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Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins

Words Left Unsaid

(To the Woman Who Raised Me)

I laid in your bed

that night. I could still feel

your fingers,

some permanently bent

into crowbars but gentle nonetheless,

run through my hair

like how the beads of your rosary glided

between your knuckles.

You soothed my eyes shut and

my nightmares, handcrafted by

my childhood anxiety, faded away.


But somehow I’m still stuck

with this reality five years later.

The reality where your bedroom

has become a storage unit

Your closet, a thrift store and

your name, a eulogy

trapped in my throat.


But grief is a foreign creature

that has made a home

of my body. It tells me

that it is not a prisoner

in here. I am.

I can feel it spread through my limbs.

My arms drag

on either side of me, like rice sacks.

My knees as unreliable

as your own.


First, it was Arthritis

that took your body prisoner

in its crooked kingdom but

Cancer finished the job.

Cancer played judge, jury, and executioner.

Cancer made me the main witness.


Although I could not muster up a goodbye

longer than three cliched words

I still ran my fingers

through your hair and soothed

your eyes shut. I’m sorry

to inform you that

I never believed in God,

but I prayed that night

that you would be free of any

nightmares, that your joints

would finally uncurl, that you

would no longer be a prisoner

in your own body.



I still pray

to be the rosary between your knuckles,

the one you would hold close to your chest

until you fell asleep.


I pray

to be the one you are buried with.

Gabrielle Romero is a full time student at Fullerton College. She has always been passionate about writing, and hopes that passion shows through her work.



They say that nothing is stronger than a Mother’s love,
            but what if Mother has no love to give?

What if Mother is a shell so empty
            that you could put her up to your ear and hear nothing              but the sounds of the ocean?


It was another who died very suddenly,

            But it was you who was in the casket.




I’ve lived my entire life afraid to speak out
in fear that no one would believe such a sordid tale.


Funny how life and guilt and death become so intertwined
when your only instinct left is simply to survive.

Amanda Leigh is a UNCC grad with a BA in English. She teaches 25 amazing preschoolers. In her spare time, she writes poetry to speak out about the  abuse she experienced as a child at the hands of her Mother.

Coffee Rings


Coffee rings on the counter top of my life,

never quite fading away...

a constant reminder of the small

messy important moments in time

when warm mugs nourished our

fingers with life. Pulling us into

an exclusive bubble of intimacy

where we were the only dreamers

in the world.

Until we remembered we weren't alone,

with a quiet pop, we burst.

The mugs are washed clean, tucked away

into our cabinets, our fingers lose the warmth,

but are still alive with the memory

remembering the grip

of holding mugs, holding each other.



Juanita Cox is an emerging writer whose main claim to fame is the ramblings on her blog She writes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

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