Autumn Battista / @oatiemarie / is a Senior at Fitchburg State University studying English with a minor in Disability Studies. She enjoys peer tutoring and sharing poetry with those around her in hopes to make anyone feel validated in their feelings. Writing has always been her favorite way to share thoughts and feelings and she hopes to grow as a poet and a reader.
The Lady Slipper
The Lady Slippers in the woods
By the dead decaying stumps, suffocating beneath the moss
My mother carried her scissors down the path
Her free hand holding mine
She’d point to the tiny pink flowers
They were drooping in the rain, pink petals with red veins
These flowers were special, not to be plucked and carried home
My mother would tell me each time never to pick
The Lady Slipper
Because it would bring bad luck to us all
In the sunny Autumn afternoons I would play on the swingset
Steps from the wooded path I was always carried to
The patch of the Lady Slipper
With my right hand, gently learning the petals
Thinking about the curse that I could so easily bring upon us all
Squeezing thumb and middle finger on green fragile stem, close to the earth
Until I would feel the slightest give, and I would gasp
And pull away my hand like I was about to set off a bomb
So close to pulling it up from the roots, so close to the curse
I was always so curious of the destruction I could create
Curious to uproot the gifts from our earth and understand them all
How terrible it is to see something so gentle and precious
And want to rip it up straight from its root.
Everything can be quiet, but you can still find the noise
The rustling in the trees, the unknown sung language of the birds
I had never noticed that before.
Clouds moving, parading around the moon,
Her Royal Heinous, glittering while pulling and pushing her sea
And you notice the wind moving the clouds about like cotton candy
I had only noticed the moon move before.
He points to the twin flame in between the pages of an old notebook he once kept
The cautious hesitation in his voice
I wonder, have I never spoken like that before?
The deck of cards on the table, the King between his right finger and pointer finger
Wondering if he will ever be able to learn this love again
Learn love, something that cannot be organic to his well read mind
Something he must lean over until the documents click just right in his brain
The card or the beard or the book between two fingers mulling, and me
Balancing between, reaching to turn the page but
He tells me to listen
That there is something more to uncover on this page
Leaning between the words on the page
His hand reaches to turn it but before he moves
He turns to me and stares at me with the same uncertain eyes
Leaving me wondering again if I will ever truly learn the contents
Of that one page.
How can it be happy and dumb and young
Yet still produce a weight of iron that breaks my neck
The incomplete verse
The unfinished couplet waits for my return
I wonder if it is worth finishing it at all
Erasing the same space until a hole is burnt through the page
Unreasonable circumstances and the ability to persist through them
The word that never fits perfectly in the rhyme scheme
The caterpillar who loses his string and lands on your boot
Carrying a traveler who is just as lost as us
Making him a friend, learning the sides and the in between
Or the ink that smears in the printer and never quite fits on the page
I search for the answers but I find only trails to unanswered questions
Questions we have never asked before, so of course they are unlearned
Attempting to understand the future when it hasn’t happened yet
As we sit here and laugh at the concept of insanity, of doing the same thing
Over and over again and getting the same result
I don’t close the door, or shut the light but
I linger, I wonder, I learn.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
To view the types of work we typically publish, preview or purchase our past issues.