Yellow Sweater

United States

Zinnia | she/her | bi | agnostic | 18 | WA

2021-2022 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate

Elitist Atlantic Subscriber (jk, but I do think the Atlantic does some awsome journalism)

I don't necessarily agree with my own assertions

Message to Readers

I am writing have been writing a lot of creative nonfiction. If there are any of you who miss my poetry, I apologize.

Spring Break: A Reflection on Vacations

April 16, 2021

FREE WRITING

11
God, it’s finally spring. I can feel my face burning as I read out on the patio this morning. I wish that spring meant something other than an unfounded, unsubstantiated brightness that threatens oblivion and a terrible headache. But drunken monotony is better when it’s sunlit. My thoughts move more freely under the blue sky. I don’t feel like my words have to reflect the view out my window. There's no window, only air, too much air to breathe. 

I’m barefoot, lying in my aunt and uncle's courtyard. I’m the only one on vacation, the only one for whom the city with its neat neighborhood blocks lined with cherry trees and people walking their well-bred dogs, is an escape. I’m the only one for whom the conventional American Dream is an escape.  

As is the tendency of someone on a self-contained vacation, I find myself reflecting on the objects around me that are attached to some faraway memory. My eyes land on the outdoor oven my uncle built last summer. It's modeled after the peka ovens we saw during our family vacation in Croatia. We came back from that trip with the knowledge of how they cooked meat in the homeland. We also learned how, on that idyllic little island in the Adriatic, our ancestors had fought a gorilla war against the Byzantines, and the Ottomans, and the Germans, and the Serbs, and the Communists. The locals asked us why, if our grandparents were Šoltan, we hadn't moved home? But the peka, the delicious roast beef were the only things we brought back with us to America. 

Unlike everything else in my aunt and uncle’s upper-middle-class Seattle craftsman, the peka oven has rough edges. It’s hand-built from unfinished bricks. In their tidy backyard, it’s a surreal reminder of a place where meat and identity were something to fight for, a place wavering between dream and memory.
This was a journal entry, so that's part of the reason why it's so scattered. 

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  • April 16, 2021 - 10:00am (Now Viewing)

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10 Comments
  • The_Sunrise_Queen

    this is so cool! I love how you showed history in this. are your ancestors really Soltan?


    2 months ago
  • Nyla

    RE: Thank you, I'm glad you thought so! And haha yeah, it was really weird but also weirdly fun to try!


    5 months ago
  • Nyla

    RE: Aww thank you Zinniav! (I think that's your name? regardless, it's very pretty) You're always really helpful!


    5 months ago
  • nolongeractive

    Re: Thank youuuu


    5 months ago
  • nolongeractive

    This is so pretty and conveying and I am so obsessed with your titles, they really are so intriguing and I love all of the word choices. Great work!


    5 months ago
  • beth r.

    "We came back from that trip with the knowledge of how they cooked meat in the homeland"
    I adore this style- love it when authors connect ancient things to modern times; it gives me something like... misplaced nostalgia? Gorgeous.
    re: aw really? thank you <3


    5 months ago
  • Nyla

    Oh my, I wish my journal entries could be as beautifully scattered and well-written as this. "too much air to breathe" was just wow. And oooh, is this what creative non-fiction is? If so, I really love it! You have an amazing way with words and just this ability to capture such emotion and tons of content in only three paragraphs (well four this time haha). But anyways, another amazing piece! Hope you're doing well! :)


    5 months ago
  • ☃︎ KatelynsCupcakes ☃︎

    Thank you so much for the Peer Review! I really appreciate it!


    5 months ago
  • ☃︎ KatelynsCupcakes ☃︎

    Hello there, Yellow Sweater! First off, I would like to congratulate you on being a finalist for the Op-Ed Competition! Looks like those billionth versions of "On American Values" really paid off! Secondly, I would like to apologize because this comment has nothing to do with this piece! Sorry! Either way, I was wondering, would you mind writing a Peer Review for my poem "A Persona Can Be Changed; A Person Cannot"? I would even be willing to take a comment with constructive feedback! Thank you so much (sorry to bother you), and I wish you the best of luck in the poetry competition as well!


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Wow. What a thought-provoking piece...


    5 months ago