Bubble Gum & Whiskey

It begins with a rainbow of colors

Sidewalks full of bicycles and mermaids

Princesses and fish

Hands covered in chalk and 

faces flooded with smiles
The hose comes and suddenly the pictures of fairtytales and glitter are smeared and watered down 


Playgrounds and monkey bars turn into offices and morning commutes
Fruit punch into whiskey 


Bubble gum into cigarettes 
We couldn’t wait to grow up


No one ever told us it was like this 

By: Amelia Faith Pratt

Age 19


The Bottle at The Store

I often wonder if the bottle that will kill my mother has made its way to the store.


If it’s sitting there on the shelf


With its label that took a degree in graphic design to think up 
And its cap securely fashioned on the rim


I wonder if the grocery man has hurriedly placed it on the shelf 

Grudgingly thinking of the BBQ it will no doubt end up at 

Sulking as he thinks of the laughs and sunshine


He doesn’t know that the bottle will be desperately thrown into the cart

Grabbed by trembling fingers attached to 

A soul searching for answers


Wheeled away with recklessness and urgency 

And sped back to a dark room with curtains drawn and cigarette smoke billowing


It won’t be popped open amidst contentment and a warm summer breeze

It will be unlatched with a feverish haste and a final cry for help


Downed like a poison

that was only ever meant to be for fun


I often wonder if the bottle that will kill my mother has made its way to the store


And then I pray that it will never make it home.



By: Amelia Pratt

Age 19


Barbie Doll Beauty

Just a quick glance in the mirror before I go, she says.
She runs to the bathroom.
Yikes, nags insecurity. Look at that blemish, it continues. He will be so focused on that that there is no way he will listen to you.
She pulls out more makeup.
Gross, screams doubt. Who told you that that dress would be a good idea? It exclaims. Cover up. No one wants to see that.
Her eyes drift to her closet.
No way, expresses societal standards. You’re bringing a bikini with a waist like that? It says, exasperated. Hit the gym or don’t even think about going swimming.  
Her toes inch for the scale.
When did pimples become points


Dresses become deal breakers
When did bodies become contestants and

society the judge

When did beauty become defined as Botox and barbie dolls








All have one thing in common:

By: Amelia Faith Pratt

Age 19


Paintbrush People

Bristles like achievements and

brush strokes like plans

A handle to grasp

and fingers to guide to way


Built up expectations in solid colors and clear lines

meet disappointment in mixture and smears


Crystal clear water of hoped-for outcomes is attacked by the brown clouded concoction that is the child of dirty paintbrushes and backup plans


But aren’t the most beautiful paintings tied together with blends and faults


Miscalculations turned into masterpieces and

accidents adjusted to allure


Aren’t the most resilient people sewn up with mistakes and flaws


Tainted with do-overs and messy paintbrushes


I’d like to think so




By: Amelia Pratt

Age 19

Going Home

He is in a fishing boat
She is in the mountains
I am in a pew
As the tug of a fish pulls on his line he experiences the exhilaration of life
The wind gently rustles through the treetops and she feels the awe of creation
I sit in silence staring at a cross and feel the peace of redemption 
We are all just trying to get home
Does it matter how we get there? 

By: Amelia Faith Pratt

Age 19

Grown Up’s.

What does it mean to grow up
Does it mean you have a job and a wife
A hand to hold and a dog to pet
Does it mean your house is pretty and your lawn well trimmed
Your bills paid on time and a church group on Wednesday nights 
I think growing up is
Learning how to love yourself even when you are falling apart 
I think growing up is building a passion with your heart as the artist
Seeking sensation instead of stability
You cannot take your house to heaven
Your job will mean nothing if it didn’t make a difference
Settling is the biggest temptation in the world
Resist it 

By: Amelia Pratt

Age 19

I will not. 

You tell me to be quiet. 
Flowers bloom in my mind and waterfalls gush in my soul and you want me to subdue myself
I will not be subtle because you feel threatened
I will not weaken my power because you are not strong 
I will not dull my thoughts because my tree throws your sapling in the shade 
I refuse to be less simply because you are not enough. 

By: Amelia Pratt

Age 19 


Green to yellow to red

If only it were that simple

If only hearts worked like a stoplight

If only red meant to please, back away

And green meant I need you, now

And yellow meant I don’t know what will happen, but let’s take it slow. 

How much heartbreak



Could we prevent

If only we had the courage to say so. 

By: Amelia Pratt

Age 19

Fire In My Soul

You tell me to grow my hair out again, because you like it better that way

You tell me to stop wearing pink because it makes me look like a child

You tell me to put down the book I’m reading because your pleasure is more important than my mind

What if I told you that the choppiness of my locks sparks my thoughts to freedom

What if I told you the color pink ignites my soul to flames

What if I told you I was not made to cater to your needs but to my own

I was not born with fire in my heart and passion in my soul to be mediocre

I refuse to burn out; so I think I must say goodbye.

By: Amelia Pratt

Age: 19


Gas Station Nights

Sometimes you get stuck in a gas station.

One second you are jamming along to your favorite songs, driving into a pretty sunset. The next your truck is smoking, and then being towed. And before you know it there you are. Stuck at a gas station in Mart, TX. 

I think that’s how life goes sometimes. You’re on top of the world. Not just content, not just getting by, but truly happy. You have your favorite song, and your sunset, and your smile. Everything is as it should be.

But then comes stress, and then comes heartbreak, or financial burdens. Then comes death and tragedy and bad test grades or someone who makes you mad. Goodbye, favorite song and sunset. Hello, engine smoke and tow truck man.

But then that tow truck man named Kevin, who has three kids himself, takes you somewhere safer, because he cares. And then your friends say they will drive two hours on a Friday night to come get you, with no hesitation at all. And then at that gas station in that rinky dink little Texas town plays some good music, and you get some coffee, and suddenly it’s not so bad.

Find your people, y’all. Annoying things happen but the best people make it do-able. 

By: Amelia Pratt

Age 19