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Poetry, Hadassah Berendzen

There will be things that happen to us that we may never understand. Perhaps some things have a

reason, but some do not.

There lives a celestial flow between the great sky and the greater midwest,

people are born in Missouri, or maybe it was Kansas?

the light shining in your eyes for the first time.

You were five years old, and thought the rows and rows of fruits and vegetables continued on


Peeking around the corners of your grandmother’s home to watch her bake and can and plant and

grow the most beautiful things, all with the palms of her hands, and tips of her fingers.

“You can live off the land forever”

Now you sit outside a Starbucks, drinking something with a name you know and ingredients you


this is what living off the land looks like.

I know you, and this is not you.

Your body calls you to the city, but your soul lives outside, sleeps in the vineyard.

Your grandmother had a cat who she fed three times a day,

this cat knew my grandmother well

would bite and scratch anyone who came near, except for Claranne.

See, there was never a day in my life before this cat, just after.

An outdoor cat,

without a name. ,

I was six years old,

I asked my grandmother,

“Why does this cat

have no name?”

To which she replied,

“I never thought to name him”


Hadassah Berendzen (they/them) is a 21-year-old poet and creative living in St. Louis, Missouri. They write in motion with the themes of their life, current events, and include personal anecdotes. They would like to thank their partner Mariah Nelson for her continued support.


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