We the Young People: Reflecting on Our Nation’s Birthday with Rhiannon McGavin, 2016 Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate

by | Jul 4, 2017 | Authors, Books, Poetry

Love under or early September (I wrote this right after the election)

by Rhiannon McGavin

I go to the streets in a summer dress, today,

because I’m afraid of a new year with the locked air of a suitcase

a cold I may not feel and all I wanted was feeling

I wanted a blue jacket that smelled like thyme and you


told me it had been the dearest sleep

we talked with open windows, could stare unblinking

and see nothing but stars

for how many days a helicopter over campus now?


then the museums could be shuddered and swept off

we had orange juice and warm bread, discussed fascism

with raspberries. You said stay safe

and I bet you say that to all the American girls


I knew the most hidden corner and I know what drawer keeps my


but to watch the smoke drift free and far like city children marching

this is what I will think of as I hear the anthem from the 5th floor,

when this fall was a theory

Branches by Rhiannon McGavin

Rhiannon McGavin is Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles (2016), and a current English major at UCLA. Her first collection of poetry, Branches, was published in 2017 with Penmanship Books. She has performed her original poetry from the Hollywood Bowl to the Library of Congress, and makes creative writing more accessible through her online work.

Rhiannon’s social media contacts:

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