Pencil drawing of a garden party by Jeffrey Hynds

Here, a group of young people are eating and talking—
the girl with her back toward us gestures with her hand, while
the man opposite her listens and grins.
The woman with the bell bottom pants has her hand on her hip
and points to herself, laughing,
while the man beside her refills his plate at the table.

Mr. Barber, who teaches art between smoke breaks,
points out the principles of composition:
the skeletal proportions,
and musculature beneath the clothing,
the varied positions of the torso,
the difficult hands and ringlets.

But I’m only half-listening,
because I would join that group in graphite 9B—
sketch myself in, with chiseled features.
I would erase my stutter with the gum eraser
and win female interest,
and male respect,
and throw back my head and laugh in charcoal.

— from Juniper Volume 8, Issue 1