Residents share work for National Poetry Month
Angry Man’s Hands
By Nichelle Vanderploeg
You were suppose to be my soul mate
Protect me from all harm and pain
Now your eyes filled with hate
There’s nothing left for us to gain
This relationship changed on that special date
Every time you drank I knew there would be hell to pay
I tried to stop you but there was nothing I could do or say
My body covered in green, black, and blue
I find ways to hide those marks, those marks that were left by you
Each time you say it won’t happen anymore
But I know you will, give it a week or two
I will see the signs next time you drink a few
This time is not the same
I can’t take it anymore, my life is not a game
This is the last time you knock me to the floor
Police were called, of course they never came.
You clinched your hands around my neck
saying you’re killing me and no one will ever know.
The fact that you’re doing this in front of my kids makes you really low
I can feel my eyes bulging from my face as they swell with tears
Deep down wishing you never had those beers
I hear my kids screaming and begging for you to quit
You turn to them to tell them in their room they better get
Turning back to me with that blank look in your eyes to say
Don’t forget people die running into knives every day
I knew I really had to leave
Why did it take me so long, why was I so naive
I plotted out my plans and walked out your door
I knew that your hands wouldn’t hurt me anymore
I finally got it all together and got out
I took my kids and didn’t have a doubt
Life is so much better, now that I see
I didn’t realize before that you hurt my self esteem
I kept thinking to myself why would anyone want me
But someone came along and made me finally see
I am more than a punching bag or a stepping stone
I have people that care and I’ll never be alone
They will always be there right by my side
If I ever need to talk, in them I can confide
you are in my past where you’ll stay forever more
I’ve never felt better as I did when I walked out your door
I finally found true love at last the kind I’ve longed for
He is my dream that has come true
causes me no harm, one of the few
I have made a new life and it has been great
It wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for God and fate
I am so thankful and I always pray
For god saving me so I could walk out that day
If it weren’t for God giving me the strength and staying by my side
In an angry man’s hands I would have died.
The Lonely Days
By Cheyanne Riddlebarger
I feel so isolated
I want this virus annihilated
I hurt for my community
But find myself rejoicing in our renewed sense of unity
We have to stay six feet apart
Can’t hug our friends to help heal our lonely hearts
As the quarantined days grow longer
I yearn for those who are sick to soon grow stronger
I hurt for those lost
For the ones who paid an unnecessary cost because of others ignorance
When these stressed and lonely days come to pass
And they will pass
I can only hope that society will have grown for the better
May we help more and hate less
May we open our minds in conversation rather than curl our fists in confrontation
May we be humbled by these days that never seemed to end
And never forget the value of our friends.
A Banner Colored Pink
By Gatewood Woosley
She keeps on running
while drops of sweat fall to the ground
Her eyes are intently fixed
on a monster that has quietly been around
A monster that devours the flesh
and its only purpose is to kill
It sinks it’s teeth to inflect pain
knowing the outcome of how she will feel
This is why she keeps on running
determined not to fail
Yet in her mind she begins to doubt
if she can defeat this evil straight from hell
She has watched many people
devoured by this beast
For this reason she stands and fights
hoping no one else will be it’s feast
Who is this courageous lady
determined to win this grueling race
Over a monstrous evil cancer
that she will not embrace
You know she is extremely tired
at least that’s what you would think
But she stands like a brave young soldier
wearing a ribbon that’s colored pink
To endure the storm
By George Rothwell
A storm has arrived, so strong and intense.
Disrupting our lives and leaving us in a state of suspense.
Shelves are empty and bare, much pushing and shoving not a way to show we care.
In search for shelter we look high and low, no matter where we turn there is nowhere to go.
“Stretch forth thy hand,” Jesus begins to say. “According to your faith the intensity of this storm you will withstand.”
By Lashana Harney
It’s 10 a.m. again
And I’m standing in my office in sweat pants and yesterday’s T-shirt
Following along to Ba Duan Jin
Holding my two hands up to the Heavens
It’s Tuesday, maybe?
The days all seem to blend together
Meeting after meeting
And countless bowls of cocoa pebbles
Except for the week when I couldn’t find them
On the Dollar General shelves
And my heart broke
Yearning for that chocolatey comfort
That brings me back to my childhood
Anything to distract me from this vertiginous feeling that I get
When I look out my windows
And realize I haven’t mowed my yard in two weeks
I draw the bow to shoot the Eagle
My mind drifts to the small clump of dog hair
Hanging desparately to the internet cable
I make note to sweep later
Separating the Heaven and Earth
I forgot to workout yesterday
And I’ve had a book on my nightstand
For who knows how long
That I know I want to read
But haven’t yet
Like a wise owl, I gaze backward
To all the things I need to do
But I can’t seem to focus
In this chaotic calm
Sway the head and shake the tail
I wonder which wolf I’ve been feeding lately
As I grow even more impatient
Because Zoom is supposed to mean
“To go speedily”
And yet —
With two hands I reach for my feet to strengthen the kidneys and waist
“Take 5 deep breaths”
If I spell it out
And say it aloud
Maybe I’ll speak it into existence
Cause I haven’t been able to sleep lately
Clench the fists and glare fiercely
This always burns
In my thighs
I’ve been holding onto some anger
With each movement
I try to let go
Bouncing on the toes
I love this part
Because I know
I, we will feel the ground again
By Lily Caudill
As winter begins to loosen his grasp around my neck I can feel the warm embrace of spring.
She’s so close I can smell her. It’s so familiar, but it feels like an eternity since she’s been here with me.
I can see her smile beginning to emerge. It brings me life and I begin to feel my senses again.
Spring runs her fingers over my scalp and I feel a rush that tingles down to my toes.
I touch her hands and I feel warm
She laughs at my excitement. She told me she would be back, but I always feel as though she is leaving forever when she’s gone.
Her long golden hair swishes around to her waist daisies, daffodils and lilies intertwine into the strands.
She sees me eyeing them and gently pulls one out and places it behind my ear. I touch the soft petals and sigh because I have finally found my peace.
Quarantine Is Borentine
By Samuel Bratten
Quarantine is borentine.
It makes me want to snorentine.
I’m tired of this warantine.
I can’t take this any morentine!
The schools are canceled, churches too
The cows have even canceled their moos!
Sports, parks, and parties — all canceled today
And so many more I can’t even say!
Staying home, doing school.
Quarantine isn’t very cool.
Thinking, thinking… thinking a lot.
Thinking those thinks that transform a thought.
What to do, where to be?
Go outside, plant a tree.
You can use sidewalk chalk,
Or take a walk;
Play in your backyard,
play with a deck of cards.
Grow tasty potatoes or red tomatoes.
Make a bunker for tornadoes.
Go bird watching, paint splotching.
Use frozen vegetables to make hibachi.
Call a friend… make it three.
Reach out electronically.
Call Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie too.
Check on older folks that live near you.
Make homemade muffins and watch them bake.
Decorate a birthday cake.
Draw a picture, maybe two.
Don’t forget, your sky might not be blue.
Pet your dog or your cat
Play baseball. Use a bat!
Add oil to heat and see corn pop.
Watch a movie marathon nonstop!
Mopping floors, clean your room
Just kidding! That’s what no kid wants to do.
Stay at home, stay at home.
Use LEGOs to build the White House dome.
While stuck at home use books to roam
to far-away places and meet many, many new faces.
Turn on the tv and watch the Cincinnati Zoo.
See safari animals. Make a kangaroo!
What to do, where to be.
Stay home, do an idea. (Or three!)
By Lorean Rader
Ships sailing on the sea, always seem to beckon me.
As they float, glide, and sway-
As they travel on their way-
Oh, how I wish that I could be -like the ships on the sea!
High school juniors and seniors from across the Sixth Congressional District recently participated in U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s 2020 Youth... read more