Penelope Mermall

We stand together,

A forest of burnt trees

Hollowed out.


Our mouths frozen O’s.

Our stares blank.

Our faces lined in bone dust.


Birds drop from the sky.

The air a yellow hue.


We shuffle closer to one another.


Our silence brooding.


The occasional whimper is all.


Penelope Mermall received a master’s degree in social work from New York University. She worked in child psychiatry for many years and more recently was the director of an NYU School of Social Work program that provided therapeutic services to mentally ill women living in a city shelter. Until the pandemic she was mentoring students in a Hell's Kitchen high school. She completed an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature in 2020 from Stony Brook University Southampton.