stepping into the bathroom, I catch sight of my reflection. Those big brown eyes filled with sorrow. Yellowing bruises scattered across her body. Her frail figure looks as if it could shatter at even the faintest touch. A slight quiver lines her jaw as she tries not to release a single tear. Her once luscious hair is now matted down and dead. The smile playing on her lips isn’t real. She’s only sixteen, but the crinkles outlining her face tell another story. The girl I see in the mirror can’t possibly be me.
But she is.
I slip back into bed, and too soon, sunlight filters into the room.
Only two more years until I will be free. Only two more years I have left of this suffering. Only two more years loaded with terrifying memories. Only two more years I will live in incessant fear. Only for the rest of my life will I be burdened with memories that act like dreams.
Dreams I cannot escape.
I have to be strong, not just for me, but also for my brother. The only way out of this is to hold my head high and step forward into the unknown.
“They can’t break you if you don’t let them,” my mom slurs her last words to me. I nod. Tears spill across her face as we pull away, and then I realize, my face is soaked too.
Now, all I have left is hope.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Quote of the Week


"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
- Edgar Alan Poe

By Jillian Oliveira