Grant Park

By Nim Holden


 Inner city Chicago,

bent streetlights and bags

of snow

and this

is not beautiful, but


I don’t need to

“Go back home.”

I am home.


Sterile walls,

fluorescent lights,

this is not

an interrogation room,


I don’t have an opinion on ISIS,

    favorite teacher.


I don’t know the

    death count of 9/11.




I know why no one calls it

the Willis Tower.

I know how to avoid getting

shanked in public school.

I know why thin crust pizza

is blasphemy.


I am home in the south side

and the Water Tower Mall

and weed smoke

from back alleys

and street lights

    and marinas

and middle fingers from

car windows.


    I’m not angry,

        and home

    is a traffic jam.



Nim Holden is a freshman creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy from Chicago, Illinois. She worked as a poetry editor for the Interlochen Review. Her work has been published in the Interlochen Review and the Red Wheelbarrow, and she has also performed at Chicago’s Spoken Word Cafe. She plans to go into the navy, and later political science at NYU. She has to force herself not to make Jurassic Park and Mass Effect references in professional settings, and prefers to write to the soundtrack of Left 4 Dead (including the zombie sound effects).