We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

-Will Durant

we make beauty from broken things | Poem by Brooke River

we make beauty from broken things | Poem by Brooke River

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This poem was inspired by a moment in college chapel, one that moved me deeply to tears. As someone who has been struggling with faith for a few years, this has not been a common occurrence while in college. While sitting there on a Wednesday night—the last chapel I would ever attend at that college—I watched as students got up to put a flower on the cross. In a matter of minutes, the cross went from bare to covered in an array of different flowers—each one representing a person in or outside of that room. The image was powerful. Despite the questions, hypocrisy, pain, and other emotions and problems that can stem from religion, it reminded me what it’s like to be a part of a community that believes in something greater than themselves.


Brooke River is a creative writer from California who recently graduated with a BA in writing from Point Loma Nazarene University. She’s had her work published in four editions of PLNU’s literary arts journal Driftwood, and she won second place for her poetry and fiction in the 2018 issue. She’s been a co-editor-in-chief of Driftwood and a writing intern at San Diego Writers, Ink. You can find more of her work on her blog: brooketheriver.com.

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