Sawdust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.


I'dsmell it when my parents
Brought me from ballet lessons,
That warm, burntsmell of sweat, love
Hard work, devotion and a small trace
Of pine needlesinterlaced with the aroma
Of bacon and eggs
on those early Sundaymornings,
Amidst the sounds of scratchy old tunes.

It coveredeverything in the basement;
trails of it followed my grandfather
throughoutthe house. It clung
to his clothes and lived in his hair.
It fell into hisfood like salt.

I'd sift through it when I rifled
his pockets fornickels and dimes,
Creating an original symphony
Of "clinks" and"clunks"
In my petty, untainted hands.

In the wintertime -whenever
I opened the garage door for my grandmother -
I'd watch it swirland funnel
into tiny tornadoes.
Invading my mouth, my eyes,
Slipppingunderneath wee fingernails,
Infringing my senses with irritation and
Love,love so thick it swelled up inside
My small chest, filling me with emotionuntil
It seeped from my every pore.

It drifted against thewalls,
curled under the dusty, creaky steps
That squawked wheneveryou
Treaded too hard, making an ensemble of
"Reeches" and"rooches" that
No one wanted to hear.
It blanketed thetools
That were its maker.

Traces of it were embedded
in thevarnished handle
of the pirate's sword
I waved in a school play,
As Iproudly declared,
"Land Ahoy!"

And when the oldmerry-go-round
in the back yard
finally fell apart, it
poured out of thehorses
like freeze-dried blood.




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

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the April 2002 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.






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