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Penn State Morning Ritual This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


The bed resembles asimple cot.

The cocoa brown tiled floor is frigid
beneath my bare feetwhile I stroke my hand
beneath my roommate's bed, searching forslippers.

I take a stand and stretch my back,
slide my foot fromleopard slipper
Into navy blue and orange flip-flops and
Shuffle down thehall.

Room 319: radio blares
Through airtight sealed dorm door.
ICAN'T stand Latin music. I

Toss my towel onto the counter,
Fumblethrough my bag in search of facial soap,
Turn on the wrong faucet;
Coldwater spurts on my bathrobe.

My morning ritual of praise and cleaningcomplete,
I slowly walk back to my room
And try to open the doorquietly.
Maroon sweater carelessly strewn
On my desk
Looks so good withthese jeans
But instead, I pull out a drawer:
A simple whitetee-shirt.

A little tinted gloss on my lips,
Grab my bag and make myway to the elevator.

Exiting Stephens Hall, light hits me hard.
I amrummaging around my navy messenger bag,
looking for sunglasses.

I walkaround town and stop off at a coffee shop
(It's not a Starbucks, but almost asgood)
And I take a foam-filled cup and grab a seat.

Peering around theroom, I recognize many faces
And smile at some peering back atme.

These are the days when I want to inhale deep breaths
Of collegeair and these are the days that I realize
Penn State is my new home.
Reviewed in 2000


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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