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Elyse Wanzenreid


Sometime as rain throbbed turbulent rooftop

tunes during the night, the power went out.

The sun rose behind cold clouds that dropped

sporadic showers. The end of drought.

I still feel it somehow, an aching dry,

one that deepens the cracks of my hand.

The stove blinks dumbly and time feels awry.

In the early light I watch the marshland.

Here, the reeds roll freely with the firm wind

as it paces around the stalks. I yearn

to know how to soften, to bend, to find

that murmuring part of myself, to unlearn

self-doubt. For now, I have this slow ballet

of cattails, this kitchen table, this day.

Elyse dove into creative writing from an early age, taking classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis for a number of years. She is a 2019 graduate of Carleton College with an English and International Relations double major, where she continued to build community through writing in academic and non-academic spaces. Following her time as an undergraduate, she worked as an English teacher in Kyrgyzstan with the Peace Corps before being evacuated with all other volunteers globally in March at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now back in Minnesota, she greets her transformed but familiar space with excitement for the possibilities of the future—literary and otherwise.

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