Submitted for Valentine’s Day Challenge — A LOVE[LY] Submission Call 2018

Human Knot

Poetry By Sydney Sheltz

“Entangled” Entangledby philippeL

There was a game we played
when we were 
children.

Grimy fingers glued together
as we grasped for each other
across our circle
tangled limbs grinding against each other,
gradually
deliberately
tightening that human knot.

I wish we played that game
when we were
adults too.


I live in Indianapolis with my math teacher husband. My work in literary criticism was previously published in Purdue University’s Journal of Undergraduate Research. I have been previously published in Intima: Journal of Narrative Medicine, and my first poetry chapbook will be published in 2018 by The Poet’s Haven. My degrees are in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in English. Therefore, I love to be able to participate in the shared experiences and knowledge of other writers (in a similar way that scientists share their work). 
 
 I was driving home alone from my parents’ house one night, lost in my thoughts when I spoke aloud, “There was a game we played when we were children.” I wrote the line down when I got home, but didn’t get the chance to play with it for a few weeks. My husband and I were fighting, and I took inspiration from our weak connection. I started to brainstorm games that would go well with that theme (like Sorry, Monopoly, Risk etc) but landed on the human knot game that we played at summer camp. 
 
 Editing happens in a several-step process because I feel I must step away from a piece in order to properly dissect it — can’t have too much emotion interrupt my chiseling. I generally work with free-verse prose until I have a wobbly foundation; from there, I can determine if the topic would better suit a more structural style. The final result of this one is reminiscent of a half-finished “bop.” I read several published pieces from The Scene and Heard Journal in order to determine if this image-heavy, loosely structured piece would play nice amidst other authors. I believe it does.

-Sydney