I painted this piece for the SCBWI monthly illustration challenge. The April prompt was "Cooped up." I decided to focus on the collective experience, all of us cooped up, as well as on the space between us, fraught with danger and yet so full of possibility.
How will we fill it, all this space between us? Will our dreams and good intentions be enough?
The storm will pass
And you will leave the house and walk
Until you find
A shiny upside-down world left behind
By the rain.
You’ll want to fall
Into the vice versa-world of
What might be.
Once a puddle-jumping child,
Learned long ago
That you can’t fall into the sky.
And so you’ll look
For the magic beanstalk seed
That will grow down into the promised land
At your feet.
Copyright 2020 Anna Witte
Bad weather horses shake their manes
And drown the world in sheets of rain
Their breath blinds windows to the light
Their temper turns day into night
We make small rooms out of our fear
And curl the heart into a fist
And hope the chimney will not fall
And hope that meal was not our last
And hope this sheet is not a shroud
And that we didn’t hear their shrieks
In the sky above the clouds.
Those who don’t trust, wish they could pray,
And those who pray, begin to doubt
That there ever was a summer
That unfurled our wrinkled souls
When we ran toward each other
Across meadows made of gold
Where we shed the furs of winter
And swam naked in a stream
Where we kissed those we would never
Dare to kiss outside a dream.
©2020 Anna Witte
I lie wishing for an angel
To lean in close,
Place a cool, androgynous hand on my head
And quell this anxious fire when
Shrill chatter pulls me out of bed
And to the window.
Would we need angels if
We understood these bats
That beat their wings
Against the soul?
©2020 Anna Witte
A little about myself:
Hello there and thank you for visiting my website! I have lived in Spain, Mexico, France and the United States, but now make my home in Germany. I have a Ph.D. in Literary Studies and a Master's in TESOL, and have published several books for children, among them El Loro Tico Tango and El Fandango de Lola, a 2012 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. As a writer and an artist I'm in constant conversation with my own anxious mind even as I celebrate the joyful possibilities of our crazy, incomprehensible world.