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Senior Class Poet Contestant, Haley Potter: Children at Play

RS6498_Haley-Potter-copyTo honor the University’s Senior-Class-Poet contestants and to commemorate National Poetry Month, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems, which are displayed throughout the first floor.

Each spring semester, all seniors are encouraged to enter the Senior-Class-Poet Contest. The Department of English will announce the 2013 Senior-Class Poet later this semester.


Children at Play

by Haley Potter

For Margaret Atwood


Remember that time you stabbed me?

I still have the scar.

You pillaged your dad’s old Swiss army knife,

the red paint chipped and camouflaged by rust,

so we could build a wobbly fortress in the woods.

You tossed it to me, closed, but

the wind caught the loose hinge, unmasked it in mid-air.

A flare of silver flickered across my leg

before a burn of flaming fluid trickled down.

I cried, but we laughed

and swore we wouldn’t tell.


Now you clutch at your real weapons:

not a Swiss army knife, but an American Army rifle;

not stolen, but proudly, desperately entrusted.


You find yourself a toy soldier,

green with inexperience and nauseous fear,

panicked that you may have jumped the gun.


We don’t laugh now.

Do we cry?

I won’t tell.


“For me, writing poetry is always an arduous but enjoyable experience. Sometimes a poem will begin because I think of some memory or experience that I want to memorialize or explore, and other times just a word or image can spark an idea. My favorite thing about writing poetry is the way that it allows me to think of things from different perspectives and provides a means for understanding my own emotions.”

Haley Potter, from Mechanicsville, Md., is an English and honors major with a writing-and-rhetoric concentration. She minors in Spanish, sociology, and gender and women’s studies.


1 Comment »

  1. Comment by James O'Melia — April 21, 2013 @ 8:09 AM

    Excellent poem! I really like that first line. It certainly grabs my attention and compels me to read on. The alliteration using the letter f is nice and the repetition of the crying and not telling at the end is powerful. Neat perspective on war.

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Last Modified: April 21, 2013

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