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Note from the Editorial Team: 

"On Travel"

This expressive and lengthy poem mimics the way music flows forward and through our lives. While we rarely publish work from one of our own writers, we found this poem to showcase the duplicity of travel -- someone traveling through Spain and simultaneously traveling through a memory, a song, and a moment of passion with a lover.  

This poem encompasses what we look for in submissions -- imagery, intention, and intensity. We also chose to call attention to this poem in hopes that it inspires your creativity.

Consistency in form and the balance of style is a key factor when choosing our Poets of the Month. In "Remember When" the stanzas are steady in number, except in stanza 8 -- where Ms. Ward uses the line to be linear to the language. The premeditated addition of a 5th line, breaks the rules of the poem, just as the dancers are released from the natural state of gravitational pull. 

In addition to the lines mimicking the poem, the long and narrow shape of the poem is meant to mirror the narrow streets in which they dance as well as the long legs and bodies of the dancers; this intentional decision also points to the image of long hair falling down from its tightly wound bun on top of the woman's head. 

Although the poem is about a dance, it creatively captures the culture of Spain, by highlighting the onlookers and the familiarity of people dancing together. True self-expression is found here, featuring the sentiment of freedom and the binding power of memory -- pointing back to one of the main themes: concurrence of travel. 

We are so excited about the many submissions we have received, and we are still in the process of choosing poets -- send in your submissions! 

- Reward Publishing Editing Team 

Remember When

at midnight, when the day

shut off, 

when the bulbs of the city

                turned on—


You,   me,

on the street of Calle de La Cruz,

on the red cobblestone, 

            the ancient slabs —


There were no guitars,

but we did the bolero dance

in that ally of Madrid,

        to the beat of our zeal,


to the rhythm of our hearts.

You spun my long body, and between 

we breathed the scores.

        Remember when


my dark hair fell down.

My burgundy lips on your blue collar.

A crowd—

            they came to watch us.


They watched,

but they couldn’t hear

the passion between our bones, or 

             the joy kayaking our curls.


They wanted to join our pulse,

be a part of the portion that caused —      

two people — to express honor

            without music, without reason.

Remember when

 my toes slid upon the wind;

You tossed me up like a bird, to be


            from gravity.


No la soltes! A mother shouted,

but I knew you would catch me.

Slow motion now;

            you slashed my scarf to the ground—


our calico carpet.

With sharp twirls, we saw

 streaks of yellow buildings,

            the graffti on the walls around us—


a blanket,

a backdrop

to laud our hue of abandon.

            Remember when


my hips  went

side     to      side—

a hammock of pleasure.

            Our hands grip to grip—


the fierce hold,

the way we claim eachother. 

Small steps now;

            you bent  my head


parallel to my feet.

My arms like wings of a águila-real

fingers like the head of a cobra.

            Remember when 


my heals stabbed the ground.

All was hushshshshed. Silence. Then paused.  

The clamor of the transfixed stares 

            awoke us.


Before a sound was made

we began our dance again,

entranced until

          the bongos broke through our toes.

by Janell Renee 

Copyright Reward Publishing 2023