The Motley

Spring 2017

I promise The Motley has not died. In fact, it's very much alive and kicking. This year, Angeline and I have managed to bring in a lot of quality work. As we are graduating, we hope that this issue enters itself into our legacy as students. We're proud to present the 2017 spring issue and hope you enjoy reading it.

- Zack Davis

Zack and I seem to have done the impossible – we have resurrected The Motley this year from near-death. All of these submissions tell amazing stories – ones of sadness and courage, ones of joy and warmth, stories of sharing and stories of loss. There are tales within tales, and ones told through art. We have poetry of all sorts – some individual, others following a grander theme. We hope that this selection shows you, as it has shown us (and as Spring Hill has shown us, time and time again), the diversity of thought and experience on our small home upon the Hill. Thank you for returning to The Motley this spring – I can assure you, Zack and I believe it is one of our very best.

- Angeline Morris

“Baby, it’s 5:55!”

I opened my eyes to see her in the air mattress next to me. It was hot in the back of our van, except for two battery-run portable fans we had picked up at Wal-Mart before the trip. They were my idea; Hayden never planned ahead. She just told me “We’re going to Arizona” and expected us not to die of heat immediately when we hit the Texas border.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

He watches me and I watch him

As we sip our tea.

He asks me how my book is going,

And when I say it should be finished soon,

He says he doubts it.

Friday, May 5th, 2017


The egg sizzled on the blacktop. Charles David called over for me to come; I had been under the mulberry tree pretending to make juice with my bare feet-- we weren’t allowed to talk about wine. My stained feet raced across to see my first sidewalk-fried egg. So far the summer had been the hottest on record; all of Oklahoma State braced themselves. It was just June and things would be getting much hotter. We were all together in the summer of 1977, one of the last times before the older cousins started moving off for college, babies etc. Charlie had stolen the egg from my grandma, someone who after this summer I would only call Charlotte May.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Zoey then paces herself to one end of the fountain at the park. Underneath her breath she counts to five than takes a few paces in the opposite direction. She stops in front of the park bench. She takes her phone out of her purse. She rolls the phone in her hand. She glances down at the black screen. Her fingers trace down the smooth glass of the front of the phone. She pauses at the button at the bottom. Should I text them? No, in the end I would be a bother. They could just be running late. They have lives. Just wait for them like always. The thoughts continue to pierce her mind.

Friday, May 5th, 2017


1.) Dancing (grinding, as it were.)

There was a song,

some obscure Kanye track,

that glued him to me.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

I saw him get out of his car, hair shorter than Id ever seen it and taller than Id imagined, and I wondered who he was now. They headed up the sidewalk, and I realized that I needed to stop peering through the window and get the door. The doorbell peeled three quick tones, a sound that I hated, but couldnt bring myself to do anything about. I inhaled deeply before yanking the door open, it always stuck when it got cold outside.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Stripping myself of the day’s clothes

I climb into the shower

Scrubbing the accumulated dirt from my body.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

It was like coming up for air after being underwater for too long. That abrupt, greedy intake of air that startles the one that so desperately needs it. At the same time, though, it was the most amazing, reassuring feeling in the world... I was incredibly conscious of air filling my lungs, of the cool earth beneath me, of the warm sun caressing my skin, and of a presence right next to me and yet seemingly everywhere simultaneously.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Why I Shouldn’t Go to the Mall Anymore

Two men opened their jackets

in front of the miniature Christmas train,

and out of their baggy clothing they drew

a hatchet and a two-by-four.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

The lump of sheets moved enough to wake me up. My tongue felt heavy in my dry mouth. My head pounded.

“Do you have any water?” she asked. I looked at my bedside and took inventory. Phone, wallet, keys, headphones, pens, box of tissues, lamp, card deck.

“Uhhh, not in here.” I assessed.

“Well can you go get some?”

Friday, May 5th, 2017

People are naive about such things, and they would rather write them off as evil than attempt to understand them. An unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless.”

- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

I am five years old, standing behind Vivienne at court. She is swathed in blue and covered in pearls, and I think that maybe I want to look like her one day. The young king, sitting on his throne, looked like the sun. And he is listening to her advice.1 Beside the king is an old man, his body bent with age. His robes are covered in runes, and he clutches at a staff to stay upright.2 Vivienne seems to disagree with a lot of what the older man says. At dinner that night, she warns me about him.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Syndicate content