Posted in 2016-2017, Issue #01, Poetry

If Home Is Where the Heart Is, I Live in Your Chest

By Maddie Sokoloski

We started on the right foot,
the right height,
the same height.
But where growth spurts
slammed into you,
they stumbled into me with
arms that settled on my
shoulders like weights.
You grew up
while I grew older
and we both grew out
and left.
You left. I left.
We didn’t think about
what we left.
We kept right on walking,
parallel. We never went far.

And now, from afar,
I see you’ve started running
faster than me.
Soon you’ll have one foot
out the door, one foot
in the grave. Both feet
lifting off the floor onto tiptoes
as I wrap my arms around you,
one foot taller, worlds wiser,
after all you can see much farther
than I can.

I will be your off-balance growth spurt.
I will keep you grounded.

Go slow,
put one foot in front of the other
because your long strides
are crossing mountains
while I’m climbing foothills.
You’re already diving in
when I’m still getting my feet wet.
Wait for me in the deep end,
as far as you can stand.
I’m coming in.

Crash at four AM.
Caffeine can’t keep
your jackrabbit brain running.
Sit with me. Sing with me.
I cannot get my foot in my mouth
if the words are set in stone
unless I stumble.
And hopefully
we won’t trip on the same line.
But if we do,
I’m not afraid to fall with you.

Maybe that’s all we ever do.
We trip and slip and fall
back to one another.
I am the needle of a compass
whose only direction is your smile.
The pitter-patter of your heart
beats in time with my feet as I
skip down the sidewalk,
hike across mountains,
slide across poolside pavement,
tap to the beat of your favorite song.

It’s been too long
since we walked side by side.
Hold my hand
as my feet
and your heart
beat together.


Posted in 2015-2016, Lifestyle

On Dress Codes

By Maddie Sokoloski 

If only Little Red Riding Hood had a cloak that covered up her up a bit more. She shouldn’t have been tempting that wolf with all that exposed skin. If her grandmother had been wearing a ski mask to bed maybe the wolf would have been able to control himself.

With summer just around the corner and heat waves rolling in, young women across America are breaking out shorts and tank tops. Principals everywhere are blowing the dust off their trusty school handbooks getting ready to punish female students for breaking the most important rule: the dress code. Girls have begun crossing their fingers, hoping administration doesn’t punish them for “making other students uncomfortable” or “disturbing the learning process.”

dress code.jpgI hope I live to see a day when girls are not raised with the words “you are a distraction, your bra straps are disturbing the people around you” ringing in their ears. I hope there will be a time when little girls don’t feel like it’s their fault that they are victimized, when women aren’t made to feel guilty because they were “tempting him” or “showing too much skin.” It doesn’t make sense that people would defend the beasts and wolves, the abusers and rapists and denounce the girls who used to carry hope with them like a flag, who had innocence ripped out of their hands. I hope there will be a day when school districts become the safe zones they claim to be. Places where young women can go to the administration, sleeveless shirt and all, and complain about another student or, God forbid, a teacher who looks at her shoulders with the eyes of a predator. A female student should be able to tell people when they are feeling uncomfortable with other people’s actions without worrying someone will judge her or deem her “inappropriate.”

I hope, someday, there is a world where we don’t have to teach our daughters to look both ways before crossing the street, not because cars could be passing but because a predator could be following. I hope there’s a world where friends don’t have to guard each other’s drinks because men are taught how to be men and not monsters, people are taught to keep from slipping things into people’s drinks. I hope there is a world where girls can walk down the street without gripping their keys like a weapon, without knuckles whitening around hidden pocket knives, without women acutely aware of which part of their purses the pepper spray is tucked into, without old women who walk with canes or umbrellas just to have some sort of advantage if attacked. I hope that there is a world where we stop blaming young women for the actions of other people. I hope we can stop teaching our girls to throw on an extra layer because “There’s no way you’re going out dressed like that.” I hope there is a world where the victims are not blamed for the actions of attackers, where women aren’t taught that showing their shoulders or bra straps or legs or cleavage is like dangling a bone in front of a carnivore and expecting him not to attack.

It is my sincerest hope that, one day, I can send my red-cloaked daughters into the woods and the only thing I have to warn them against is dropping their baskets along the way.dress code [2].jpg

Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Posted in 2015-2016, Lifestyle

If Donald Trump Were President

By Maddie Sokoloski 

I haven’t been to Hawaii in a while. Or Alaska, or Canada, or Mexico, or anywhere, really. He put up his wall, but it isn’t just between Mexico and The States. There is a wall around the entire country. We only have forty-eight states now. He said that immigrants from Mexico would sneak around and come in through Canada, and that Hawaii and Alaska were too high of risk factors because we couldn’t put a wall around them, too.

Mr. President says that Hawaii and Alaska and all the islands of the U.S. don’t want America to be great again. He says they’re working with immigrants to take us down from the inside out. When asked about this issue, Trump was quoted saying, “You’re asking me about the islands? A lot of people ask me about those islands. And I tell them that I love those islands. Really, I do. I love ‘em. But we can’t have good American people there if there is no wall to keep out the terrorists and Muslims and Mexicans and rapists. We will make America great again. I tell you that is the goal. To make America great again.”

The Statue of Liberty is in France now. Trump said that we didn’t need it anymore since we closed Liberty Island. He gave it back to France, saying: “We don’t want your stupid statue. We don’t need something from France to represent our nation. The French are trying to prohibit us from making America great. I tell you we will do it ourselves because we’re Americans and we are proud people. We need to make America great again.”


Some people claimed that putting up the wall would hurt our economy. Yes, we don’t have any imports or exports out of the country, we don’t have any revenue from tourism, and the expenses from the wall, a small loan of 35 million dollars that we took from several other countries, put us even further in debt. However, illegal immigrants can’t get into our country and take jobs from us. So I guess that’s good.

Not only did he manage to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal, he made being gay illegal altogether! Anyone who is part of the LGBT community is immediately charged and thrown in jail. If Trump finds someone liking any Facebook or Tumblr post in support of LGBT rights, they’re put on a watch list. Trump has said that the United States is supposed to be a good, Christian country, effectively getting rid of the separation of church and state and the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. This is a great way to get all of the sinners and disgusting people thrown in a prison where they belong.

Some other new laws have been put in place: feminism is illegal, abortions are illegal, helping the poor and less fortunate is definitely illegal, immigration into the States is illegal, moving out of the States is illegal. Trump even managed to pass a new amendment that made making fun of his hair illegal. In essence, he is finally making America great again.

The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Post Script Magazine

Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Posted in 2015-2016, Lifestyle

The Hollowed-Out Home

By Maddie Sokoloski

This isn’t the house I grew up in. The one filled with laughter and family movie nights, the one with eight-foot-tall Christmas trees under the high ceilings. It’s no longer the house where my brother learned to walk and talk, the house where he got and I lost a first tooth on the same day. This isn’t the place my grandparents would come to visit on Easter and Thanksgiving.

This house was always there, hidden beneath layer after layer of good times. This is the house I saw countless years ago, the first time I ever really saw my parents fight, when my dad drove away and threatened never to come back. It is this house I briefly viewed when my dad and his brother got in a fist fight in our living room, the place I left as I ushered my siblings — in only their sweatshirts and pajamas — out the door into the snow. This house is the result of the fight I overheard a year ago from my bedroom, when I realized my parents’ divorce was on the horizon. This is my house, but it is not the same, and it is not my home.

I enter the house through the door that leads in from the garage to an empty space. The floorboards, brighter where the carpet was rolled up and moved out, are covered in dust that collected under the couches.The few chairs that we left in the living room are pushed up against the wall, huddled where we left them in our haste to move the big things into the garage. A few unused boxes that didn’t get swept into the moving van lie on the floor exactly where we dropped and forgot about them. It is quiet in a way that it’s never been before. For once, the only sounds are my footsteps that echo in the big empty room with no furniture to muffle it. There are no distant sounds of my siblings in their rooms. There is no sizzle of food my mother is cooking, no scent wafting from the kitchen. Everything feels sad and abandoned, left by a broken family who were in too much haste to fall back and pick up the leftover pieces.

Moving house

The living room was cheerful. Brown leather couches surrounded the TV on one half of the room, red and orange paisley-print chairs rested in the other, the two sides separated by a big fireplace. I remember running in from the pool behind the house and pushing the present-covered coffee table out of the way. My sister Lily and her friends dragged themselves away from their pool party long enough to open the presents. Lily tore through the small pile of gift bags, her friends and siblings sitting awkwardly on the paisley-print chairs, water seeping through our beach towels. When tissue paper carpeted the floor and no presents were left on the table, my mother brought out the cake and we sang. After Lily’s wish was made and the cake was eaten, we left to go swim some more. Year after year, every birthday party was held in the living room. Countless presents were opened, countless candles were blown out, countless wishes were made. The living room was always a happy place; I never thought it could be so lifeless.

I walk past the living room and the kitchen with no pots and pans and the dining room with no table or chairs to “the green stairs.” Before, the stairs were the sights of many games. My favorite was one we never named but played very often. The objective: get out the front door before either of the guards could catch us. The game started with the guards sitting on the green-carpeted stairs counting to ten while the rest of us ran and hid. Then, the competition began, an all-out war of wits, speed, and sneaking skills.

Squeals of delight, groans of frustration, and the rhythm of many little sets of feet running from soft carpet to hardwood floors became the dramatic soundtrack of our battle. The game ended when everyone had either been caught or managed to sneak their way past both of the guards and the heavy wood door that creaks when it opens. We would play round after round, often grabbing shoes and jackets to keep away the cold that crept up as the sun set.  Finally, the tournament would end with lots of panting, taunting, wiping sweat from our foreheads, and sprawling across the carpet to catch our breath.

When this house was my home, my mother put four baby pictures — one of each of us — on the wall next to the stairs. Now, all that’s left of these are the nails they used to hang on. Sticking out of the wall like porcupine quills, they leave me feeling sick. These nails were only ever seen when our games were interrupted by someone knocking a picture to the ground. They were only ever seen when there was a mistake, a pause in the game where someone had to hang the picture up to make things right again. These stairs aren’t supposed to be a permanent reminder of all the mistakes we, as a family, have made. They were always filled with so many positive experiences. Those good memories were replaced with the image of the raw, exposed, porcupine-quill nails that only serve as a reminder that there will be no one to fix the mistakes this time. The echoes of squeals of friendly competition and the pitter-patter of sneaking feet faded, covered by the heavy footfalls of tired, worn-down people using the stairs only to get to the top floor. The steps aren’t home base anymore — they’re nothing more than stairs.

At the top of the stairs is the room that used to be mine. As I walk into it, my footsteps sound different, as if I’m walking on a mock version of the home I used to have. It’s like a cheaper knock-off posing as my house but missing a few crucial details. The only things in this room are an old TV set on a little, broken table, two giant mirrors that have yet to be moved to my mother’s new house, and about fifty empty nails and hooks. I can see the secrets I tried to hide with posters and furniture: the hole in the uneven wooden floor, the place where the paint chipped, the places where we missed a spot when we painted the walls pink.


This room isn’t mine anymore. It doesn’t smell like my perfume or candles or laundry detergent. The soft mountain of pillows and blankets from my bed were packed up and moved out. Yet I can still imagine this room as everything it used to be in the nine years we lived here: Lily’s room, a playroom, a guest room, my bedroom. I can see the walls in every state they’ve been in: blue, brown, black, pink; covered in painted clouds, flower stickers, posters, picture frames. I can picture myself in every version of this room, sleeping or playing or hanging out with my siblings and friends. Through everything this room used to be, I never thought I would see it look like a crude imitation, a second-rate version of itself. I never thought that it would stop feeling like home.

My mom’s new house is not home, not yet. It is different, smaller, made for five people instead of six. My room there is almost the same as it was; it’s painted the same colors, has the same bedspread and knick-knacks. The biggest difference is the box labeled “Maddie’s Pictures” that sits beside my desk. Inside are all of the pictures and wall hangings from my old bedroom. I have yet to hang them on the walls. I’m afraid this new house will become too real, too permanent. I’m afraid to create a bad imitation of my old room and hold on to something that isn’t real anymore.

Most importantly, I’m afraid to lose my home. At the old house, my dad put the nails in the wall, stood on my desk chair to hang the pictures. In the new house, my dad won’t be there to help hang things up just like my mom was too busy unpacking  to set up my knick-knacks like she did when we first bought them. I’m afraid because the new house is so different and my home is an empty shell of itself. The place that was my home for so many years doesn’t exist any more: it was replaced with this replica version that’s missing all of the love we put into it. My home is nothing more than a sad, fading echo in the gutted, hollow house.


Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

Two Christmas Trees


By Maddie Sokoloski

A few weeks ago, my sister Lily and I put up our Christmas decorations. This year, due to the fact that we live in a new house, we had to do things a bit differently. Our old tree was too tall to fit under our shorter ceilings so we bought a new, smaller Christmas tree. We hung over a hundred matching gold and silver ornaments, newly bought. My mom climbed a ladder to place a brand new silver star tree topper with rotating disco lights. The ceiling was splashed with red, blue and green lights, spinning and whirling in some pattern I couldn’t follow. The tree is organized, beautiful, uniform, everything I always wanted a tree to be and I’m still not sure about it. It’s all as new as the house we live in. This isn’t the tree I’m used to.

A few days after the tree was put up, we broke out the rest of the decorations, including the box of sentimental, kiddy ornaments that didn’t match the gold and silver theme of the tree. To accommodate for this and use the extra decorations, a second tree, the scraggly one we put on the porch of our old house, was set up in a different room. On it, we hung all the ornaments that didn’t match the gold ones. Aside from the silly, homemade crafts that were slowly falling apart and the few bits and pieces that belonged to my dad, we hung up every one until the artificial branches drooped with the weight. All five of my mom’s nativity scenes were scattered throughout the house. We strung garland along the rail by the steps and accented it with some big red bows. We hung five of our six stockings on a shelf across from the gold tree because they looked better there than on the mantle.

Five stockings. Just like our house and our Christmas tree, this was different too. Even though my parents split up some time last year, we still had Christmas together in our old house. This year though, my mother bought a new house. The garlands and bows are on a new railing; our fake tree is color coordinated in a way my dad would never have appreciated in the old house. All the decorations are beautiful and I still can’t help but feel something is missing.

“I don’t believe in Christmas,” my dad told me when I asked him what he wanted. I still harbored every intention to buy him a gift anyway. As opposed to my mom’s house, my dad’s apartment still looks exactly the same in December as it did in August. Even though he took us shopping to buy gifts for our mom, we have no tree or garland or big red bows. To my dad, Christmas was always about family. It was about going to tree farms to purchase the perfect tree then taking it home and coating it in a thick layer of ornaments, each laden with memory. Now that it’s just the two of us in our two-bedroom apartment (with the occasional weekend visit from my siblings), there’s no need to hang stockings or string lights. There’s no point in rushing out to buy a tree when no one’s going to appreciate it. Without family, there’s no reason for Christmas in the apartment.

Christmas is more different than I ever imagined it could be. At the new house, there is no balcony overlooking the bottom floor for my sisters, brother, and I to look over and stare at our tree on Christmas morning. There’s much less space to decorate at my mom’s and nothing to decorate with at my dad’s. As much as I don’t want to admit it, our new Christmas makes me sad. I knew Christmas would be different when my parents split up but it’ll be a challenge forming new traditions, trying to uphold the old ones with one less person, holding onto old memories with nothing to reinforce them every year, getting to spend time with both parents during Christmas break. I assumed I’d have two trees this year. I didn’t know they’d both be in the same house. But it just means I’ll be forging new holiday memories by both the light of our two Christmas trees and the glow of the regular old lights in my dad’s apartment.

Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram 

Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

Thanks for Something New

By Maddie Sokoloski

Every year, it starts by saying grace.
Hands folded, we give thanks
for the food on our table,
the family by our sides,
the clothes on our back,
the luck we’ve had this year.

Every year, we’re reminded how lucky we are
and how thankful it makes us feel.
But every year, our words of thanks mean less
and less until saying thank you
becomes an obligation,
a chore.

This year, we need to be thankful for more —
for everything big to small.
Because we will always be grateful
for our family and friends,
for our homes and our food;
we always have been.

Each of us needs to find something new
to be thankful for.


 Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram 


Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

What Not to Do on a Hayride


By Maddie Sokoloski

As the bitter cold of the October air nipped at my bare legs protruding from my scratchy skirt, I walked from the last house offering trick-or-treat candy.  Quickly, I scurried, alongside my three siblings and three of our friends to my mom’s car.  The seven of us jumped into it, hoping for some refuge from the chill. We shut the doors with a snap, leaving the cold breeze to tap at the doors and leave its frosty breath on the windows.

“Let’s go to trunk-or-treat,” my mom said as she drove us from the house.  We cheered with excitement.  

In my hometown, we have an event on Halloween called trunk-or-treat.  After we go trick-or-treating, we go to the parking lot of a building in town.  There, we always find a dozen or so cars with trunks wide open, handing out goodies to the kids. Year after year we discover the same people; stingy folk who always give us nuts or apples instead of candy, people with full blown haunted houses in the trunks of their cars, even some firemen with their truck who hand out chocolate and fire safety coloring pages.

After making our way through the rows of vehicles, the trick-or-treat‘s and thank you‘s ringing from our chorus of mouths, we went inside to warm ourselves up and bring our numb fingers back to life.  My mother got herself a cup of coffee, causing us to turn up our noses with disgust.  We searched through the buffet of drinks and desserts set up on the table (as if we needed more sugar.) After tearing through an impossible amount of sugar cookies and orange soda, we went outside to wait for the return of the hayride.

When it arrived, a cluster of people climbed down from the trailer so the next group of people could get on.  Within that group was the seven of us, some kids we recognized from school, and an assortment of bored parents accompanying kids who were too little to ride by themselves. Once everyone was in the trailer and sitting patiently on hay bales that tickled my legs, we set off.  A few kids waved at their parents, some people cheered, and the adults still looked incredibly bored.  

Until that day, I had never been on a hayride.  So I didn’t have prior experience to know that hayrides are incredibly boring. Usually, people go on hayrides to go sightseeing, look at parts of a town they never bothered to explore.  We, on the other hand, grew up in our tiny town and everyone had already seen it. It was too dark out to see anyway, so we decided to have some fun.

That’s when the screaming started.  

My siblings, our friends, and I started yelling our hearts out singing songs from various TV shows and infomercials. We sang the theme song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even though we only knew one line of the song. We repeated those same four words over and over again, much to the annoyance of all the unfortunate parents.  

‘Shut up!” screamed a boy who went to school with my sister.  She stuck her tongue out at him and sang louder.  He stuck his fingers in his ears and tried to yell louder than us, beginning his endless loop of “lalalalalala.”

Ten minutes later we got off of the hayride, everyone practically ran away from us, shooting dirty looks as they did.  The seven of us hopped off peacefully and walked over to find my mom.  We told her about the hayride, each of us interrupting the others.  When we got to the end of the story my mom looked appalled with our behavior.  Gathering up our candy, we left pretty soon after that.

We were never allowed on that hayride again.

Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts