To our loyal and cherished readers,

“People will walk in and walk out of your life, but the one whose footstep made a long lasting impression is the one you should never allow to walk out.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

In 2007 a student at Alma College, Krista, began See Spot Run as a creative outlet for students to share their work on campus and in our community. Through the dedication of the staff, authors, artists, and especially our readers, we have been able to grow and spread our wings. Thank you to everyone that has helped create our See Spot Run legacy. Each person involved with the creation and the appreciation of See Spot Run has made an impact on our work, our education, and our creativity. Over the years we have had several different reimaginations of our style and format, but we have still had the continuous support of all of you. This year we celebrate our 10th year as a part of this campus, and for several years we have increased our reach to the digital world. It is our hope that See Spot Run builds and continues our legacy as an amazing opportunity for all artists and creators. We hope all of you continue your amazing support and appreciate your hand in our success. Please enjoy some of our favorite pieces from the past 10 years.

Appreciatively,

Caitlin DeZwaan and the entire SSR staff

READ THIS POEM OUTLOUD TO YOURSELF

By Taylor Card

Read

this poem out loud to yourself

when it’s quiet and soft touches to your hair and heart

don’t soothe well enough.

Take a deep breath in and tongue your front teeth wet

so that they don’t catch your lips at the first purse of

read.

Gentle your hands where they fidget on your thighs

and breathe out long until the pressure on your lungs

catches like your ribs are caving in

and your stomach clenches and presses out

against the waistband of your jeans

and digs in.

Then taste the first word:

read;

savor it,

how your lips know to move out as if to kiss

and your tongue follows in a quick jerk

forward, then up as

the tap of your tongue

tickles the roof of your mouth

for the duh

in

read.

You don’t need to think about it,

but if you touch your fingers to your lips

in a barely there brush of flesh on flesh

and say:

read

this poem out loud to yourself

you will kiss your fingertips at least five times

and feel a little less lonely.

Originally published in the October 2016 Issue.


 

The Balad of Two Lovers

By Jocelyn Kirk

I don’t know why he hits me

with hands that used to hold.

I remember those hands cupping my face

as rice rained down

as if to protect me.

Those hands who warmed my stomach,

Hoping to catch the snatches

of a hummingbird heart.

Those hands who held me when that heart stopped.

The callouses on the palm

used to rub my cheek raw

but it was a refreshing pain.

Not anymore.

Now I feel anger in his fingers.

Did you know he used to sing me to sleep?

I could feel the song rumble through his chest

as he mapped my back with his hand.

Is this the man I married?

the haze of traffic spurred by.

At fourteen, I rarely thought of death. But the story of the hearts broke my own. I clung to the window, watching as motorcycles squirmed around cars, often riding right down the crack of a painted yellow heart. The road could have been woven from caution tape and I doubt their behavior would change. The motorcycles thought they were invincible. As I watched their tires spin on still-wet paint, I suddenly realized I was not.

Originally published in the February 2015 Issue.

Pulling Weeds

By T.A. Stanley

It had failed, so I removed my uterus. The doctor and my husband seemed to think this was an extreme reaction – it had only been one miscarriage after all. But they didn’t know what I knew – it was defective. I had always known that. It wasn’t right inside me. It felt like a box trying to fit in an oval. Its sharp corners would poke out, stabbing me when I sat down. It weighed me down with all the expectations placed on it. It made it difficult to walk and almost impossible to run. So, after the miscarriage I went into the bathroom and reached up into my vagina with both hands, gripped the dammed thing and pulled it right out. It was a rather bloody affair, but less painful than one would expect. My uterus didn’t even try to fight me – it slipped right out. The blood flowed out right after it, but I felt it immediately begin to heal me from the inside.

My husband begged from outside the bathroom for me not to do it, but it was too late. I let him in and he wept seeing my uterus outside my body. He asked if we couldn’t keep it somehow. I felt that I didn’t care so he placed it in a glass box which rested on the mantel in our living room. The uterus fit perfectly in the box, it seemed to even breath – expanding and contracting with ease in its new case. It looked happy there, happier than it had ever been inside me and at first this made me happy too. I liked knowing that it was really best for both of us that it not be inside me anymore.

Meanwhile, I decided that it did feel empty in me, so I planted a garden and over time it grew and I hardly had to do any tending to it. It worked on its own, forming its own little habitat, its own world inside me. There was a vegetable patch on one side with tomatoes and zucchini and pumpkins. On the other side was a citrus orchard like the one my grandma had when I was younger – oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons. The vegetation crowded out the ovaries, using their eggs and the vestiges of monthly blood as fertilizer for their growth. Moving along the path towards the vaginal opening where every kind of flower one could imagine – irises, daffodils, violets, lillies, sunflowers. It made me laugh with such pleasure to feel this in me. And when I opened my legs I could feel the sun warming my garden, encouraging it to grow more.

But all this caused my husband much anxiety. He no longer wanted to enter me. He worried about the thorns on the rose bushes near the front of me, and the vermin he swore he saw scuttling around inside when he had the courage to look. I did not deny that I missed him. I did what I could to make him feel comfortable, but one day I decided I no longer wanted to see my uterus on a mantel in the living room (at night sometimes I had seen my husband staring at it rather than coming to bed with me). Its fleshy pinkness started to make me feel sick and I woke up in sweats thinking that maybe the doctor would find a procedure that could put it back inside me, crushing my garden, making room for a different sort of growing. In its box it no longer looked happy. It no longer breathed in and out but vibrated with contained rage. So I smashed the box to let it be free and I left without saying good bye.

After all, I had a world to see. I was a world myself.

Originally published in the January 2015 Issue.

Beneath the Stones of Sometimes Comfort

By Lisa Folkmire

The dust seeped into the open knee, ruby jewels dripped down to Earth

And the smooth pearl-tears joined below, hidden goldmine

We never thought to look under the groundstones for promises

Because sunrises can darken over hazy-eyed skies

Softening pinks and whisper blues, deep-sigh clouds rolling through

And the schoolkids won’t swing when the newsman comes on

Morals lost between the telephone wires that hold out the freshness

Of birdland, wing-strewn word, featherweb of wander thoughts

There’s a more-big difference between above and below

Than the forever of lost and the sometimes of comfort

 

Originally published in the April 2015 Issue.

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