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The Burlington Beat began in June of 2017 and aims to be a small concentrated sample of the creativity that exists in every corner of our beautiful city, Burlington, VT. There are those who have made their art their living, others who treat it as a hobby--some who have been honing their skills for years and others just starting out. You'll find all of that here.


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Sarah Brunkhorst

August 17, 2017



man made his nest

on a rail by the stop

to sit watch the kids

as he’s taking his drags

does he know I’m not one of them

does he know I’m not one of them

does he know about

getting found on the wrong side of town

about trees with different bark

and the time machine of trophies in an open window

I’ve come a long way from Mark Twain

does he know

that we’re thinking of him

throwing everything we’ve learned on his life

the way he might picture ours

does he know about

love and death and kissing ugly people

does he know the things I don’t

will he learn them in his nest

pull them from

the clean filtered end

of his cigarette



Slow Burn


I’m a two-day doting mother’s sacrifice away

from where the snow grows up from the ground

in backyard echos of great-grandpa’s noble pursuit

but today I saw the trees shed cotton

and it fell through the cushioned northern air

dry and kind enough to light a gentleman’s cigarette

keeping him warm long after this

jealous sun goes down and we can see again


And in between the grain blue glow and yellow stones

I will unpaint every character who finds their way

onto the bench next to me or under my awning

every one whose voice has echoed out of empty hats

whose feet have kicked at sidewalk in their sleep

or sunk in dirt never meant to mix with mine

and I will shape myself beside them anyway

so sugared drinks and dollar bills can fill these long summer nights


One day or three months go by and I’ll find the shade

in leaving empty-handed looking for the next place

to leave again

and together we will laugh and swallow and listen

to each other’s fingers and toes tell us stories about childhood

and walking home I will feel happy or worse

knowing this is temporary that in no time at all

the snow will grow down to the ground again


About the author: "I'm a third-year Creative Media student at Champlain College, originally from rural Missouri. I enjoy music, writing, and illustration." Find Sarah on Twitter: @sarahbrunkhorst

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