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Vibrant Death by Andie Crawford

Who Were You, and Who May I Become?

by Alyse Gammons

"Will I someday leave behind / a fossil of fondness that is so enchantingly echoed / across the offerings to my resting soul?"

Like a ghost, lurks the day that I may finally 

think of you fondly. Standing comfortably 

side by side to your ofrenda, I think to myself 

how, besides these reasons why, do I begin to 

comprehend someone who I have never met? 

Aimlessly I listen to ancestors alliterate the  

altruism you so graciously left behind… and  

yet what is this to me? Will I someday leave behind  

a fossil of fondness that is so enchantingly echoed  

across the offerings to my resting soul? Spilling  

whispers of contentment and memories of life  

and legacy to the garden of marigolds that have but a  

chokehold on the square as they bloom around the  

tombs. Diligently dancing to the sound of celebration,  

their petals lifting up and down to the beat of the death 

they represent. A resting, yet radiating, heartbeat.  

Although I do not know you, I bake this bread to give you 

pieces of the earth you left behind. Although I do not  

know you, I burn this incense to represent your passing. 

Although I do not know you, I stare attentively at this  

framed photo: eyes that offer a gentleness, hands  

that once cared tenderly for the familia I gather with today.  

And although, I did not get as lucky as my cousins to  

truly know you, I will light this candle to guide you back 

towards us in hopes that someday you will take my hand 

as tenderly as you took my mama’s and her mama’s before 

that, and guide me to the place you now rest. Maybe then, 

year after year of celebration in your life’s honor, 

may I one day know you as well as I know your face in  

this one still framed picture resting against your ofrenda. 


About the Writer...

Alyse Gammons is a student at Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts in their junior year who enjoys writing poetry, drawing in their free time, and learning about the sciences. They plan to pursue a career in the sciences and/or in English. Once they can find a steady job in their field, they plan to continue writing in hopes of being a self-published author in poetry and someday fiction. In school, they are a part of the National Honor Society, are awaiting their acceptance letter from the Spanish National Honors Society, and represent at Literary Arts Cafe the Lodge Events as 2025’s co-chair. When not writing or in school, they participate in the Kutztown Area High School’s Marching Band as a majorette, and during the fall are a member of the Kutztown Area Indoor Associations Twirling Team.

About the Artist...

Andie Crawford is a Senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She specializes in drawing and painting.

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