Amaranth is the literary and artistic journal of St. Joseph High School, comprised of works submitted by students, faculty, and staff. This year, we received to so many incredible pieces and we proud to highlight 4 student works were selected anonymously by the student-staff for awards!
Prizes will be distributed at an Amaranth Launch Celebration on May 5th. Additional details to come.
2022-23 Student Awards:
Best Art: “Whimsey: 25¢” by Erin Markut '23 (Oil Painting with Mixed Media)
Most Original Art: “Standard” by Jillian Guilfoyle '24 (Digital Painting)
Best Literature: “Identity” by Sebastian Martinez '25 (Free-verse poem)
All I see are your masks
Follow the crowd, trust everyone
Have the right opinion, have no opinion
A spectator in the game of life
Want the same things
Have the same conversations
Create nothing, adopt everything
Know the reliance of conformity
Sleep easy, mask up
Mask up, keep quiet, don’t show your difference
Make lemonade when given lemons
Don’t speak unless spoken to
They tell us everyone is different
Yet we see the same news, play the same games, watch the same shows
We want to mask up, hide what we believe
Play it safe, keep it inside, blend in with the crowd
Pull your mask down, even for a second
Don’t hate yourself for being different, love yourself for being unique
If you don’t like lemons, don’t make lemonade
Find the thousand words in your picture
Take a risk, for fortune favors the bold
Pave your own road, you only get one life
Create the legacy you want to leave behind
Be who you want to be, even if it means being alone
Only ones who branch from the path can discover new land
Appreciate the hidden beauty in your difference
Take off your mask, and never put it back on
Most Original Literature: “The Mirror and Charlotte” by William Merwin '25 (Short Story)
The rain was hammering against the window, as a young girl, no older than eleven, was reading on her bed. This leisurely activity was soon interrupted as she heard her dad call: “Charlotte! Can you grab my pocket knife from the attic?”
“I will!” replied Charlotte, as she got up, sprung out of her bed, and climbed up the ladder to the attic. She turned on the dim lights, walked around a bit on the dusty floor, and eventually spotted the knife on top of an old box. She picked it up, but quickly dropped it, as she had accidentally picked up the blade first, and cut herself. She looked at the gash, and decided that it would be best to go downstairs and grab a band-aid. As she was walking to the exit, something caught her eye leaning against a box of old pictures: A full-length mirror.
This mirror had an old, dusty, glass, and a blue rim with a somewhat baroque-style frame. As Charlotte recalled, her father had inherited it from a distant cousin that she had never met, and as they already had enough mirrors in the rest of the house, this one was put into storage. Although it wasn’t in the best condition, she still admired its antique beauty. Almost as if in a trance, she gently placed her hand on the glass, absent-mindedly staring at her reflection as it starred back, the simple beauty of her perfect reflection drawing her closer to it.
This was interrupted as Charlotte realized that she was touching the glass with the hand that she had cut, as there was now a small puddle of blood on the mirror. Her engrossment in the mirror immediately turned to panic, as she had an idea as to how angry her father might be for staining such an old antique. She frantically darted her head across the attic, and grabbed a nearby cloth and tried to wipe the blood off the glass, to little avail. Panicking more, she looked at the blood, now spread out upon the glass, and clenched the cloth as she gave a glance to her reflection
It wasn't holding the cloth.
She jumped back in pure shock, her heart skipping a beat, as her reflection continued to wipe up the blood with its hands. After a second or two, the reflection noticed that Charlotte wasn’t moving, and quickly recoiled its hand, its face filled with a shock (almost) exactly like the real Charlotte. And so the two Charlotte’s simply stared into each other’s horrified expressions.
Charlotte slowly backed further and further away from the mirror, only to trip and fall into a dresser with its own mirror. The instant this happened, the reflection instantly changed from Charlotte’s reflection to a copy of the mirror duplicate, with its form having some sort of nervous tension running through it.
Realizing that running wouldn’t allow her to escape from this double, Charlotte decided that reasoning with it would be the next best solution.
“W-what do you want?”
The reflection briefly, hesitated, as if looking for words to describe it’s goals, and then answered; “Look, I don’t know what you did to me, but I want to get out of here, and live like you.”
“Um, how do we do that?” Charlotte responded with, taken aback
“Um..Maybe try to..pull me out?”
“Ok…” Charlotte responded, as she began to reach out her hand. She quickly took it back, however.
“How will I know that you won’t drag me in?”
"Would you do that to yourself?”
“Look, I promise that i wont do anything bad to you”
“Ok…” Charlotte responded, as she reached out their hand to the glass, albeit with some apprehension, as it passed through the reflection and made contact with the clone.
The moment that it happened, an invisible force began to drag Charlotte into the other side of the mirror. Charlotte’s expression of worry almost immediately morphed into one of horror as her hands went to the baroque frame, trying to use it to pull herself against the forcer, as she realized that she was going to take her double’s place.
Her strength, however, couldn’t hold its own for long against the mirror. Too terrified to make a sound, Charlotte’s life flashed before her life as the parts of her submerged in the glass began to go numb.
And then, the girl from the reflection grabbed her hand.
She began to pull Charlotte out of the mystifying glass that had started the whole debacle. Regaining her hope, Charlotte began to climb out of the glass. With the two’s strength combined, they both gave one final pull, and as Charlotte fully emerged from the reflection, the prise of the mirror ceased. The girls then collapsed onto the floor as they caught their breaths. And as they got to their feet, the two girls looked into each other, trying to comprehend everything that had happened to them. Without words, they both realized that their lives wouldn’t be the same again…but as long as they were both okay, they would be ready to take it on.
“So, did you find my pocket knife?” a man in his mid 40s asked his daughter, whom he had heard walking down the stairs.
“Even better, I found a sister!” she responded with, as an identical twin walked down the stairs behind her.
“Ok, but can you please ge- WHAT THE FU-”
And so lived Charlotte and Luna.