Kendal Plumlee

Kendal Plumlee is an undergraduate student majoring in Creative Writing at Cumberland University. She was born and raised in Lebanon, Tennessee and has had a passion for writing since she was old enough to put pen to paper.

Jump Then Fall

I think it’s funny you chose a cheetah print notebook with a hot pink stripe down the middle. On the cover, you wrote your name. Harry. Your lines and curves in each letter are crooked, shaky like my hands as I flip it open and thumb through the pages. Your rich brown thoughts poured on each page, stained by the tobacco on your fingers. I imagine you, sitting on the left end of the couch, journal teetering on the rounded arm, a Pilot G2 in hand. Names, a doctor’s phone number, the bank’s phone number, medicines you were taking, why you were taking them, dreams you had—all written in slanted black ink on cream pages. I hold a portal to your thoughts in my hands and every time, with no ounce of hesitation, I jump in.



the state or quality of lasting forever I wish I remembered the last time I rode in your car. I do remember other rides. Climbing into the cramped backseat of the ‘96 Sentra—always behind the passenger’s seat, never the driver’s—ingrained in me to always buckle up first. The resounding click of the belt locking into place and I could relax, slumping back against gray seats, the fabric like soft fuzz on the skin of a peach. Mema hated to drive so you were always the one behind the wheel, the one to always reach a hand back, crossing through patches of sun warming my legs until you found me. A knee. A calf. A hand. The small fingers of a child curling around your doughy skin, aged with wrinkles and rough work but always gentle with me. Maybe it’s better I don’t remember the last car ride with you where your eyes were failing, tires crossing the double yellow, your mind shaded by clouds. Instead I am six, seven, eight years old, forever safe in the bubble of your blue car, sunshine bathing my legs and your hand clutching mine.

White as Snow

A checkered powder blue dress on Sunday morning—Easter
Red, the color of a leaf in autumn, tied up with a matching ribbon
Little white shoes cradled on small feet, not quite touching
the carpet under the wooden pew
Notes of a piano began, my feet swinging
and swaying inches above the ground,
Back—What can wash away my sin?
Up, Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Back, What can make me whole again?
Up, Nothing but the blood of Jesus
The music carried me on its wings
Pure white curling around me,
Tickling my cheeks with silk feather tips
I fall into them and let myself soar

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN