The Landlady

Just enough information to get us into the poem, then later to get us thinking about what kind of person she is, how and if she will keep her finances straight and her children's upbringing stable. Colin Butgereit, age 20

a thousand dead roaches in the sink
& on the floor, a thousand more, crawling.

I like the way this image of roaches crawling everywhere both paints a realistic picture of some poor tenements, and mirrors the constant movement in and out of the apartment. Kara Madden, age 20
Is this exaggeration? It plays with the mind, pulls us in at the beginning. Andrew VanderMeer, age 12
Disgusting, yet descriptive. Jessica Santa Clara, age 13

she wanted “to do business fairly,”
but didn’t know whom to trust.

The author is good at showing the situations of her life, how anyone could be an enemy. Andrew Vandermeer, age 12

the tenants had tried to set the house afire,
then left, six months back on the rent.
she wonders how to fix the battered wall,

I like "battered" as an adjective. Lucas, age 12

the smashed ceiling, the live wire;
how she’ll keep her finances straight,
whether her children are growing up right.

I like the way the last line comes as a surprise, perhaps imitating how a single mother must first play the part of the landlady in order to make a living, and can only act as a mother secondarily—almost as an afterthought. Kara Madden, age 21
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.