Graveyard Shift

WRITTEN BY ADITI RAJU

Let us switch places, mother— you and I.

Our doctors: our heroes, they say. But they

don’t wait to see the stubborn blood go dry


on hospital floors. Have you seen the way

paint hardens on our walls? Our house’s bored

white rooms, they freeze and crackle: mud to clay.


Dull plaster patterns to me you may explore,

guarded by walls that hide your pain and hear

the crimson streaks on floors we all ignore.


Let us switch places, mother— so that I

may bear the blood you carry, words you cry.

Aditi Raju is a 17-year-old living in California's Bay Area. Her work has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Live Poets Society of New Jersey, PTSA Reflections, and the National It's All Write Teen Writing Contest. When not writing, she enjoys designing logos, listening to film scores, and defending Oxford commas.