Clawing by Holiday Campanella

         8/19/2017 – Greensburg, Indiana

Holiday Campanella_Clawing

I’m surrounded by you, Indiana.

You’re heavy in the trees tonight.

The black asphalt,

back roads through corn fields, unlit―

the broad shouldered men,

blond and square-headed.


There are two boys

hanging around the claw machine

at the “Indiana-only” Pizza King.

They could have been you, once.

I ask them how much it is―

give them a dollar.

“Here,” I tell them, “play.”

They laugh, inserting the money

into the slot.

They could have been ours.


My pizza is ready.

“Bye,” I tell the boys.

“Happy birthday!” one says.

“Adios,” says the other.


I sit in my car in the parking lot,

more me than a moment before.

Tomorrow I’ll be in St. Louis

leaving you with them

in loose metal grips,


Holiday Noel Campanella was born and raised in South Philadelphia, where she still resides. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and PAFA, where she studied painting and creative writing. While her art has been sold and exhibited at the Smithsonian, Anthropolgie, The Clay Studio, and The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, this is her first poetry publication.