portrait of my grandmother’s diary – Madeleine Cepeda-Hanley

At the Writing Desk – Childe Hassam

The women in my family write with a strange geometry
in loops and blocks like houses and the seas that beat against them,

always careful to leave enough space in the o’s and triple borders
of A’s for room to stretch in the morning, always sure to draw

enough length in the tired spines of all the z’s so that they will
still look so elegant after a full day’s work. They mold small

villages out of ink and fingertips and light smaller fires in the kitchen
of each home, lining them up along this, the crease of my wrist.

You cannot pin down two hands in motion like butterfly wings
between your two pointer fingers to plaster the walls in blues

and purples that will dye your dreams in dusk, but you can
press them against your cheeks until all the color has rubbed

off. You cannot keep a set of fingers or even their memory
pressed into your palm but you can try again and again.


About the Poet

Madeleine Cepeda-Hanley is a rising freshman at Yale University from New Jersey with a passion for poetry and writing in all its forms. She has a forthcoming publication in COUNTERCLOCK and is excited to further explore writing as she begins her college career

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One thought on “portrait of my grandmother’s diary – Madeleine Cepeda-Hanley

  1. Wow. Just wow. This poet is able to catch so much emotion with such abstract, colourful language. It’s hard to believe that she’s only a college student and not already poet laureate. I’m sure that she will go far; her ancestors are proud of her I’m sure. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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