Hanging Lantern Review Summer Series: The Boots by the Front Door - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Hanging Lantern Review Summer Series: The Boots by the Front Door

This summer, we’re bringing you a review of SLOCA High School’s Hanging Lantern Review Issue #9! We posted about their print magazine (created and published by middle and high schoolers!) and Reading + Release Party a couple weeks ago, but wanted to bring you more content from the actual magazine in a short summer series.

This week, we’re featuring a visual piece from recent graduate and Hanging Lantern Creative Director, Grace Cheney alongside poetry by middle schooler Jade Harkins. One of the best things about Hanging Lantern’s mission to feature pieces from both middle and high schoolers is that it helps form a connection between our two campuses. Middle schoolers, or so we’ve been told, have eagerly awaited their time to join HLR staff as they make their way through LMS and UMS and into high school. This particular middle school piece was chosen for its sense of emotion coupled with strong images of the things we humans love, use, and discard. It’s the kind of poem that makes you want to hug your loved ones before everything changes, because everything always does.

The Boots by the Front Door

by Jade Harkins

The tools once used every day by his rough, calloused hands began to rust. 

His family moved on,

But the girl, 

She sat in silence with a deep, sick feeling in her gut. 

The phone calls grew further apart. 

She missed his hugs and

The feeling of holding him tight when life was hard or when something hurt.

Boots, speckled with paint, sat by the door in a house that wasn’t home. 

They rotted away, and as they did they took small parts of that little girl.

He sat alone on a barstool. 

She sat alone on her bed. 

Each of them wishing things were different. 

Their shoes no longer sat together, 

But she’ll always be his little girl. 

Hanging Lantern Review Staff Spotlight: drawing by Grace Cheney

You can view more poetry, prose, and visual art from our students by purchasing HLR #9 at this link or in the Den. And stay tuned! Next year is a big year for Hanging Lantern—number 10!—and the students on the HLR team want to make it their biggest and best ever. Look out for their submission period in the fall and the Reading + Release Party at the end of 2023. It’s never too early to get excited!

2 thoughts on “Hanging Lantern Review Summer Series: The Boots by the Front Door”

  1. I read this poem when I received my issues of HL and it struck me as both beautiful written and heart stirring.

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