On the Twelfth Day pre-Christmas, this author said to me … (Abriana Jette)

Nearly two weeks worth of reflections later and here we are, on Christmas Eve. The last reflection here is from NYC-based poet Abriana Jette, on her poem ‘If You See Something, Say Something’.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Stay safe and happy this Christmas and you’ll hear from me again soon enough.

Beau Hillier | Editor, page seventeen


The motto of New York City’s Transit Authority is meant to serve  as a warning: don’t assume the package was left beneath the seat on accident; stay aware of your surroundings; if you see something, say something. I took the sound advice seriously, I said what I saw.

The miraculous aspect of a late night Coney Island bound Q-train ride is its blending of the ordinary with the extraordinary, the real tangled with the fantastic. The nun, lost in her own melody, became my source of vulnerability, I wanted her presence to be felt like a soft hum; I wanted her faith to be contagious. The decision to end the poem on a ‘Shh’ was a risk, the hush contradictory to the city’s appeal, but for locals, for us everyday commuters, a quiet train ride can often be a soothing source of calm, of peace.

‘If You See Something, Say Something’ is what I believe to be a found poem, meaning I got on the train, sat down, looked around, and found poetry.


Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abriana Jette earned an M.F.A. from Boston University, and an M.A. from Hofstra University. She is a poet and educator, splitting her time between teaching at the College of Staten and Island and the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and finishing her first collection of poetry, Pink Houses.