Crumbs by Kate Rochford-Price

(2nd place poetry winner)


If this were the last day

of my life, I wouldn’t complain

about the plastic onion wedged

just so

underneath the bookshelf,

the copy of The Time Paradox

spread-eagled on the floor,

the dingy orange extension

cord dangling from the ceiling—

dangerous, precarious, and

compelling as an acrobat

—the bare socket

lying in wait for the final act,

the Captain Crunch crumb trail

leading to a plump-legged

toddler, face smudged with

artistic swirls of smashed

squash. All of this


could be forgiven

in the fading light of November sun

glinting off the bronze

gate, barring her from

the upstairs—that

constant source of fixation

and frustration and

progress. I’d open

the gate and let the trail

blaze up, up, up,

and out, in a slow blink,

leaving me blue,

green, purple, and red berries

to follow to the top,

to the end.


-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition

-Photo credit to Tahimi Perez-Borroto