In the attic deep enough for twenty
childhoods, an autograph book,
Oak School No. 3, resplendent in gold,
zipper teeth around the pastel sheets,
her signature in shaky cursive.
Bundled in blankets, smaller than
a ten-year-old, fingers cold,
she must have found it awkward
to hold a pen.
A hurricane blew tiles off the roof,
the room froze, a mouth open drinking rain.
You will always be, she inscribed—
the rest washed away.
Poems and essays by Jayne Benjulian have been published in Zone 3, Verdad, Sequoia, The Seattle Review, Spillway, Barrow Street, HowlRound and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Two of her poems appeared in The Ilanot Review in Spring 2013. She served as Fulbright Fellow in Lyon, France and Teaching Fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.