Archives for category: Me

Billie Holladay Skelley
My Childhood Is a Mixture
by Billie Holladay Skelley

My childhood is a mixture
of what I cannot recall,
of what I cannot forget,
and what I want to remember.

I try very hard, but the truth is
I can never recall
my father who died when I was only two.
No matter how I search my memories,
he has no face, no voice, or touch
I can recall.

All I find when I search
is just a void
left by death, time, and fate.

I try very hard, but the truth is
I can never forget
a man who lived nearby till I was eleven.
No matter how I try to repress my memories,
his face, his voice, and his touch remain.
I cannot forget.

Even though I never search for it
another void remains
created by weakness, desire, and betrayal.

I try very hard, and the truth is
I do remember
my mother who tried to fill the voids.
No matter how often darker memories surface,
her kind face, soft voice, and soothing touch
I can always remember.

When I search here I find a sense of contentment
from a love
enriched by kindness, compassion, and caring.

My childhood is a mixture
of what I cannot recall,
of what I cannot forget,
and what I want to remember forever.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author, early elementary school, Kentucky (late 1950s).

Billie Holladay Skelley3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Billie Holladay Skelley is a registered nurse by profession and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She has written health-related articles for both professional and lay journals. Since her retirement from the nursing profession, she has enjoyed focusing her writing efforts on different topics and disciplines for various forums. The creative process she used in this poem involved sifting through childhood occurrences that happened long ago, and stratifying those memories by the ones that still linger to the present day.

hewitt-coleman 
love the child
by Lindi-Ann Hewitt-Coleman

my eyes were so big
they swallowed the world
in all its dew spangled beauty
and bone shattered pain

my eyes were so big
they swallowed the ocean
and the mermaid and the starfish
and the deep breath whale
swam inside me

my eyes were so big
i did not have a face
or a body or
wild witch hair
where my cat
black as night
hid velvet paws
around my neck.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: I grew up on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. I befriended this feral cat who lived on the vacant farmland next door. Much to my delight, she returned the friendship by jumping through my window one night and birthing four kittens on my bed. This picture was taken in 1973.

LHC

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lindi-Ann Hewitt-Coleman lives on a very small farm on the edge of a very large forest in Wilderness, South Africa. Besides being a mother and writer, she raises Angora goats and spins wool. She has published two collections of poetry blue sky and other poems (2011) and holy ground (2014).