Writing Catalog

Lily Compton

Grade: 11

Cleveland School of the Arts

Instructor: Amber Jacob




Welcome! (leave now)
In the city of Ashwell it's always rainy, the clouds constantly cry because the sun won't come out to play with them. In Ashwell in order to see under the age ten you must squint your eyes to catch a wisp of a mother yanking her child along and listen for the dropping of a toy that cannot be left behind. In Ashwell the backs of old stand up straight as rulers and the ones of youth bend like the shells of snails.
In Ashwell all is well. For if it not then there would be disorder.
In Ashwell dreams are crushed by simple words that protrude from wrinkled lips.
"Where did I go wrong?"
"I gave you a roof-food-clothes- I sent you to the best school in our county!"
"and still …. Why are you like this? Why did you turn out like this?"
"Your so . . . awful"
In Ashwell parents strive to not turn into their parents who turned into their parents.
To not be tempted by the teachings that "worked",
by the power and authority that comes with the title "Mom" & "Dad".
In Ashwell all know how to restrain themselves
(And if you don't you'll learn)
Clench your jaw
Grit your teeth
Stare at the floor while tears fill your eyes
Fold your hands together tightly-don't ball them
leave the shapes of crescent moons if you like
A pretty pattern that feels unpleasant
Steady your breathing
"No sir" "Yes sir"
S p e a k u p
"No ma'am" "Yes ma'am"
"It won't happen again"