This time of year is always a bit funny to me.
Just when the professors think they can slip us one more assignment,
We cram for finals.
The days of this month that used to be spent putting up lights, listening to music on the record, and picking out the perfect tree—
Are now just mere memories and moments of nostalgia,
As we waste away in the study corner of the library.
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” has become the most stressful.
We go from writing five essays in one week to sitting in our childhood homes.
Those 12 days of Christmas are numbered by outlines and due dates.
December slips out from beneath us and before we know it,
We’re counting down to the New Year.
Return to Sender
I found an envelope today.
It was pretty bent out of shape.
The stamps collected on top of one another,
Adding a raised texture to the paper’s surface.
The penciled-in cursive has faded over the years,
And there are small tears bordering the edges.
Unopened, its surface has aged incredibly
But the words sealed inside are still fresh.
Someone wrote that letter with intention…
That intention, I may never know—
But someone should have.
The words that were sprawled on that piece of paper
Emotion that will never reach the receiving end.
I should’ve opened it.
It makes me wonder what it could’ve been.
A love letter, a friend reaching out, penpals globally distanced,
While I may never know, just like the addressed won’t either,
I think it’s nice to dream up a story.
Nightmare on Elm Street
He lurks in the streets,
Avoiding the illuminating glare of street lamps.
Passing each house, you can feel his presence in your heartbeat.
You fight the urge to sleep,
Dozing in and out. You’ve tried everything to stay awake
But as your eyelids close, darkness creeps upon your pupils.
Not summoned by the lack of light from your closed eyes,
But a figure of darkness that lurks in your state of slumber.
Preying on humans in their most vulnerable sleep,
He inhabits dreams and Nightmares.
A Conversation with my Younger Self
I know it’s been a while,
It seems like we’re playing phone tag.
I’m sorry, I’ve been so busy.
Where we last left off
Your favorite show was Hannah Montana
And you considered chicken fingers and French fries to be the only existing foods.
You tried every sport,
But nothing really stuck.
It never seemed to phase you though,
Because “Your Favorite Hobby?” was always answered with
“Hanging with friends.”
Same people to this day.
They’re doing well at college and
It’s almost frightening that they sometimes know you
Better than you know yourself.
Still love the fall.
Always used to be filled with
Halloween costume magazine orders,
Apple cider donuts and
Trick or treating.
I think it’s the beauty of the memories that
Makes me still enjoy it
But now I have to go,
I’ve got things to do.
This goodbye shouldn’t make you cry,
I’ll always have you by my side.
The Last of It
My last first day of classes,
My last move-in at PC,
My last summer before college,
Have all come and gone.
They slipped right past my eyes,
As I wiped away the everyday
Wear and tear of my mind’s mirror.
Like stained fingerprints,
Ones that can only be spotted from
the glare of a certain angle.
I can no longer let my memory defeat me.
I must move on, taking in every last bit of this year.
In front of me, a towering stance glares from the end of the road.
My last dance at PC,
My last day of classes,
My last time surrounded by most of these people—
I am fearful of those future endeavors.
New Year’s Eve
Anna Pomeroy ’23
As the year’s clock begins to wind down,
I am reminded of the infinite cycle that begins every new year.
As it strikes midnight, we cheer and clink glasses filled with bubbly and
Ambitious hopes for the next months to follow.
Our warming smiles are not the only thing that lights up the room,
Covered wall to wall in gold balloons and confetti.
The reflection of the TV screen’s countdown sprawls across our “2022” glasses.
And while we once again repeat this special night in which
We set personal expectations for the year––
Some seem reasonable and others are placeholders for our dreams––
Our future selves continue to look back on that moment, mocking
The blissful ignorance.
Personally, as this time of year begins to roll around once again,
I naturally feel it is necessary to push off any personal efforts in growth
Until the next 1st of January.
Piling baggage onto my future self that will once again hope to reclaim these goals.
Anna Pomeroy ’23
They say it’s bad luck to open an umbrella indoors.
I never seemed to understand that––
Why not be granted the extra protection before you even step outdoors?
It’s rather a challenge, standing down the hall of my mudroom
As I glare down the open door drowned with rainpour.
It’s a mental and physical game one plays––
Opening the umbrella as quickly as possible, and you lose if you get any
Raindrops on you.
We fear the uncertainty of that game, focused solely on the protection.
The barrier between us and the outside world, our reality.
It’s because we were conditioned that way.
Growing up, your parents shielded you from the darkness of this world.
Whether it’s “don’t look over at that accident” or private conversations
In the hallway of a doctor’s office.
We become blinded by the glare of our bubble.
Yet, truth be told, once you have grown out of those old wives’ tales,
The umbrella will be opened indoors in an act of careless habit.
Our chins will face up as we march out of the door,
Unknowingly still comforted by our shield.
And when that bubble eventually pops,
And we lose the glimmer our childish eyes once held,
We will run back into that hallway, shaking the drops off our coat.
The bad luck has kept its promise.
by Anna Pomeroy ’23
I never liked hearing the truth.
It always scared me because
I would fear the worst
As the words slipped out of their mouths
With no point of return.
At age four, it was a struggle
For my parents to tell me they were getting
Sitting me down, their voices were hushed
By my shouts—
I’d state demandingly
Thinking that if I were to not
Hear those words—
Those words that would eventually carry on with me through life—
It wouldn’t have to happen.
Trigger Warning: This poem includes
references to sexual assault and rape.
by Anna Pomeroy ’23
Since the moment our voices make that tremendous cry, we’ve been thrown onto a path. The doctor’s palms whisk us away into the comforting arms of a mother, a mother given to us merely by fate. Born into a family of strangers, realistically. It’s crazy how we are told our whole lives that we choose what we make of it, yet we truly are only brought into a life with strings attached that we did not form. With two siblings after me, I was born into the role of the oldest sibling— not by choice. Becoming the second voice of a parent under the roof wasn’t easy. At Christmas, my mom, through valid attempts to make present shopping easier, presumed that my sister and I morphed into the same character, gifting the pink version of a shirt for me, and the blue for her. Yet, we eventually grew into our own skin. The home, the town, and the state we were born into are random, with little control granted to family income opportunities for varying education. Assigned a gender at birth, this is never a choice. I am grateful for being born a female in a world of strong feminist morals, but I frankly had no control over the assumptions made about me due to my gender. I have sometimes been told by society and social media what is “ok” to wear and what is “not”––that I cannot walk alone at night without baring keys between my white knuckles and faking a phone call to my dad. No control regarding doing the same job as male colleagues but given less pay due to my gender. How downright scary it is for women that someone could even think an incident of sexual assault could have been influenced by the clothes I chose to wear that morning. They say we make life our own and can choose what happens, yet, because we are born into a society with an imbalanced structure of power, I will hear “your outfit is too distracting,” “yeah, well you did well for a girl,” “but what were you wearing when you were raped?”
At Peace With Death
by Anna Pomeroy ’23
I understand why old people are so content with death.
Our bones don’t grow brittle from their long-lasting bends––
But their existence becomes the unstable foundation for
the external skin that takes the beating of life.
It’s hard, life.
I mean, we’re meant to make it––
But there comes a time when our eyes have no tears left to shed,
And no band aid could ever cover the infinite bleeding wound our heart has become.
We accept this.
Because while we may not wake up one morning,
The birds will.
The sun will still shine,
And the grass will grow into the next season.