Mattie Beauford

Life’s But a Lottery

What is life but a lottery, where one must pick
up the leftover chips strewn on the floor
of the casino? Take Mercutio’s quick
death due to ruthless Tybalt’s callous sword.
A pivotal scene, that was — a domino
effect of tragic fate. After his death,
Juliet perished. So thought Romeo,
who in his sorrow laid himself to rest.
Twas never a story of more woe, said
the prince. But who mourns for Mercutio?
More prophet than jester, he knew what led
to his end: not fate’s peril— feuds’ sharp blows.
The star-crossed lovers never cashed their checks
till Heaven’s bookie unleashed his fatal hex.


I’m Learning So Many Different Ways

to be ignored.
There’s sorry I’m texting right now but yes I’m paying attention wait
what did you just say? There’s I’m mad at you
right now and I can’t stand the sight of your
There’s I have
faces —both bitchy—
mouths that say everything when
you’re not in the room and nothing
when you are.

(Oh I’m full of crap!)

There’s sorry I’m ignoring you please
apologize if you don’t I’ll probably give in
anyway because I miss our daily hiking sessions
in South Mountain and pausing at that rock
with the rainbow graffiti at the top of the hill
our eyes cast downwards at the steep slopes.
We told each other that after the the run that
we felt satisfied and full.

We lied we were hungry

plus I have to come around sometime because
you still have my wrinkled Rolling Stones shirt
from three years ago. Please wash the ketchup
stain out.

(Please watch your nasty attitude).

There’s sorry I’m busy let’s talk later
(but what about me?).
There’s sorry I’m not doing it on purpose I’m just feeling
down don’t patronize me you don’t know everything about
me I am a teenage girl with teenage girl angst and teenage
girl heartache. Hear me roar!

(Everyone wants to be heard but if not for ourselves,
what would we say?)

There’s sorry I just forgot about you. And then there’s
I didn’t see you who are you? (Answer: I sit behind you in
math was your lab partner last year gimme back my goggles
lent you a pencil the year before that and five years ago when
we were friends my favorite pair of skinny jeans three moldy
quarters a bite of my turkey sandwich even though you were
allergic I held your hand that day in the nurse’s office gave you
a quarter of my heart)

Lied and said I gave you half.

(Hearts are like fine china—too delicate, rare, and fragile yet
facile to be broken. Who are you?) Sorry.

All poems ©2016 by the author. Used with permission.

About Mattie Beauford
Mattie Beauford is a senior at Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey. She enjoys writing, reading, and playing with her dog, a nine-year old pug.
About Mattie Beauford
I write about a variety of subjects and from multiple perspectives—experiences that I’ve had, struggles that I’ve shared, and those that I’ve never had nor shared, but have imagined and visualized. Though I do write for myself, I often create for the benefit of others—to hear their responses, to know that these conflicted emotions are an universal, rather than individual, burden.