kendall a. bell



Adalynn decides it's time to go

You were supposed to make a full recovery.
No one ever expected this.
Now you get to be two and a half forever.

You never had the chance to try peanut butter
on bread, in chocolate, on your fingers as you
unscrew the top of the jar while your parents
are asleep in their beds, the tasty spread
stuck under your little fingernails.

Never had the opportunity to experience the
exhilaration of riding a tricycle, your feet
pedaling quickly, the wind whipping around
your pink helmet and blowing the tassels on
your handlebars, making them look like streamers
in the hot Texas summer air.

All that remains are numbers.
288 days in a hospital.
28 surgeries, several infections.
3 times, your heart stopped.
On the last one, you'd had enough.


Kendall A. Bell's poetry has been widely published in print and online, most recently in First Literary Review-East and CSHS. He was nominated for Sundress Publications' Best of the Net collection in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He is the author of fifteen chapbooks. His most recent chapbook is "Be Mine". He is the founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle's Notebook and the publisher/editor of Maverick Duck Press. His website is and his chapbooks are available through He lives in Riverside, New Jersey.



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