Maddie Cervera 2016

Poem:     2048 Brown St.

Poem:     Grandpa

Story:      Red

Poem:     The Quiet Boy

After "Originally"

Girls with Dragons and Teenage Blues

2048 Brown St.

 

His feet patter across the old wooden floor,

creaking with each step.

 

The boy places the white table cloth,

insisting on even corners.

 

He carries a glass cup to the table,

leaving greasy fingerprints.

 

Silverware rests on a black napkin,

shining off the dark surface.

 

A red rose stands tall;

the glass holder supports its posture.

 

The mother walks in to the table set for one;

a thin blanket covers the sleeping boy.

 

She picks up the folded paper

from the empty plate.

 

“Please come home Sergeant Daddy,

the table is always set for you.”

 

He signed the bottom of the page:

Jack, 2048 Brown St.



 

Grandpa

 

Grandpa was a stranger

that we never talked about

at family spaghetti dinners.

 

My dad told stories

of him cheating and leaving

for his brand new family.

 

Now I know my grandpa

by the three-month-late

birthday cards and how

 

he always stood in the corner,

hands in his pockets.

I know my grandpa

 

by his bald head,

tall posture, and strict eyes.

We met his new life

 

and the children that

called him Grandpa

more often than us.

 

We watched him swing dance

with his gray haired wife,

and eat cake with the

 

granddaughter I envied.

My relationship with Grandpa

was awkward car rides

 

to the pool and forced

conversations on

early Christmas mornings.

 

I never ask him what I want

to know: Why do you act

like leaving us was okay?


 

Red

 

     The girl in the tight red dress sat on the tile floor with her head resting on the low bathroom sink. Each hair on her body stuck up surrounded by bumpy skin. The blood trickled down her hands, seeping into the cracks of the tile floor. She held her shaking hands in front of her, staring hard enough to look through them. The knife sat next to her on the toilet lid, dripping with her own thick blood.

 

     In front of the mirror she stood, scared of the stranger looking back at her. The young girl turned from perfect make up and sun-kissed skin to dripping mascara and a pale face. She made out the sound of footsteps over the ringing that constantly played in her ears. The steps were getting louder as they approached the thin bathroom door protecting her just as well as paper. The girl held her stab wound, and imagined his grinding teeth and the beady eyes he had before the knife pierced her stomach.

 

     The footsteps came to a complete stop, and she held her breath, not daring to move a muscle. She prayed it wasn't him. The girl entangled her bloody, cracked fingers together and hoped for the police. The light from the outside hall shined under the crack between the door and the floor. She got down on her stomach to glance at the shoes on the other side. Her hands were cupped around her ears, in attempt to cover the high pitched sound and listen for a voice.

 

     Dark brown dress shoes stood only inches apart from each other. Her eyes made their way to the blood stain on the side of the water-damaged leather. She stared at them, trying to remember what the evil man wore.

 

     Her heart was racing while her trembling fingers tried to get a grip of the towel rack to support her lifting herself from the ground. The man on the other side was breathing hard, and she could see drops of sweat hitting the floor.

 

     The moment happened in an instant: she jumped to her feet, just in time to face the door bursting open. The officers badge read Calfornia State Police. She held her wound and stared with hopeful eyes at the hero in front of her. He replaced the shaking hand on her bloody stomach, and was able to give the young girl another chance at life.


The Quiet Boy

 

In a room full of hand gestures

and overpowering voices,

a boy sits silently.

 

Unlike the others,

he wants to sit and listen

to the loud girl pushing

her opinion on cannibalism,

 

and the boy on the opposite

side argue back that

in certain situations,

it is completely okay.

 

He looks down at his crossed arms,

as if counting each dark hair.

His body is still. He breathes in

and out.

 

His eyebrows pinch together,

still angled down towards his pale arms;

the boy’s tongue slides across his lips,

parting to speak.

 

He begins to talk,

but the other voices are louder;

his quiet whisper is no match

for their sounds.  

 

So his heartbeat

is steady once again;

and his closed lips will soon

dry out another time.

 

The lump in his throat moves down

as he swallows hard,

sitting alone

in the loud empty room.