"The Place I Come From" By Kayli Wren

Late afternoon sunlight
falls in nooks between mountain boulders,
grassy slopes of green glass.
Tree branches dip emerald fingers into meadow streams
massive rocks as stony picnic grounds.
Knapsacks are “first aid kits,”
of pencil stubs and homemade notebooks. 
Glass mason jars with hole-punched lids,
befriend and capture fireflies. 
Sneak low to the ground, 
see black bodies against a darkening sky.

Silk of ivory blossoms, 
hydrangea bush halfway to my cousins’ house. 
The barn’s secret loft was close to the hornet’s nests.
Sculptures dry in that wooden playhouse, 
red clay dug up from behind the barn. 
My tools of paper towels and an old teapot of water,
a gray stone, perfectly smooth and thick enough to be my mortar.
Cut kernels off of corn, lay them out to dry on baking sheets in the sun.
Grind them to fine powder and fill a mason jar.

Image Designed By Chloe Glass

Image Designed By Chloe Glass

The staircases of my home, 
the steps I grew up on, 
open space now, and a back door.
Scurry up and down, 
kitchen smells floating to the bedroom.
I told my parents, leave the secret staircase.
Another set of steps. Dust collects.
Mottled brown and yellow wood. Black stained with paint.
Slide down the banister, slice the paint with the zipper on jeans.
Photographs hang on walls. Moments not as they were, 
but as we captured them.


"Words are not perfect. They are flawed, misspoken, and sometimes clumsy, just like real people. But I write to capture the snapshots of our lives, to expose the nuances of life and reveal the cosmos compiled therein. I write to accept, reject and make sense of our world. I write to be brave, to be open, to be honest. I write to show someone that they are not alone. I write to try to make people think. I write to acknowledge rawness and pain and beauty, to appreciate every element, scarred and fragile, of our existence. 

I've previously been published in Teen Ink, Literary Orphans Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center's Crossroad's IV, and the Kenyon Review Young Writers Anthology."


"I hope that when people read my work, they will feel something visceral and real, of lingering and tenderness, anger and joy, panic and peace. I hope that they will feel any and all of the emotions that make us feel alive."

Read her recently published poem, "Stardust" in Quail Bell Magazine: http://www.quailbellmagazine.com/the-unreal/poem-stardust