A Minneapolis Middle Schooler
Moves to Rural Wisconsin
by Jeannie E. Roberts

She tried her best to fit in, but never
ever did. They’d roll their eyes
and sigh, Oh, there’s that city
kid. She overheard their
comments, caught their
brazen looks, even so
she’d smile with all
the skill it took.
Haunted by those
years, her confidence
grew thin; though, really,
it’s quite simple, she failed
at fitting in. And as for that,
if truth be told, without a doubt,
it’s clear: her favorites list lacked
football, squeaky cheese, and Miller

PHOTO: The author with her mother, Karin Alice, and sister, Mary, near the Rush River, Beldenville, Wisconsin, circa 1967. (Photo by Donald E. Roberts)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Moving when you’re an adolescent can be challenging, especially when relocation includes a cultural and geographic shift compounded by the death of your father a year later. Written in third person, this shape poem (crafted to resemble the state of Minnesota), gives voice to youth who are struggling in new environments and situations. My little, rhythmic piece speaks to change and perseverance, the impact of bias and unwelcoming  behaviors, and the importance of humor and composure through it all.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts‘s fourth book, Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is the author ofBeyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book (2009)  Jeannie holds a bachelor of science degree in secondary education and a master of arts degree in arts and cultural management.She writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings.  Learn more about Jeannie at