A poem I wrote for my niece to welcome her into womanhood.
Because I know he is home-seeking and hungry.
Because I see the fragility of eight legs holding tight to porcelain.
Because I once needed to be scooped up from drowning
showers to sunlit window panes.Because when I was nine, I had to break into our motel room on
a Friday night after church.Because my mom forgot to pick me up, but I knew she was just
sleeping inside.Because I didn’t have a key and I was sure she’d be right back.
Because the windows were slats of louvered glass, I could pull
them apart and lay them gently on the asphalt driveway.Because I was small, could slide between three removed slats, and
land on a mattressed floor.Because I’d rather sleep alone in a tiny motel room with navy-blue
carpeted halls leading to the tenants’ communal bathroom.
Because calling my father
was not an alternative.Because I knew my mother would come home soon even after I fell
asleep under a curtain of blankets.Because I knew if I was quiet I could be safe enough.
Because I couldn’t have driven myself home from church or climbed
up the window alone.Because someone had to scoop me up to push me through it.
First published in Gutters & Alleyways: Perspective on Poverty and Struggle.
Very excited to have a poem published in the newest issue of Yellow Chair Review! “Oil-Black” is one about my grandfather I wrote shortly after his death last year. I had the hardest time setting on revisions for this poem, but decided it was time to send it out into the world. There are many fine poems in this issue, including one from my friend, Jeri Thompson. Enjoy!
Very excited to have the first of 5 poems, “Dancing with Damage“, posted on On the Grid Zine, a new site dedicated to mental health. Check out them out and send them poetry, essays, and stories about your mental health!
I am incredibly honored to be Drunk Monkeys “Writer of the Month” for July. They will be posting five of my poems across the month, the first of which is “Pressboard Salvation“. It’s about a childhood memory when I’d hide under the pews at church. Please enjoy!
The newest issue of In-flight Literary Magazine is out today! I have two very different poems up, “What I Mean When I Say My House Is Now a Park” and “Paint”. One is a memory of my young childhood house that has since been demolished and the other is a lyrical poem. There are many other fabulous poets, including my friend, Don Kingfisher Campbell. Take a few minutes and read a poem for the first day of National Poetry Month!
This is really a thing I am doing. Nancy Lynée Woo and I are part of a book club discussion from the National Center for Children in Poverty, which chose our book, Gutter & Alleyways: Perspectives on Poverty and Struggle. Sometimes I still feel like that girl living on the constant edge of chaos, fighting to survive. Then I see this photo of grown up me, all together and stuff. If you have the time to join the discussion on March 18th (11:00 am Pacific Time), I would be honored to share this moment with you. Follow this link to register nccp.org/bookclub.html. It’s not too late to order your copy of the book in time for the discussion if you haven’t already. sadiegirlpress.com/bookstore
I am very excited to share this anthology I am honored to be a part of. Two of my poems, “White Sandals” and “Skin As Thick As Walruses“, are in the pages of this collection of poems about living with and around mental illness. The 140 page book is available through Amazon or through the Red Dashboard bookstore.
I am honored to have 3 of my poems featured on Ishaan Literary Review! I hope you enjoy!
This is the one, I decide
The one I will speak to
I must be four years old
stamp says “Aug 78”
I am squatting low in a pool
of dirty water near dark green masses
maybe algae or fungi or moss
it’s all gross to me now
the background is thick brush
low hanging wall of green leaves
I am smiling
swishing the inches of water
below me- I am in the shade
blonde haired child- little girl
nothing on, save pale yellow shorts
my knees pressing on my bare chest
flat thighs and calves
the kind of smile is
one I had on before the camera
centered my image
I was pleased to be there
fingers on the surface of
the unclean water
my rear hanging above the sandy bottom
It’s not going to happen now. I refuse to take
her from this moment. I will not speak to this
one. She is perfect and unsuspecting. She
trusts me as I am looking down at her from
my living room couch. She believes I will allow her
to stay there out of the August heat. With her pale
yellow hair past her shoulders, she has no cavities.
She has not yet lost her baby teeth. She is free in
the stream bed alone in nineteen seventy-eight. I
am not going to be the one to take her away from
her perfect moment in the shade out of summer
Originally published in Healing the Heart of Ophelia, 2001
Also appeared in poeticdiversity, 11-1-13