the scents of corn dogs, melted sweets that were once
a little kids dream, and countryside hay drift through
As I stand beside him, the adrenaline feels stronger and
louder than the girls screaming on the spinning rides.
In my chest, the excitement grows brighter than the
flashing lights of the country fair signs.
He took hold of my hand, and I realized the
smoldering heat of September wasn’t the only reason it was hot.
The warm sun shining down on the little girl
waiting for her dad to get home with a smile.
Watching your daughter take her first steps.
Seeing a neon rainbow after a horrendous hurricane.
The two love birds feel a spark when they kiss
And then they know.
You don’t know what happiness is. It sings dumb songs
in public knowing everyone is staring. It likes doing nothing
on weekends but sleeping, reading, eating then sleeping more
and never leaving it’s PJ pants. It looks at funny jokes on
the internet and laughs at the same one way after it stops
being funny. It sticks around on Sundays and Saturdays
yet walks away Monday through Friday. It knows it
does fit in but it knows it is having a great time
Leave me to be soft
like a little girl’s pink baby blanket
Leave me to be slick and smooth
like the bubble wrap straight out of the box
Leave me to be sweet mint
like the first smack of a piece of gum with the cool
shock of breathing in
Leave me to be cool fabric
like your sheets when you leave on a fan
Leave me to be the happy grin of a
precious baby ignorant to the world around
& soon to be
List of Happiness
Waking up on a clear day with the
sun beating down and the blue jays singing
and grown-ups being kids on Halloween
and the orphan getting adopted after years
and the stray who is nice so everyone feeds him
and the newborn babies cooing at their moms
and an A in a class you’ve struggled in
and when I can go on about things
that make me happy
The whisper in the wind and the wind in the trees.
The flow of water in the creek and the birds that
chirp early Saturday morning.
The leaves on the ground and the deer chili on the
The cocoa in my cup and dog layin’ down.
The deer in the field and the horses runnin’ ’round.
The sunrise on Saturday and bonfire after sunset.
The smoke in the air and kids that dance all
Bismarck High School
Dates of Visit: October 10-11, 2018
Faculty Sponsor: Louise Keithley
Grade Levels: 10
Appx. Number Students Served: 76
Visiting Writers: Joy Clark, Mackenzie McGee