The Blue Route is a national online journal for undergraduate students. This issue offers writers from Carnegie Mellon University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Susquehanna University, University of Colorado Denver, University of Houston, and University of South Florida. The writing is of high quality and is enjoyable to read.
Soniya Shah, an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon, contributes the only fiction piece: “Lemonade.” The speaker of the piece speaks to “you,” which we slowly discover is her daughter who has been kidnapped. But as tragic as an event this seems to be, the mother seems more caught up in how she no longer has her husband as a result: “He is still silent. I wish he would forgive me and go back to the days when he kissed me in the pouring rain, just like in the movies. Life was a fairytale. We had everything.” I enjoy how the story slowly builds, leaving the reader to piece together the clues.
Sarah-Jane Abate (Susquehanna University), having recently traveled to Russia, contributes a poem about the “Locks of Love” in Yaroslalv, a tradition in which lovers “close a padlock around the rail keeping them from the river / and toss the key in.” She uses these images as a foreigner who doesn’t even know the word for “love” in that language, who is not with a lover:
I wonder if anyone changes their mind
jumps the railing
the handles of the locks digging into the palms of their hands as they vault over
if anyone swims out after the key
The keys by now having been swallowed by fish.
Lisa Lowdermilk (University of Colorado Denver) writes “Parting the Sand Sea,” a vivid poem with an awesome image to start it out:
Snowflakes tumbled out of the sky like
out of the ripped seam
of a dress.
Douglas Knudsen contributes a haiku series, and Rachel Ann Jones gives a poem from a collection she is working on about an all-girl gang. Kaitlyn Stone’s poem—which starts “in a slur of sadness / words stumbled from your lips / like drunken demons from the dark”—appropriately slurs about the page in zigzags. In Jeremy Windham’s “Venom Song,” a girl retraces her steps to a gazebo that she remembers from when she was there with a boy. And lastly, Michelle Bayman’s poem is an image of a burlap sack covering a rose bush, “Winterizing the Rose Bush.”