Sophia Latorre-Zengierski


Thunder on Christmas Day 1940

A six-year-old voice called out to me.
She pulled at my linen blouse.
Patting her head, I said, “It will be alright.”
The crashing noise: firing, bombing, firing.
I grabbed her arm and held it so very tightly.
The building was shaking,
Coming lose from its foundation,
With the constant thundering outside.
I could feel her trembling just I had
When the Germans came for us.
I squeezed her hand.
It was my hand,
Held taut by my mother.
I pulled on her dress sleeve.
She held my head close to her chest
And stroked my fine golden hair and whispered,
“Natála, it will be alright.”

Edinburgh Rumour

I walked the cold river streets
With the castle above me;
Everyone knows it can be seen
From anywhere in the city.
I could hear the knocking of my shoe soles
Against the stone streets.
But there were also footsteps in the distance
That were not my own. I could hear them.
The stories, the rumours, the voices.
They told me things. I listened. Can you hear them?
How the Royal Mile was not blessed with royal blood.
How the modern parliament building should not have been erected
Surrounded by the old, worn, tired, dirty buildings of days gone by.
How people, diseased and desolate, strived for a pound
In the famous sewers beneath the city. You could taste the air, thick with blood and terror.
How the princes did not live on Princes’ Street. Their silken robes never matched
That of the street. How Sybil, on the corner, never saw her work
On display at the gallery in London.
Dorian still goes up to her attic to stare and remember.
We almost had prodigy. Too bad the sewer stench
Snaked through the streets. We too can have disease devour our artists.
I don’t think I can say the rest. They won’t. Will you ask them?
Soon the castle passes,
Engulfed by the quintessential heavy fog.
And too the voices start to fade. Will you ask them to come back?
All that remains is the hard sound of
My heel against the ground.
Stories will only remain in my memory
Forever for me to tell
As I walk the cold river streets.

Mother’s Touch

Talking. Just talking.
We had spoken several times before,
This was a favour.
Still, I hardly knew her.
She had corrected me before.
I had questioned her before.
And we exchanged smiles.
There had been nothing else.
Yet as I spoke,
She leaned in to wipe my dirty brow
With the gentle tips of her fingers.
All I could muster was “Sorry.”
But it was warm, full of care,
A stroke only a mother could give.
Just an acquaintance
Yet such a simple stroke,
A mother’s caress,
Seemed to bind us as friends forever…

A Princeton native, Sophia Latorre-Zengierski is a junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, where is she a senior staff writer on the school’s newspaper, The Pirate’s Eye. Since the ninth grade, she has actively participated in student poetry competitions and has had poems published in student anthologies including Creative Communications’ A Celebration of Young Poets and Villa Victoria Academy’s Inscape. Her article An Evening with Harry, Carrie and Garp was published on in August 2006. She has also written a short story, Lilac and Gold for a charity organization called A Leg to Stand On. As a language enthusiast, she writes in both English and French.

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 7:50 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sophia, you know that we’ve been good friends and we’ve had a good time out there in London. And I read all the three of your poems and loved them all. It’s so sensitive. Everyone must be so proud of you as I’m. I think that writing is a gift and you’ve got it. All the talent that you’ve earned you must cultivate. Keep doing a great job. I’ll be always there for you. Your HP friend, Bruno.

  2. Sophia – I had no idea you were so very talented in this area! The words certainly flow from your mind and your heart and spill over onto paper. Your creativeness will be useful in the future – who knows — a poetry writer for JK perhaps?! All my best in the future!

  3. This poetry is better than a Rangers game!!! You’re a champion poet and we wish you all the very best in developing your writing and speaking skills to gain the recognition that you have earned.

  4. Sophia, your poetry combines the intimate and the historical and conceptual, with its focus on feminine intimacy and communication as well as the role of history and memory in creating identity and shaping the imagination.

    In addition, your readings communicate clearly and with emotional force the meanings of the poems.

    Keep writing!

  5. You are a talented writer and poet and you have done many accomplished things so far! Keep up the awesome work and before you know it, you’ll be the next J.K. Rowling. I’m looking forward to your reading in June!

  6. Sophia,

    Your poetry has taken us all to places within the heart and soul of the individuals you have written about. The heartfelt depth of your writing is a gift from God above and you are well on your way to becoming a very talented writer.
    Indeed, keep writing!
    And may God bless your future endeavors,
    David (Courtney’s Dad) HPFanTrips

  7. Dear Sophia:Your poems are yery thought provoking,keep up the good work.We are very proud of you and your accomplishments. Love you very much

  8. Dear Sophia – I read your poems today with pride and admiration. They show maturity and sensitivity much beyond your young years. Nurture your talent; don’t allow anything to discourage you. With love from your great aunt, Mary Jane

  9. Sophia,

    You bring out a hidden talent to share with the rest of us, and that is awesome. You have the making of a true poet. Your collection of poems will soon be treasured by others, keep writing, your heart is in the right place.
    Justin Jay (your HP friend)

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