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In the Sitter's Home

In the sitter’s home                                                                                      

our tiptoes rub of 

eraser shedding pink. Reaching for  

the tetanus squeaking mirror  

cabinet that swings open for  

Rylee, Tosha, and me to raid. Those                                              

chalky Flintstone vitamins. As if they                                                        

are candy to be eaten. In the clawfoot tub 

where we shove as many 

into our mouths till  

the chalky coating  

makes one of our throats 

tickle a cough. Till, 

a spot of a shadow  

grows slender tall and  

draws back the  

white curtain of  


                               ~ ~ ~ 

First was supposedly Tosha as  

my brother, Nickolas, wants her to count to fifty 

so, he can hide with both Rylee 

and me next. Hiding spot Rylee said 

is one we are not supposed to hide in 

but if we are careful and leave it 

exactly how we found it. It is a closet attached to  

Rylee's stepdad’s “man cave” which locks from 

the inside.  

                                 ~ ~ ~ 


My insides. Hot 

dryer spins of breath felt 

red carpet scratching between toes 

of curled up box-turtle shell heads. Heads of deer 

laystuffed, here, of once  

living charcoal blinking eyes 

that might blink if I look away. Away is the blood  

of their veins. My veins  

vein of warm blood’s scent  

as my right hand 

cut from antler.  

                                  ~ ~ ~ 

I want to touch of transfusion  

as if to sayshare  

blood of the newly found. 

I am sorry.  

As their hide could not hide. Hide that 

hides hung 

in the forest closet of  

ties, blue-buttoned shirts, and slack pants. 

                                   ~ ~ ~ 

Patterned sights of  

familiar descendants  

yet unfamiliar  

when the lights go off 

and my little brother is the one 

telling me to stay silent. Silence  

 the oblique artisan canvas of  

footsteps of door cracked  


                                    ~ ~ ~  

Shoulder the closet walls 

as I jerk for the thin beaded string 

strung of taunt for the one 

they call scared. Found is what 

they found. Of something else 

I have not before. Fear’s 

body as it isn’t  

the one here. Here  

the body of another. Something  

that guesses whether 

my stained blood  

on the carpet will be 

enough sacrifice  

for Rylee’s parents. 

                                     ~ ~ ~  


Not that of my own 

blood. Adopted blood of space  

not that 

of mine to theirs 

is the same in both places 

of house 

if the stain doesn’t  

come out.  

                                     ~ ~ ~


Says Rylee’s mother  

as she already has a  

warm white towel  

in hand. For 

my hand not 

for the carpet.

I wanted to express my earliest recollection of anxiety as a kid and what that looked like in spaces. I remembered knowing it was more than just being scared as the spaces compress and the sensory elements are what remains in this little universe of time.

  • Olivia Knoedler is a senior studying Mass Communications with a Creative Writing minor.  Her interests include eating chips as if they were a full meal, watching Bob's Burgers, writing poems, accidentally telling dark humor jokes in front of her grandma on the holidays, eating chili just to get a stain on her shirt, and is a night owl by heart. Recently, she has gotten into Japanese Jazz fusion. 


    She wants to give a special thanks out to Professor Kryah for providing a safe space that allows student to create meaningful and vulnerable work. The poem above is one just one of several he has opened his offices doors to discuss.  

    Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media - Funky Stuff (1975) - YouTube

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