Green Hills Literary Lantern



Those kids (with no last name)



            …before the rain swept away every childhood lullaby from our mothers’ tongues.

                                                                                                            -Victoria Edelson


Their backs will unbraid and buckle,

as storms spill over their vision,

protruding copper-stained chipped teeth from knuckle


sandwiches—a taste sour and dripping on principal’s wallpaper—like suspension.

Standard for kids known to cry at night,

who frighten at the thought of absolution


or worry they’ll be forgotten. Stringing themselves to yellow balloon or red kite

to fly and laugh and sing!

Gaining ever greater height.


Can’t you see them now--in flight--on wind’s wavering wing?

They’re the last speck of gold horizon before the set sun,

the slow creep of thunder, the quick catch of lightning!


Shades of darker night still do hasten toward and run

            a swollen, pregnant cloud away

to hide all raindrops.            They were threadbare strands undone,


flitting in the janitor mop buckets as gray,

ashen tragedies left in the fray.





Francis Kemper would like to thank his professor whose keen eye brought him down to earth (for good reason) and his kindergarten teacher for teaching him to write, for none of this would be possible without her. He'll probably continue to write poetry to please his mother because she thinks he “should write more, it's good for you.”