Two Poems by Serena Agusto-Cox






School Yard Games



   still too many of us

   for the old oak to hide

We wait


tap, tap, tap our shoulders

    giggles erupt



    under the desk, knees up heads down

    we have to remember

Be still

    be quiet

cover our faces

    shades drawn



     we’re a scatter of birds

     looking for home base

running fast

evading capture

freeze when touched

now, we’re living statues


In school yard games

where the criminals are our own

and pop guns shoot real lead

tiny chests heave until

      our bodies lie still

      outlined in crimson

Bully Archer


Staccato hammer

passed around —

        echoed taunts

        reverberate down linoleum halls

in crouch, one-third hide

behind lockers, empty classrooms, books



    herd of cattle

    corral just ahead

    the waiting teacher

dogs nipping our heels

growls howl

shaking student limbs and skin

cower, wait


Bully bowmen’s arrows

    outside of class

see their arrows bounce and fall

a chink grows, eventually the bullseye’s hit.

    Scars to bury, fester

internalized guidance

deadly archery of the heart.

Serena Agusto-Cox, a Suffolk University alum, writes more vigorously than she did in her college poetry seminars. Her day job continues to feed the starving artist, and her poems can be read in Dime Show Review, Baseball Bard, Mothers Always Write, Bourgeon, Beginnings Magazine, LYNX, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Harrow, Poems Niederngasse, Avocet, Pedestal Magazine, and other journals. An essay also appears in H.L. Hix’s Made Priceless, three poems in the Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens, and a Q&A on book marketing through blogs in Midge Raymond’s Everyday Book Marketing. She also runs the book review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and founded Poetic Book Tours to help poets market their books.

Image by Jaroslav Michna –, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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