Write It Poetry
Critic's Picks: POETRY

I wrote this poem two years ago at the Interlochen Arts Academy for a poetry workshop.  We were experimenting with sonnets; it was an interesting challenge to try to keep the rhyme and iambic pentameter without sacrificing meaning for form.  In the end, I had to give up a few things (the rhyme scheme, in particular) to say what I needed to say.  I wrote this poem after a long summer's worth of car trips between my hometown and St Louis for my brother's medical treatments; he's doing much better now, but it helped to work out my thoughts on paper.

Editor’s Comments:
Brittany Cavallaro’s sonnet demonstrates how the limitations of form can liberate a writer, allowing for the widest range of expression. Read this touching poem aloud and hear how the meter—iambic pentameter—supports the rhythms of conversational speech.

On A Trip To Visit My Brother In St. Louis

by Brittany Cavallaro
age: 18

I sail between my wheels and roof: a perfect ship
for solitude. My brother stirs between
white sheets, tonight, and clear IVs wind up
and down his arms. Three weeks ago, he sat
beside; we drove through cornfields in the dark.
“Tell me one you know by heart,” he sighed, and
so I delved through nursery rhymes, Kerouac
and Baudelaire, but still he twined his hands
around his hair. “Will it fall out?” I shook
my head. Tonight, my mother circles scars
around his head with fingertips. He waves
away her candy bars, her magazines
and storybooks. “Tell me one you know by heart,”
he says, and with his prompting, she begins.

Poetry    Essay    Memoir
Short Fiction    Humor
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