Wednesday, October 5, 2011


A change was bound to come
I emerged from the cumbersome cocoon
Where I knew only darkness, aloneness
Wrestling with the change
Wanting it yet not believing it possible

I shed the heavy winter coat
That oppression, suppression, restriction, obstruction
And I began to dance
Lighter, happier, faster, freer
For the first time in a very long time I felt
Stimulation, revelation, escalation, jubilation

My shackles fell away
As I shed my old skin
And stepped into the light
After so long in the shadows
Where I watched
Unable to speak my mind, unable to walk alone, unable to be me

My soul bears the scars of friendly fire
Inflicted by the very band of brothers
For whom I have shed spiritual blood
Even as they were hiding their skeletons in closets
And asking for my loyalty in keeping their secrets

I was haunted by their lies about me
In an attempt to nullify my existence
All under the guise of concern
Yet attempting to insure and expedite my eternal leave-taking
But in my darkest hours I clung to shreds of my sanity

I looked upon them as enigmas
Souls bound for hell
While grasping at the hem of the Savior's garments
They came at me like a wild pack of devil dogs
Growling, snarling, biting, fighting
Over a miniscule morsel of self-assigned authority

Now I find myself turning my back
And walking away into an unknown horizon
It has been a long time coming
But a change has finally come
Every drop of compassion for them
Has been wrung from my heart
@Joanne Kennedy 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I feel such sorrow for circus elephants
Treated inhumanely and disrespectfully
So magnificent and intelligent
Yet forced to performed a mundane and unnatural routine daily
Their freedom and homeland stripped from them

I empathize with the restrained pachyderms
Who are driven to their breaking point and disobey
Running, fleeing their bondage--hoping to escape back to their roots
Only to suffer the consequences of a most certain death sentence

Perhaps they have weighed the consequences
And decided that death is more inviting than
Just existing in a concrete jungle
While they dream of wide open places, lush foliage--
The endemic homeland from which some were captured and enslaved

I sort of felt like a circus elephant might feel
When my mother was taken away
And I was at a loss to stop my sisters
Who had gone behind my back and set a plot in motion
To move my elderly mother with dementia away from me

I hurried from one to another desperate for answers
Yet getting nothing but disrespect, hostility, threats and mayhem
I was the butt of their evil, selfish scheme
But an elephant never forgets...
@Joanne Kennedy 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Autumn has come courting, leaving her old summer flame behind
I see her but once a year, yet my heart yearns for her through each season
She comes whirling in with a refreshing burst of a crisp breeze
And leaves a new and invigorating scent in the air

She carries with her a paint brush and a palette of brilliant colors
To begin a masterpiece on an inviting seasonal canvass
Soon she will dance, her calico skirt rustling in the
Colorful fancy she has created

For some, autumn means work
For children it means good times and play
It means piles of raked leaves to frolic in
A visit to the pumpkin patch to pick out one for the perfect Jack-O-Lantern
Hayrides, apple cider, candy corn, popcorn balls, bobbing for apples

For me it is a time of reflection, remembering a time long ago
We shuffled and jumped for joy in her rain of hues
We rushed inside from play with a red nose and blushed cheeks
A cup of hot chocolate warmed our hands and heart

I drank in her very essence along with the cocoa
I embraced every hour of her visits, knowing that I would soon

Wake to find that she had faded away into Old Man Winter and
I would be homesick to see her 'til she came around again
@Joanne Kennedy 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I sit feeding my mother, and I wonder, "Time, where have you gone?"
Are you hiding among the rustling leaves that were scattered on our path home from school?
Are you quietly listening under the bed while we friends talk softly and giggle?
Or are you just around the corner playing hide and seek with us?
You were just here a moment ago

Are you still picking up pop bottles along the road
So we can sell them for 2 cents each and get some candy?
Did you sneak into the soda fountain uptown
To treat yourself to a cherry coke
In the refreshing air conditioning that we lack at home?

Are you concentrating on Walter Conkrite's Special Report?
Did he really say that President Kennedy died?
Do you have a lump in your throat
Because Walter lost his composure on TV?
Oh, no! Time, have you stood still for a moment?
That moment that we'll all remember where we were?

Are you waiting for us to finish watching The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and stop screaming?
Are you secretly watching my friends and me practice our Motown backup girl group?
Did you tire of watching us attempt to make fudge night after night until we got it right?
Or are you waiting for us to watch Friday Fright Night with you?
You were just here a moment ago

Did you slip away as weekend after weekend
My best friend and I lay on my bed listening to music on the radio
And talking for hours about boys?
She was there so much that she was practically family,
Calling my mother "Mom" and, as a rule,
"Hating"my younger sisters almost as much as I did

Are you hiding in the closet
While I'm desperately searching for
Something special to wear to the dance Saturday night?
You know...those white shorts are my favorites
And a short sleeved sweatshirt is a must
Because that is a "must" for any girl this year

Time...when did my father grow old
Was it when I was dancing the summer nights away as a teenager?
Was it while I was making a life of my own?
Was it when I was struggling to live with my own pain?
When did he get sick and die?
He was just here a moment ago

Time...when did my mother become a child again?
Was it when she had nothing to look forward to anymore?
Was it when she spent too much time alone?
Was it because she had too much on her shoulders?
When did we reverse roles?
She was just here a moment ago
@Joanne Kennedy 2011