you should feel this

YOU SHOULD FEEL THIS by Kellen Rose Hopfner


This book is a collection of poems about everything from moths to mothers, from routines to rivers. 

Divided into five subsections, the reader is drawn in to examine both Kellen's and their own isolated thoughts, health, family, relationships, and the earth. 

Kellen hails from the area around Nevada City, California. Those mountains and streams weave their way into these poems seamlessly and unaffectedly. You Should Feel This is a simple, beautiful, and understated piece of writing. 



I walk the dirt path in the August sun.

It beats me like an old maid beats a rug,

hard and fast, a stick flailing in hand.

A stream, or, more a trickle, dribbles through grass,

opens wide — a jump in which both toes get wet—

and swells to cover the dip in my route.

The leak drips down rocks crusty with moss, 

into a crevasse, and rolls downhill, 

shoulder deep in blackberry brambles.

A fallen ponderosa thick and wide, spans the creek’s breadth,

I take a step close and see:

two names scrawled deep in termite-ridden wood.

We made a pact nine years ago to come

back to Rough and Ready and meet 

when we knew more about ourselves, 

as if living through our teens

meant more than being ten. Now weathered thin,

those names mean something far away and unreachable.

The sun, a smoldering disc, extends long tentacles 

across the underbrush, a thick layer of oak leaves

illuminated by fairy lanterns.

I run my hand across those valleys of wood

and feel the etchings like they had just been scratched.

I bend down to pick up a fallen branch

and retrace the marks so I won’t miss them next time

ten years from now, and head back up the beaten clay trail.