Broken Bridge Review sports a three-piece painting as cover art: three gorgeous blue-green panels titled “World View Trip-Tik” by Jessica Hathaway Scriver, painted on top of world maps. The editors chose to make this painting the inspiration for this issue, and included a substantial amount of material that is in some way connected to the political sphere.
Featured in this second edition is the 2006 Broken Bridge Prize winning poetry by high school students. The poetry shows amazing maturity and can stand with any adult poetry. The winner is “Cloud Hands” by Hannah Colbert, an exquisite work idealizing her father: “The sky at dusk is like my father doing Tai Chi in a big room / early in the morning; he’s moving through the porcelain stillness.” Both her father and the movement of clouds are forces of nature. Ten other finalists shine, including Grant Hall’s “Flicker”:
We used to run in fields
trying to catch fireflies.
Sometimes you would
hide alone in the bushes
beneath mossy oak.
This is the sort of nostalgic poem one never tires of because it is so genuine, because everyone’s favorite memories are unique.
One moving, mournful, yet oddly hopeful story is “Jane,” about a girl whose mother lies ill with cancer. The girl is about to learn something momentous. The treatment is careful, sensitive, and in a few short pages the writer, Chloe Tribach, makes the characters living people to care about, even get angry with. There are poems that are serious, uplifting, and rich. There is meaning to be found here. This journal is about one-hundred-fifty-plus pages, and well worth the time.