Canvas

for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

Silver days

ella schmidt


Remember: Saturdays got better,
by February when the snowflakes were crumpled papers beneath our sneakers,
the side of the road,
the car ride home
when we clung to ourselves and each other, because—
and this is not the only reason—we couldn’t face our parents;
not when we knew—knew—we were up against monotone bells and misunderstanding.

Remember: That song—that one:
a beat that stuck like honey,
and static we could chew like caramels;
If there were words, they didn’t matter.

Remember: We lied about our age and ran—laughing—
to a vacant lot, dark because it was full of shadows,
not because it was late at night.
The officer croaked out after us;
we didn’t hear him, or else
we didn’t care;
I could never put my finger on what we were feeling.

Remember: you held my hand—all of you—
and I whispered doubt,
but we snuck in, 
and out, out, out
of our foaming minds when we slipped into the theater,
and for once being unseeable was frantic and enticing,
and I remember thinking how wonderful it is,
that we have silver days instead of notoriety,
that we are only sentenced to our very own envy
of the girls who will peak in high school
and forever clamor for each other’s attention.


Remember: Lying to everyone else
made me feel like you already knew my secrets.

Remember: I cried so you came out and found me, 
rescued me, and we left.  
The four of us—huddled, hands intertwined—stumbled around in the darkness,
eyes shut, grasping the air with our hands out in front of us;
we lived through doing, and it blinded us.

Remember: We floundered, too; our shoulders shook with laughter,
we skimmed the rinds and pretended to feel invincible; 
we who will never know how it feels to be immune to consequence.

Remember: We wound up sitting behind grown-ups at a movie about youth;
all of us trying to find ourselves in the screen.

Remember: I told you,
Remember this, because
I’ll pretend it didn’t happen, and so will you;
You promised.


Ella Schmidt is a fifteen-year-old rising sophomore at John Burroughs School in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has previously been published in her school literary magazine, The JBS Review.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY