Poem for a College Freshman by Elizabeth Hassell

Your name is on the wall
under your ad:

Two Dorm Keys
Expensive to Replace

I can’t help thinking I know your face—
it’s the one I turned to my mother
when I shattered the driver’s side mirror
while backing out of the garage.

You must know that it’s hard to explain about keys,
or garage doorways,
how they disappear and reappear
in funny places: behind your bumper
or in a sofa you never sat on.

And you must know about loss,
how it’s hard to say goodbye
to someone as familiar as the sound of a key ring
jingling before you open the door.

So I’m watching the gutters
for a gleam in the dead leaves
and keys that match your description:

Expensive to Replace

The Power to Kill by Melissa Keeney

Guilt, when I’m not even to blame,
Overtaking my mind and body
when exploring the passageways that connect the grounds.
Seeing healthy greens taken before their time to turn brown,
laying helplessly and lifeless on the ground;
they didn’t have a choice.

Animals without the greens
that provide protection and survival.
Us, selfishly taking from the innocent creatures
that thrive equally to us on this planet,
but are thought of as a lower class due to their differences;
they didn’t have a choice.

Watching the questionable fog going against gravity;
such a peaceful and amazing sight,
yet so deadly and toxic to this planet.
Blurring my sight of the world,
and slowly clogging my pure and open life;
we are the ones making the choice.

Who created this hierarchy?
Said that we could take away from others?
Said that we could kill the grounds we live on,
and pollute the air we breathe?
I say it’s wrong, and we have the power to save it,
since we all have the power to kill.

Colorful Lies by Melissa Keeney

I can’t make sense
of the changing colors
in his dull eyes.
A continuous rainbow
that causes the rain
and the malicious storm.
The blue tears that mix with the red wall.
The yellow trying to beam through
the muddy natural brown
I can’t decide
which color is real,
which one to expect,
which one to label
as the one I know,
the one I trust,
and the one I remember.