The Moon Made Her a Halo

By Naomi Horner




through the open




silver glow

upon the



of the piano








in fluorescent


were now


by the night


a breeze blew

into the room,


magnolia petals and

green leaves

riding the wind

as if returning


from a

long journey


and her?

the still figure



the stars?


the child


there upon the


leaning against

the wall


as if

keeping a quiet


that even in rest

she couldn’t bear

to break


and the full moon

watched her,

and decided to make her

a crown


a halo of silver

entwined in her hair

as if to remind any who


the still form


that serenity



be taken

for granted


Decoding the Dress Code

By Natalie Gimignani

   What makes a female’s outfit deemed inappropriate in a school setting? Why does it matter if they’re wearing shorts, or off-the-shoulder shirts when most of the population is born with the same set of body parts? 

   This overarching rule of dress code in public schools are bearing down on the bodies of many girls at an early age. With restrictions such as females are prohibited to wear pants above where their fingertips rest on their thighs, it teaches young girls that they need to cover their bodies in order for people to be happy, and for boys to concentrate.  

  At my public schools that I have attended in Baltimore, Maryland, teachers and supervisors would stand in the hallway stopping girls left and right to tell them that what they’re wearing is not suitable for the school environment, when all they did was wear an item of clothing that showed a piece of their body, (shoulders, thighs, etc.) or their bra straps.  

   After stopping them, the member of the school staff would tell them to go change into their gym uniform, which then publicly humiliates the girl for the rest of the day. But if the girl didn’t have their uniform, they would have to be sent home, or call a parent to bring them more suitable clothes to change into; thus, disrupting both the child and their parent in their busy days of learning and working.  

   I understand that some items of clothing should be restricted in a school setting; such as: gang paraphernalia, anything with profanity or racial slurs, and hoods that can cover the identity of someone who isn’t a student at that school; but for the mere sake of bra straps, that is ridiculous.  

   Why should females have to wear shirts that cover their bra straps when it is a normal clothing item that women wear? This is over sexualizing young girls for boys, setting up children to believe that women shouldn’t be able show their body parts since boys can’t control themselves. When young girls then go and don’t wear a bra, they get dress coded for that! A seventeen-year-old girl named Lizzy Martinez at Braden River Highschool in Florida chose to not wear a bra under a large, long sleeved t-shirt one school day due to a sunburn. She was sent to the Dean’s office when a teacher told her it was distracting, and a boy was laughing at her. Martinez was then forced to move around with a second shirt on in front of her administrators to see if her breasts moved. She found herself mortified and was then forced to put two Band-Aids on each nipple, which left her in tears and embarrassment. How would you feel to be publicly shamed for a collection of fat cells on your body? 

   Dress codes also force girls to cover up body parts that every human is born with, but that boys can show, such as their shoulders. Boys are allowed to wear tank tops that show off their shoulders, but since our culture body shames and over sexualizes women, they cannot do the same, which causes them to wear more clothing even if it’s hot. 42% of classrooms in the United States do not have any, or lack adequate air conditioning; including the middle school, I had attended. I know personally that this environment can make it very hard to learn due to the sweltering atmosphere and the sweat that is dripping on top of everyone’s bodies. But even on these hot days of over 90 degrees, girls still can’t wear tank tops, or shorts above where your fingertips meet your thigh; making it twice as uncomfortable and harder to learn for girls, then for boys. Thus, giving males a step up in life, as they are more comfortable with themselves and their surroundings, in their learning environment.  

   As a society, we need to stop body shaming and over sexualizing young girls, making them uncomfortable from a young age, and instead teach boys how to control their urges and not get distracted from a girl’s body part. And if boys do get distracted, they should be the one to be sent home instead of making girls self-esteem drop.  



By Annie Fitch


The salty, ice-cold, New England water grazed her feet

Staring into the wide Atlantic in disbelief

What had been a month, felt like a year 

Her extreme sadness over her brother’s accident 

led her to the point of despair 

that fateful summer day when her brother

 was swept away by the wave 

her tears floated away into the darkness of the water

He was gone

Disregarded like a piece of plastic

The world which once had a meaning

now seemed as empty as the wind that gave her chills 

She couldn’t bear it anymore 

The absence of laughter, 

the secrets that she had to keep to herself 

All of it led her to that desolate beach in October

The tears, the screams, and the loneliness 

Just sixty seconds later and he would be here

If it wasn’t for that riptide, 

She would be a happier sister



Handmade Art by Kate Butler

Collage by Kate Butler
Really great news. Woman does not ask to be queen but crown mysteriously fits. Experts say that give enough coffee she could rule world. A curious girl, a wanderer. Revolution. Just because I hate me doesn’t mean you can.

Overture of the Callous March

Inspired by “Second Sun” from City of the Sun, and Night by Elie Wiesel

 By Julia McCormack


Running, marching like Elie said

42 miles of ice and snow

42 miles of trampling over those I used to know

Endure or die, that is the command

No stop. No rest. No reward.

Only blows

And the labyrinth of reality

Pandora must have let Hope go 


I can’t find her anywhere

Not in the air that reeks of death 

Nor in the sleep I lack

What happened to my rhythm?

Why do they carve the tempo of my life?

I am full of staccato notes 

that cannot give rise to a rest

Gone are the words that gave life to this shattered melody

Gone are the facades of a better being

All that remains is the calculated beat 

of broken men shambling away

 from their fate

The Steamboat

By Caroline Jones

“Rivers! Over here!” Cohen yelled from somewhere in the jumble of people and cargo that was strewn over the docks. It was just barely audible over the din of shouting and banging and waves crashing. Keiran spun around, squinting as the sun hit his eyes. He put up a hand to shield them as best he could.


“Over here! We need your help with the boiler room.”

Keiran let out a puff of breath and started weaving through the stacks of crates. Cohen waved him over, his bald head slick with sweat from the sun. Keiran folded his arms across his chest. “What about it? Plans for the boiler room were finished months ago. They were supposed to be, at any rate,” he said. Cohen shook his head. His eyes darted across Keiran’s face. Keiran’s expression faded into concern, a frown creasing his forehead. “What’s wrong with the boiler room?”

“We don’t know. Maybe nothing. But Piper was going over the calculations last night and she found an error in equations. We’ve gone over it a couple hundred times at least and we keep getting the same thing she did.”

Keiran cursed under his breath and motioned for Cohen to follow him to the warehouse that had been the planning center for the organization of the steamboat project for the past five years. It was a large, crumbling building with broken-in windows and ivy climbing up the walls.

They would have rented a better building, but it was a minute’s walk from the docks and they barely knew how to scrounge up enough money to pay for the cost of making the ship as well as surviving day-to-day. A better building was low on their list of needs.

Keiran flung open the door and bolted to the old wooden board on legs of concrete and broken crates that they used as a desk and meeting table. Four of the designers sat around it, all yelling at once. He couldn’t make out any of what they were trying to say.

He stormed to the edge of the table and slid the blueprints and calculations towards him. A pencil rolled off the table. He caught it before it hit the floor.

He could feel Cohen behind him.

“Where’s the error?”

Cohen pointed to a certain area. Keiran scanned the figures, juggling numbers and operations in his head. The pencil twirled over and under his fingers.

Multiply it out, distribute the four.

The pencil danced faster, weaving from finger to finger.

Add the two, carry the one.

He could feel the air in the room tense, like someone had pulled it taut. They were watching him.

Divide by negative six—

The pencil clattered to the ground and rolled under the table.

The room was perfectly still. Keiran stopped. Rolled back. Add the two, carry the one, divide by…

He looked up, dread knotting itself around his throat like a noose. The air seemed too tangible to breathe in. He glanced from face to face. Each one had the same resigned terror that screwed their jaws shut too tight. He swallowed.

“How bad is it?” he whispered. Piper’s eyes flitted away from his gaze.

“We don’t know, but based on what we’ve calculated…it could be really bad.” She wet her lips and looked up. “Fatally bad.”

Keiran barely restrained from screaming a curse into the air. He forced himself to take a measured breath. In. Out.

“When were they going to do the first test run? We need to get everyone away from the ship.”

“That’s not for another week,” Harper said. Keiran stared at him.

“We changed the date, remember? We were ahead of schedule. The test is today. Soon.”

The words hung in the air for a split second. Almost in unison, they all began running towards the door.

Cohen was the first to reach it. He flung it open and sprinted towards the docks. Keiran followed, almost tripping over his heels.

“Get back from the steamboat! Clear the docks!”

The words rang in the air. The people bustling around the docks paused. All six of the designers were screaming at once.

“Get back! Clear the docks! Don’t start the ship!”

The crowd began to stir, glancing at the perfectly intact steamboat in confusion as they shuffled away from it. Keiran’s heart pounded.

“Harper, Piper, get everyone off the docks!” he screamed. They nodded and broke away, still shouting at the crowd. He turned to Cohen. “Co—”

There was a blast of light. He realized his feet weren’t touching the ground, but he felt a hot, numb force against his chest launching him backwards. The air was still, eerily silent. And then he hit the stone. And it was deafening, the…the sound. Nothing but a steel-sharp roar that he could feel in his chest.

And then the pain, burning through his face, blazing down his arms and legs. Ricocheting through his back. He couldn’t move, but his insides were writhing. He didn’t know who was screaming. If he was screaming. If that was just the ringing in his ears. He just knew that he hadn’t expected death to be so painful. If this was death. Death would have a feather touch compared to this torture.

That was his last thought before he blacked out.

Handmade Art by Caroline Jones