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Sky Scraper 
by Kelly Sargent

I used to jump off my backyard swing when I was a kid.
After pumping skinned calves


and gripping twisted, rusty chains,
I wanted to flee into bruised skies


to hide among cumulus crumbs,
a fugitive from lunch and lunacy.


I carried shadows on my back,
where rose-colored laces wove


a pattern of cat’s cradle
and a hand inside that was not my own.


I wanted the sun to take them
and gift them to the moon and starry night,


to be swallowed like flat ginger ale
that didn’t burn my throat when I swallowed.


Sometimes, I search the night sky
for a footpath made by little girls,


and pretend a falling star
is a loosened pebble


instead of a wayward tear.

Kelly Sargent - A significantly hearing impaired writer and artist adopted in Luxembourg, Kelly Sargent is the author of two memoirs in verse, entitled Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion (Kelsay Books, 2022) and Echoes in My Eyes (Kelsay Books, 2024), and a short form poetry collection entitled Bookmarks (Red Moon Press, 2023). Other works have appeared in more than eighty literary journals, most recently including Rattle, Chestnut Review, and Broad River Review. Honors include: Firebird Book Award winner, The Rash Award in Poetry finalist, Eric Hoffer Award nominee, Touchstone Award for Individual Poems nominee, and two-time Best of the Net nominee. She serves as the creative nonfiction editor of The Bookends Review. Visit to learn more about her.

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