A Child Interrupted


A Child Interrupted

My Life in Prose and Poetry


Donna Nieri


What you are about to read are words set to prose and poetry of my life. These words are written from the heart and soul of a child born into an alcoholic family and the subsequent resulting dysfunction, struggles and challenges of learning to trust a heavenly Father who will never leave me.

Dedicated to all those who have had similar experiences; to know there is hope beyond the dysfunction and heartache we have experienced.

Copyright © 2015 by Donna Nieri


My Higher Power, Terry Cassingham, Cathy Cassingham, Richard Angelini, Krisan Angelini, Arline Bliss, Nancy Pfaff, Kristy Conrad, Mary Luzier, University of Nevada – Reno, Northwest Reno Public Library, Sierra Writers Group and all those who have provided encouragement and support.

Table of Contents

Prologue 9

Remembrance of a Father 12

Remembrance of a Mother 14

Poems and Memoirs 16

My Child Interrupted Memoir 16

Hide and Seek 19

Dream 22

Stages of Life 23

Perfume 25

Glass Child 28

The Innocent Child Memoir 30

The Garden Wall 32

As a Little Girl 34

Warzone of the Mind 36

Anger 38

Apologies 41

Cast in Plaster 42

Flip the Script 44

Playhouse 45

The Spider 46

Rivers in the Desert 47

Disquiet Sleep 48

Dream of Death 50

Dry Bones 51

Searching 53

Father of Lights 54

Frozen in Time 57

Fragments 60

Suffer the Little Children 63

God’s Sewing Room 64

My Brother 66

The Prodigal Daughter 67

Memories 70

Inner Child Memoir 71

In My Head 73

Thoughts 75

Chilling Thoughts 76

Hopscotch 77

Counting 78

Little Pink Pill 79

Unfinished Business 80

Life’s Tapestry 81

What is this Command 82

Vacation and other Poems 83

Where Did He Go? 84

Reunion 85

Lipstick 86

Glass Wings 87

Oh, That I Had Wings 88

A Tree Planted by the River 91

Rebirth in the Womb 92

Tea Party 93

Life is Like a Puzzle Memoir 94

A Day of Rest 96

Embrace 99

I am a Miner 100

Crevices in My Mind 101

God’s Blanket 102

Babies 103

Poems on Our Life in Nevada 104

Nevada Mining Towns 106

The Old Mining House 108

The Rocking Chair 110

A Horse Named Silver 112

An Art to That 114

The Cat 115

Seizures 116

Red Shoes 118

The Tower 120

Train Ride and Sexual Assault 122

The Shed 123

The Scooter, Lessons Learned, Mizpah Hotel 124

Epilogue 125

The Children’s Requiem 125

Fight the Good Fight 128



I try to think of descriptive words to relate

A sister’s and brother’s story. But I think

The only way, is to tell it as it was.


We were products of parents who were themselves

Carrying about abuse and neglect. Consequently

We were recipients as well, taking it inwardly

As most children do.


My mother took us from our father, partly due

To his alcoholism. We went from one end of

The country to the other on a train. I was six

And my brother was three.


We were boarded with strangers, in an eastern

State and left for an indefinite period of time.

My mother eventually came to get us and that is

When the moving began.


When I visited my father he boarded me in a

Boarding school. When he came to see me I

Begged him to let me go home with him, but


To no avail. I was probably about eight years

Old. They put my brother in a military school

Around six years old.


Our mother was a very angry and flighty person

And would uproot us at any time she became

Dissatisfied, which was often. We would

Get settled and she would announce we were

Moving again.


No time to focus in school, make friends or

Become a part of the community. She lived with

Several abusive men. Things were done that

Would leave our heads reeling, with stomach

Aches, nightmares and disrupted sleep.


We lived mostly in old mining towns in Nevada.

In little shacks that were drafty and cold,

And outhouses that were dark and scary. When

We went to bed we always checked our sheets

For any hiders. Scorpions and spiders.



We lived in dirty houses, making me ashamed.

In other places we lived,

They repossessed our car and little trailer,

Leaving us with no place to go. After we moved

To Nevada the compulsive gambling started,


Taking the food money. We would wait in the

Freezing car half the night or movie theaters until

Very late. After she and her husband

Would lose all the money, they would go out

In the street and fight.


Humiliated and shamed, no one to turn to,

No family or friends. Little

Did we know that this was preparing us to

Reach out to change our course of life.


And then through the darkness my brother, mother

And I saw a light, God came into our lives.

Little did we know we were sitting on a rainbow

Next to the pot of gold.

My brother went to school and became a minister,

Working for God. We were so proud of him.

My mother became too zealous, as would be

Expected, when you go from one extreme to the

Other. But I know she did the best she could.


I fell prey to scrupulosity and religiosity,

Making it difficult to trust in God as a loving

Father, when I had such a difficult time

Trusting my earthly father. It took many years

To recognize what I was doing.


Through a series of events I saw that I didn’t

Like myself and was abusing my inner child.

But God leads us as we are able to follow.

I have written these poems about our experiences.

Some are humorous and some are

Alarming. I hope that the amusing ones

Will take precedence in the mind of the reader.


Remembrance of a Father



He was stumbling to the tune of

A drunken state, staggering and

Swaying to the music he made.


Oh, the power of the bottle,

Hidden in drawers and secret places,

As he searched and searched to

Alleviate his thirst.

Why will some men for a bottle of rye

Be willing to die? While some for a

Bottle of gin, go into the gutter again?

Drinking themselves into oblivion?


No one to help this family that was torn

Apart, when little children were sent away,

So small, and all due to alcohol!


All I know is at the end of his life,

He was swaddled in diapers, groaning in

Pain, with his liver inflamed. So


Many sores, not even his doctor could

Relieve the suffering he bore.

Oh, but what a peaceful look came upon

His face, when no longer tortured and his

Pain erased.


How many follow in the footsteps of their

Families on earth? But God’s quiver

Is full of arrows to point His children

In a different way, than the way they

Were bent, the way my father went.


Now I know I must put the pain and anguish

Aside, but by God’s grace go I. This is

The father I loved and clung to,

For I knew none better, all

Children cling to what is given to them.


I share these words for those who can relate,

To know it is not too late. The Father

Up above takes up the slack that our

Fathers lacked.


Come along and join the band, share the

Song of the drunken man, that no one

But those who have gone through

This can understand!




Remembrance of a Mother



Who is this mother we have laid to rest?

Poor helpless soul who wandered the earth,

Not knowing or caring where ‘ere she was lead.


She took her child along for the journey,

Who did not know where she would

Lay her head. Oblivious of the life God had


Intended. With emotions held in and warned

Not to cry, always hoping she would be loved

If things got better. She would just

Be good and harder try.


Now death has taken her and she has gone to

Sleep, no longer tormented with emotions so

Deep, guilt and sorrow no longer hers to keep.

Removed forever, to rest in peace.


But remember child, she did not have the

Tools to help you survive. She could not

Fulfill the role, you became the mother

And she the child.


Oh, where do I look for this nurturing mother?

Could it be, that God is as much a mother as He

Is a Father to me?


I try to contemplate

Why two people were brought

Together, to conceive a child, seemingly

Repressed by the world.


And then a clearer picture I saw, as I

Wrestled with the “why’s” and “how’s” of the

Mysteries beset on the journey of life.


To each one at birth a tune is given, to which

We should dance, to make music, it was not

Given to us by chance.

Dancing in circles, skipping in joy, swirling

And twirling, clapping in thebreeze as it

Gently combs my unkempt hair.

Barefoot, with cool damp grass between

My feet, always dancing to this earth’s beat.


Dancing in the sunlight, dancing in the night,

Sometimes dark music,

Know it will not last, the melodies and symphonies

Will reappear, just as they have in the past.

Follow the Conductor, He writes the notes.

Let the music composed by Him lead us through life.




Poems and Memoirs



My Child Interrupted Memoir


The churning waters were

Billowing on the

Face of the deep,


In the darkness of swelling waves,

Swirling into the deep abyss.


Crying aloud with groaning pains,

Waiting to give birth and be delivered.


Before God speaks His Word -


“Let there be light and life on earth,”

My existence is in His thoughts.

He patterns my form when as yet there

Is none.


A seed plunges into the darkness

Of the womb, two beings creating a

Separate being, as they embrace

In a moment of bliss.


In an instant, His pattern for my

Life is written in indelible ink.

The beginning of a tiny infant not

Fully formed is immersed in the


Embryonic fluids of the womb.

Each part is fashioned by His hand,

And the heart begins pulsating life.

His plan for my life is skillfully

Wrought in the lowest parts of the

Earth. But who am I to question

Why I am cast into circumstances

Beyond my control?


The chosen vessel that carries me into

This world is frightened, as her only

Awareness of love, is of abuse and



Her thoughts are permeated into my

Small mind that is being knitted

Together, as sinews and flesh

Are fashioned about my tiny body.


The cells of my being are engulfed

With her memories of a child long

Ago, while the blood racing through

Her body is feeding the embryo with a

Frightening adrenalin rush.


I have to wait in that darkness, just

As the seed must wait for the nurturing

Acts of God to call forth life.


I am called and reluctantly enter the

World. My first glimpse of life is

Not pleasant to my childish



I question as Job, “Why did I not die

At birth?” Why did I not perish before

I was born?”


A wall of separation comes crashing down,

Planting its steel bars deep into the

Chasm of time, culminating in an abrupt

Interruption of time.

You have said, “I must become as a little

Child.” Must I go back to the very beginning

Of conception, when my survival is dependent

On parental forces?


Must I have the mind of a babe, unmindful

Of its surroundings, content to exist in

Each stage of formation?


If I could only shut my eyes and reflect on

The innocent mind of a child bathed in

Quintessential peace and tranquility.


To be free of these scattered thoughts, that

Take me captive to another world of doubt

And uncertainty. Quenching the Spirit and

Nullifying the goodness of God.


I am helpless to know the answer to these

Questionings, it is as if I were being drawn

Into a darkness in which I am powerless.


But perhaps this dark night of the soul has

A purpose and a reason. That I need to

Embrace this darkness, as the nocturnal labor

Pains of life experiences bring healing and

Comfort to –


My Child Interrupted

Hide and Seek



What was the game you were playing

Child, in the garden of your life?

A garden full of wonder and beauty,


Adorned with flowers and trees.

Sweet sounds of birds with

Babbling brooks. Serene and calm,

Filled with trust.


Playing hide and seek, as you ran

From tree to tree, laughing with

Delight. Waiting in excitement to

Be found by those you trusted most

In life.


When suddenly the garden became

Very still. Not a sound was heard,

Not even the song of a bird.


In wonderment, you realized that

Everyone had gone, and you

Sat down and cried and cried,

Until you fell fast asleep.

Choosing to stay in hiding, going

Into unconsciousness so deep.


It is true your earthly family

Had left you. Shame and guilt

Replaced your innocence and trust.


But do you not know, there is

A Father up above seeking those

Like you, who are hiding from

Their pain?


I understand their fear and

Anxious thoughts. You are here to let


Them know that “Even though their

Father and mother have forsaken them,” *

They are not alone.


Do you not hear Him walking in

The garden of your heart?


















*Psalm 27:10





What does this dream mean?

A child within?


That I bury day after day,

Too scared to let her out.


She appears for a moment,

Causing me dismay and doubt.

A shadow in the darkness,


I run and run, further,

The closer she appears,


Fearful of coming near.

I see her in despair and

Need of care.


Are these falling tears I see,

Flowing into the cisterns of

Time, watering her, to keep

Her alive?


Be still, the child is sleeping!

Unable to take part in life.

Stages of Life



Paper doll cut from a paper

Chain, a paper puppet on

A string, at every one’s pull

I never said no.


As a child, I wondered at the

Darkness of life. I did not see

Green or blue, I was a garden

Of grey and black.


Unable to put down roots

To attach to the earth,

I was like a spent flower

Dawdling in the breeze, ready

To drop.


I am too busy, breaking out of

The mold,

There’s too much to hold.

The thermometer rises inch by inch,

Red seething hot, from suppressing

Anger, pinch by pinch.

Like two different people,

Putting on faces and changing

Dresses for each act, with no

Hesitation at any provocation.

Revealing a front like

Photographs, always

Smiling but inside crying.


God was to me like a father shadow.

From Him I was constantly on the


Little did I know He was there,

When I thought He was gone.


By this time, I am beginning

To put the pen to the ink.

They say it is cathartic

To make me thin.,

I wonder what color I should use,

Red or black?


I now start to discern one anger from

Another, but not sure when they

Will erupt. Don’t try to conceal,

More will be revealed.


Who is the villain in this act of

Life -

This match of the mind? The

Accuser, or just life? The clock

Is ticking, never willing to stop,


Like looking at the wind,

Where does it go, it has passed!

Days too swift, but not

Swift enough, life is tough.


The mourning doves song seems closer

This morning,

The quail are calling and following

The sun,

Scurrying along till day is done.


It has taken much time to establish

My roots,

To see the blue and green, to feel

A part of everything.


To rise from death and wake from sleep, to see

The lily struggling to push through

The ground, reminds me of me!




As she dresses for the party,

I watch her intently,

My eyes follow her every



I am sitting on the blue quilted

Chair in my nightie. My

Elbows are resting on the table.

Small hands cupping my



I am mesmerized as she

Slowly puts on her black

Stockings and pulls her


Slip over her head. She

Looks at me in surprise.

Her little girl’s attention

Brings a smile to her face.


She gracefully steps

Into a silky black dress

That clings to her thin little body.

Her dark hair is combed with

Care, pulled back with a

Shiny barrette. She moves

To a chair in front of the


Vanity. With her red brightly

Colored finger tips she takes

Makeup out of the drawer.

Coloring her face so no one

Can see the pain she bears.

Red lipstick is smoothly

Applied, then taking a


Small brush she lightly

Dabs her cheeks with pink.

Blue eye shadow is used to

Conceal the sadness that

Makes her think.


Stepping into black high heels,

She puts on pearl earrings and a

Necklace to match. As she stands

By the window the light falls


Upon her, she is beautiful.

Like a lustrous pearl in emerald

Green grass. And I love her

So much. Even though she is

Out of touch with her little


She reaches for a small

Lavender bottle of perfume

From the shelf.

The sweet drops she applies

Behind each ear, thinking

Only of herself.

She smiles at me and puts a drop

On my cheeks with a teasing


Grin. It melts into my memory.

My skin is perfused with the

Scent of my mother.

I ask her if I can put on a

Dress and play outside. Sitting

On my red tricycle, she bends

Down low and kisses me, saying


Goodbye. I remember the sense

Of abandonment as she left. Will

She come back? Will I be left

Alone? While they party all

Night? Well she might!





Glass Child



I see her, face to face,

Behind a glass wall.

I cannot touch her,

She reaches to me,

In a grave demure.


She is transparent

In the glassy

Light, her red heart

Of glass shattered in

Bright pieces.


Black beads for eyes,

Crystal tears, she cries.

Pink porcelain lips, unable

To speak.


Dressed in white, clutched

At the neck, shoes tightly

Laced, to stay in place.


Then, as a mannequin, she

Slowly turns, another face


They are attached.


A child with the face of a clock,

With numerals and hands of black.

A pendulum swings side to side,

Announcing the threshold of the



I looked at her in shock,

She had a mechanical

Brain, skin that is wrinkled and

Aged, from carrying too

Much time on her back.

Her feet are wrapped in chains.

Each time the clock strikes

It vibrates between

Herself and herself.


I looked down, still her face

Was before me. How can the glass

Child be freed? Where is the key

To stop the perpetual clock,

That it may be unlocked?


She did not know she had

The key from the start, in

The very bottom of her heart.

A part that had not been broken.

But to tell her this, she would be

Remiss. The shadows that have

Gathered from the ancient abyss,

Swirl their heads and cry. They

Will not allow a break in the sky,

To free this little girl!

The Innocent Child Memoir



I have been a false comforter to my child within,

Giving her the message that she should

Expect only pleasant feelings and run

From the darkness. When she did not

Experience these things

There was great disappointment. These

Expectations are unrealistic, since life

Is made up of both light and darkness.


There has been in me a fear of joy as keen

As the fear of suffering.

How do I comfort the innocent child and

Become the child of God? I think the answer

Lies simply in God’s word, “I am His child,

And that is who I am.”*


The experience of being God’s daughter connects

Me increasingly to the child within, accepting

My human existence with all its shadow

Aspects. In the mind of a child that did not

Understand these truths in the formative years,

These concepts are challenging.


I think that I must give myself permission to

Step out of the darkness on a daily basis, to

Transition from deeply ingrained assumptions to

Truths that are liberating and free. To leave

Behind the paternal part of self with all

It’s expectations. To become the child dependent

Upon the love so lavishly poured upon me.










*1 John 3:11


The Garden Wall



I hid behind the wall,

So cold,

Hard as stone,

As if I were all alone.


This shivering child,

Clung to the wall,

Knocking, knocking.

Hoping for an answer,


Leaving me imprisoned,

In mind and thought,

Keeping me inside and

Others out.


One day I questioned,

What was this wall for?

I had searched and

Searched, never finding a door,


Always fearing

What was on the other side.

And then I realized I had

Built it for protection,

From the many things so bad.

Again, I looked for a door,

But found a gate. I quietly

Entered and to my surprise,

I saw a garden, beautiful

And full of light.


A little girl, sitting on a

Bench, beckoned me to join

Her, as we gazed upon the sight.

The side I had feared was now


A place where I could go,

When I feel sad and low.

What a joy to be on the other side.

No longer needing to hide!


As a Little Girl



I wish I were a little girl,

With red nails and toes,

A pretty white dress with ruffled



Summer afternoon,

Barefoot in the park,

Breeze upon my face,


Playing as only children do.

Holding hands as we run,

Laughing as we pick bouquets,

To chase problems away.


No lies learned from family ties,

Free of paying toll on thoughts

Residing in my head, as I try

To sleep upon my bed.


I am reminiscent of years,

Unable to embrace. Of fruits

I could not taste,


As if life is like a

Kaleidoscope, chasing colors

With twists and turns and


Quickly changing scenes,

That vanish when the turning

Stops and then I disappear.


With one more turn, would I

Have learned, the kaleidoscope

May have given hope?



Warzone of the Mind



Was I conceived in a moment

Of drunken stupor?

While the sperm swam instantly

To attach to the egg?


In an instant of time I was

Destined to live. But the

Forces of evil had a great



Let’s mix this child’s mind up,

Scrambling her brain, making

Her as her father, addicted

To pain. Mixing the chemicals,


So she won’t be able to think.

Confused like her father who

Needed one more drink.


We will interrupt the pathways,

So the synapses of the brain

Waves attack each other.

They are going for the jugular

Vein to keep me in pain.


Misfiring, disrupting, creating

Chaos and confusion.

Thus started the battle for my

Interrupted child.


Let the bullets start shooting

And artillery fire,


The sound of rumblings from

Bombs exploding,


Armies march on declaring

War, planes flying low.


I dive into the trench,

Filled with fear until my

Heart is wrenched.


I must pick up my ammunition,

All that I know,


My only weapon is the rush of

Adrenalin to keep distance,


And increase the flight as

They chase me day and night.


I run and I run, till I can

No more, beaten, bruised and



Until finally I am backed in

A corner with no place to go!




The angry waves, great

Swells of the sea.

Weary of the heavy labor,

With no place to go,


Searching and yearning to

Fulfill a purpose, to have

Boundaries and be contained.

Convulsing the filth and mire

Of the waters of the deep,

Foaming, as if angry at it’s

Monotonous, constant motion.


My soul resonates with this

Existence of anger, with

Circumstances beyond my

Control. Having no boundaries,


Constrained within.

Undermining the faculties,

Perpetrating the thoughts


And soul with negativity

And shame. Baptized as it

Were with the immersion

Of the murky waters of this


Earth’s secular woe.

Seeking false

Tools of survival to silence

The quenching thirst for



Then as the Spirit moved

Upon the face of the deep,

God spoke His word and brought

Order to this earth.

He spoke peace to my soul.

He reached down from His

Throne and drew me out of many

Waters, making me whole.*







































*Psalm 18:16





Just when I think I

Have arrived,

My pretentious ways



Quick to justify,

I react instantaneously,

Then I spend life

Making apologies.


If truth is known,

It is not the offense,

It is the underlying cause,

That is caustic to my soul.


To make my mind sick,

To hurt those who are

Closest to me. Then I


Become solemnized and


How long will they forgive

An erring person as I?

Cast in Plaster


I was cast in plaster when

I left the womb.

From head to my toes,

Stiff as a mummy,

Lying in a tomb.


A piece followed me,

I tried to chip it away

Then I saw there was

Two of us.

Lime, sand and water were

Our substance, there was

No difference between us.

I tried to crush the mortar

Surrounding us.


Then trying to pull

Away, she stuck

To me like glue, would

Not leave me alone. When I

Went to sleep and when I

Arose she was always there.

She was in control, I became



She was a mystery,

Telling me what to do.

I was shaped just like her,

Without her I wouldn’t



I hated her, I hit her,

Telling her to leave me alone.

It was too late.

She was to blame for my



She wanted to leave me.

Then I became the one

Attached, and clung to her.

What would I do without her?

Then I saw it must be one or the


It was clear, one of us has to

Leave, she agreed.


I tried to tell her I was sorry.

I didn’t know any better,

I wasn’t aware, I just

Followed my mother.


Flip the Script



Not as easy as flipping

A light,

The script I was given

Couldn’t be flipped.


It was with me from birth

And even conception.

I could even say it was

Ingrained from generations.


The script they carried,

Was handed down from

Grandmother, mother to



I looked for another

Script, a prescription

In the form of a pill.


I’m sure the doctor and

Druggist did their best.

But theirs didn’t work

As well.

The script was ingrained,

Sending its feelers

Throughout my brain.

It was a battle I could

Not win.


Then an awareness came.

This wasn’t just a game,

I would step back,

And no longer try to live


In a war zone thinking

I had to win to survive.

I could let Him do my

Fighting and maybe then

I could feel free and alive.





Little toy people playing

In their home, pretending

They are happy but feeling

All alone.


Toy mother and

Father playing their roles.

They can see out, but no

One in.


The little toy furniture,

No one could rest on the bed,

Too much noise

And commotion.


There is no refrigerator, no

Need, there is no

Food to feed. The little toy

Tea set is shattered along with me.

We won’t stay long,

We get in the little toy

Car and move along. From

Place to place, we stop here

And there, just in case.


I have hung on to my name

And addresses, it is all I

Know, too scared

To let them go. Searching


For one that evades this

Child that plays the role,

Of the girl in the little toy house.

The Spider



A spider crawled up my arm,

He looked me in the eye,

What is this strange web

You have woven, he said?


Your web is complex,

And perplexing.

The story you have woven

On the loom of life, you


Have spun with spider-like,

Intricate, designs.

Round and round in its circle,

Your thoughts are entangled,


You buy your silk from the

Spinneret to continue your

Frantic spinning.


The more you sew the deeper

It goes, until you are sewn,

Stitch by stitch in your fearful



The spider lures others,

Your effort is reversed,

You are the one trapped


In your frenzy.

Unloose your tight, silky

Gown, unzip the zipper

And move around!



Rivers in the Desert


He washed me and hung me

Out to dry.

Tears fell relentlessly,


Sliding down my cheeks,

Spilling upon my dress,

Drowning me with grief.


Finite eyes could hold no

More. My shoulders shook,

With trembling knees,

I dared not even look.


Tears slowly ceased,

No longer did I weep.

The winds of strife,

Blew upon my life,


A furnace of affliction,

With desert heat,

Barren land,

Sun scorched sand.


I trudged along, bereft

Of song,

Infringing upon the



Lizards and serpentine

Is all I’ve seen,

Wondering why I disturb

Their peace.


I pray not for smitten rock

Nor gushing stream but a

Humble brook to quench my

Thirst, that I may traverse

This land unseen.

Disquiet Sleep



Memories playing out in

The deep unconsciousness

Of sleep.


Like waves of the sea,

As the mind rolls over

And over.


Trying to decipher these

Meaningless perceptions,

Where they have been

Buried in the watery

Grave, a place where no

Man can go.


Only God the Father* sees

The spinning thoughts

Entrapped. I try to make

Sense of this

Futile existence.

Each unresolved issue lodged

In the deep recesses of

My mind.


I cry unto God and He

Hears my prayers,

To remove this terror

Of night,


To lead me beside still

Waters and

Quiet streams,

To give sweet repose in

His holy light!



*“In disquieting thoughts from the vision

of the night, when deep sleep falls on

men” Job 4:13


Dream of Death



The clock on the mantel

Struck half past ten,

The hour to retire for

Most women and men.


I listened to the clock,

Heard a knock at the door,

I looked, no one was


Half past two, still awake

With nothing to do.


Half past four I fell asleep,

Forgetting the mother I had

Expected, to come through the



A gust of wind blew through the

Window, death came in.

With a shroud on his face,


He came to take me,

Not yet was my plea,

I have more to do,

Much to undo.


Death agreed to let me stay,

He gathered his cloak about

Him and went on his way.


I suddenly awoke,

This was a dream.

I knelt and prayed.

Dry Bones



Lord, only you and I know what

It took to get to this place

On earth. Earnestly seeking the

Right way to go,


With tightness of stomach and

Tension of muscles, every

Fiber of my being disrupted.

Constant motion creating commotion.

Please put me back

Together again.* My way has not

Worked, for just when I think

I have found the answer,

More problems lurk.


Knit me together with the

Needles from heaven, used

In my mother’s womb.

Bring my dry bones together as you

Promised long ago.


As you fashion me, help me

To know the pricks and punctures

From the needles are for my growth.

When it begins to hurt, I promise,


I’ll try not to cry, but if I do,

My tears will be dried. Remember


To use heaven’s thimble, for I know

It hurts You more than I. And when

The needles are placed in

Your pin cushion to rest,

Cushioning the blows for Your


Children below, please remind us,

A stitch is not taken unless it is needed.

This is enough for now and all

That will be allowed.

When I am coming unraveled

Again and it’s time to pick up

Your needles once more,

Pour oil on my wounds with

The Salve from heaven,


I will be your new creation!
































*“Bring my dry bones together,

Cover them with skin and I

shall live again” Ezekiel 37:5,6


Somber mother’s faces

Pushing empty carriages,

Looking for their

Children in all the

Wrong places.


Empty bottles, still

Cradles, hungry babies.

We cover them with our

Devices, we push them

Away, as if they were



Laying in their short

Little coffins, made

Of paper mache, to

Swaddle their bodies,

Until they are bathed.


This is the child you

Searched for, this is

The child you see, the

One that has waited



Hear their cries, dry

Their eyes, pour water

Upon them, that they

May live again.


Gather* them in your arms,

Do them no further harm.







“How often I wanted to gather

your children together”

Matthew 23:37

Father of Lights



Father of lights,*

Do You live in the sky?


Not with Your children

In darkness below?


Do you look out Your

Window from Your home on high,


At the sun in the morning



Are You the man in the moon,

Shining moonbeams on the stars

In the sky,

To see how far they will

Fly? You are so far,

I can’t jump that high!


Or maybe ride on a kite,

But it won’t fly that high!


If I could, I would see

Where you live,

If I get there, God, would


You let me in, with my

Darkness and sin?

It seems such a long way

Between You and I.


Some say You are light,

Would You be too bright

To look upon?


I don’t understand what

It really means, but it

Says You are loving and



So I will bid You good

Night and thank You for

Light, however it comes!




































*James 1:17


Frozen in Time



Was it in the womb* that my

Body began to internalize the

Ancestral Matrix, handing

It down from grandmother, mother

To daughter?


After entering this earth,

At the miniscule moment of

Trauma, my being turned to



When each tragedy occurred,

The ice became consuming,

Fragmenting into children

Of sorrow, entering my soul,

Looking for some place to go.


They hid as it were, under

Each layer of ice, cold,

Shivering and scantily



Internalizing my feelings,

Becoming separate beings.

They wanted to help me and

They all agreed, this child

Is frozen and has almost died.


Let’s tell her what to do.

I became confused, as I had

Instructions from each one,

Insisting there will be done.


They were screaming their

Orders, causing disorder.

There are really too many

To mention, they all had

Good intentions.


Until finally I decided to

Issue a command, each

Child and the ice should

Melt, in a moment of time.


But then I surely had

Another war to fight, not

One of these children

Would cease keeping


Me in fright.

I would have to be patient

And invite each child to

Become my friend,


And slowly over time, I embraced

Each one, thanking them for all

They had done to help me survive.


No longer fragmented,

My soul had awakened,

And I had become alive!


























*“From whose womb comes the ice?” Job





Fragments* left over from

Neglect and abuse,


Children crushed and



Our bodies are grown,

Still children are we.


We put on faces in

Different places,

We do it well.


We hide, we keep it a

Secret, our deformity.


We look in mirrors,

Our reflection is

Fractured, our image



We meet ourselves in

Windows we pass, the

Glass disfigures us.

Who dismembered us?

Where we put our foot,

Or hand and ran, from

The shadows chasing us?


The pain we sustain is

Like a grey sea that would

Open its mouth and

Swallow us, or


Brown mountains would crush


He will not allow it.


There’s been a death in our


There is no mourning,

But rejoicing.


The earthen chambers are

Open, to bury our woes

And deformities.


Our injured souls He will

Sew and remove our anxieties.

































*“Gather up the fragments, that

Remain, that nothing shall be

lost.” John 6:12

Suffer the Little Children



Jesus said,

“Suffer the little children

To come unto me.”


Why did I think just one was

All that should come?

I have neglected these



Searching for one,

When there were

Several of them,

Waiting to be found and

Given to Jesus!


They earnestly tried to

Help me survive.

They bore the pain and

Kept me alive.


Forgive me Lord, for these

Children I forbid,

And turned from them and hid.


Forbidding them to talk.

For I could not bear the

Words they wrought.


Little parts kept in darkness,

So cold and scared, always

Afraid my soul would be bared.


Diligently performing their

Task, and that is all I could



Come forth little children,

Hear Jesus call, but only when

You are ready,

To come all at once would

Render my soul unsteady.

God’s Sewing Room



Your patterns are traced in

The depths of the earth,

You formed me of clay.


You secretly kneaded me like

dough* - baking me slow.


God’s sewing room is busy

With angels sewing and baking

For His children on earth.

How do they know what size

To make? What do they do

When they get too tight,

And don’t fit quite right?


Your children are so

Different, not one is

Alike, brown, yellow,

Black, red and white.


Do You label the jars

With the colors You use?


You dress us in swaddling

Clothes when we are born,

Head to our toes.

Then we grow and a larger

Size is sewn. Sometimes we

Are given comfortable clothes.


Sometimes too tight, as earth’s

Troubles squeeze and appease us,

With ashes and dust,

Helping us to learn the lesson of

Trust. At journeys end a

Garment of darkness covers us,

As we wait for the call,


In a peaceful place far from


A white robe awaits us that has

Been sewn with love and care.



































*Psalm 139:15 New English Bible


My Brother


We went through a lot,

But we had each other.

It was a tough road we


Shared. We have some

Bruises and scars,

And are a little marred.


At times it was

Almost lethal and made

Us brittle. Our hearts

Were broken, we ached.

But we did it together.

We were shown a way to

Contend with life and

Ease our strife.


He is my brother, I

Would never hope for





The Prodigal Daughter



God takes my hand,

There is something we

Need to do,

To visit the home of the past.


We come to the door that is

Very dark and locked for many



I become distraught to open

The door of my heart.

I had searched for the key

And saw that

God had it all along.


We open the door,

It is very quiet,

Unlike long ago, when

Filled with screams and

Fights. Leaving me full

Of fright.


We come to the kitchen

To look inside, while

God slowly raises the

Blinds so I can see



A sight to remember as I

Look out the window of

Time, parents fighting

Over a bottle of beer,

Forgetting their child

So dear.

A table was cluttered,

The cupboards bare,

But as I look again,

The clutter is gone. Now a

Table set with loving care.

The cupboards are filled with

Lots of food. A peaceful

Place, as we sit at the table.

No longer fighting and


Stomach aches.

A place where we are able

To make and bake food

Our hungry bodies were



As we enter the bedroom,

The bed is pushed against

The wall. The blankets in

Disarray, I had covered my

Head and clutched my doll.


I look once again,

A bed nicely made, with a

Pillow to rest my head.

In the closet that was empty,

Hangs a robe to cover

My soul, complete and whole.


The living room, oh that is

A sight, where my father

Passes the time drinking

At night, falling asleep.

I could not reach him,

Finally whispering,

“I love you” and

Turned out the light.


This house,

Closed for so long is now

Open and viewed, with no

Dark secrets in any of the rooms.


God is here all the time

With His cloth and broom,

Sweeping the dust and dirt,

Removing my pain and hurt!




The brain explodes with

Too much weight,

Memories crowding at the



With the capacity to hold

No more.

It’s retention is not worth

Mention to men who

Escaped this fate.


Could I remove the

Brain’s painful parts?

But if it did not


Fit together again,

Half a brain would

Not be good.

Racing like a clock, wound

Too tight,

Lord, slow down the pendulum,

Turn back the hands,

Quiet the ticking,

Be the clockmaker in my head!



Inner Child Memoir



At the age of sixteen, a new destructive

Psyche was suddenly introduced.


A mental disorder called Obsessive Compulsive

Disorder. A disorder that was little known

About at that time.


This fear suddenly grabbed my mind and left

Me trembling inside. Little did I know

That this was the beginning of a dark night

Of a soul that filled me with terror.


I was so far removed from my inner

child, that I had neglected and abused, that

I would have aborted her if I could. In

Looking back a negative mother image was

Constellated in me as a result of my

Mother’s inability to nurture me.


Thus started a life of suffering in silence,

Not willing to utter a word of this secret

Kept deep inside of me. I ran from this

Darkness implementing many survival tools

To find relief, but never experiencing it.


I fought against her not realizing that she

Actually held the key to deliverance from

The inner darkness. I felt that I was

Living on borrowed breath. I fell prey to

Obsessive thinking and religiosity, thinking

It might bring about some comfort, but the more

I did the more depressed I became.


After many years of attempted resolution of

Why I felt this way, I was slowly led to see

Why this darkness met me at every turn.


I found scriptures that articulated my dark

Feelings. I was forced to recognize that

This darkness was trying to tell me something

And not until I embraced it, would I begin

To understand that the years of pain and

Suffering were bringing about a child

Desperately waiting to be reborn.








In My Head



In my head,

As if an orchestra

Is being lead.


The musicians are in place,

The conductor enters,

Lifting his baton. All is

Silence, then music follows



The song is beautiful and

Clear, when all at once the

Notes are out of tune and

Hard to hear.


The players in my head are

Deceived. They each desire

To play their instruments as

They please.


The pounding in my head takes

Me to a different sphere.

I chase the notes and follow

Their command, they will not

Leave me here.


I run through life to avoid

This strife. I know no

Difference, the music was

Here from the start. I thought

It was in all men’s hearts.


The New Conductor steps to the


Gently lifts His hand, with a



Pointing to the violinists,

They lift their instruments,

The flutists as well.

The harpists softly

Strum their strings,

Chorale stands to sing.


The fingers on the keyboard

Of my life now play a

Different tune,

A symphony and rhapsody in

Silhouette. His fingers entwined

With mine in life’s duet!



The darkness compels me,

I race across the spanning

Bridge of time.


When the race is over,

I still have me to face,

Just in another place.


The thoughts don’t stop,

They will not cease.


Spinning out of control,

Round and round they go.

When they stop, no one knows.

Chilling Thoughts


Even the ground cannot

Absorb my chilling



Frozen in layers,

Restricted by fears and



Frozen tears on my

Face. My body wrapped

In a cold winter dress,


Unable to move, caught

Up inside, feeling



Wait until spring my

Child, when God will

Awaken you


Removing the tears one

By one. The candle’s flame

Is not fully out,


He will slowly increase it,

Removing your fear and doubt.




Hop – hop on one foot,

In the square,


Right foot twice,

Left and right together.

Is that when it started?





A stone throw in each

Square, with a dare,

To hop the spaces all at once.


The stone slipped into my shoe, *

That is where it resides,

To make me feel alive.


Venturing into my head,

Thoughts will hop instead.

Hop – hop – hop

Cannot stop the thoughts – thoughts















*One definition of OCD

and Scrupulosity is like

a stone in the shoe that

is constantly there.




Counting – Counting

Numbers on the street,


Numbers in the head,

Running through the alphabet,


Letter by letter, to escape the dread.


Staring at the fan, counting

Blades as it turns, like oars in


A raft on the rapids of a sunless



I try to get off, it is moving too

Fast. Like words in my head, sewn


Together, seam by seam, with no

Pause in between.

Repetition – Repetition

Prayers to buy penance for sin.


Thoughts for naught that

The devil bought.


Brain wired hot, in my

Mind I am caught.


Electrified – sparking

In all directions.


Little pills lined in a row,

Hopefully one will fix the

Brain, cooking it till done.

Little Pink Pill


After many years of searching,

Going from doctor to doctor,

Thinking they would know,


I did find a pill, not a

White one, but a pink one to

Help my ill.


I had to try many colors,

Blue, red, green, brown,

And purples, taking

Not just one, but in



It doesn’t take it all away,

Some is still here to stay.


But whatever helps to cope

With this, gives me hope.



Unfinished Business



When I lay my pen down to rest,

Thinking I have shared my story

And done my best, I am stirred


Once again. There is more to

Reveal! Hidden in crevices

And corners, with several thoughts

At once, bringing much distraught.


Thoughts that snatch the mind,

Leaving it impossible to focus

On one at a time.

Oh, to be able to stay in the


To be rid of these thoughts

Encapsulated within. Confined

To the box, mirrored inside,

Bouncing from side to side.






Life’s Tapestry


The thread of the tapestry

Woven on the loom of life,

Sometimes become frayed

And torn.


His children born into

Abuse and neglect take longer

To sew and piece together.


They bloom later in life,

As their petals slowly

Unfold, then drop to the earth.


Their blossoms are brighter

Than their fellow mortals

Who had not these struggles.


Their life tapestry is woven

With rich colors of bright blue,

Green, red and yellows.












What is this Command



God, what is this command

You have given to me,

To come to the Father on

Bended knee?


How to do this I am at a loss,

For it seems that the

Separation is far too great.


When I think of “father”

I get confused

I think of him who was

Always late.


When did this happen? Perhaps

When the night terrors struck

At an early age.

Of my father standing by, not

Attempting to rescue or save

From the terror I felt.


Was that when the fear of

A father was dealt?

But now it is time to let that

Father image go,

And look to God the Father as a kind

Gentleman that accepts me

Just as I am.


I am at Your mercy, knowing full well,

You are not my father I am

Talking to,


You are much greater than


The one who has adopted me!



*Romans 8:15

Vacation and other Poems



I’m going on vacation,

But not to a far off

Land. I’m not taking

Me along.


My head isn’t going either,

It is staying behind.

No excess baggage to take


It is down to one.

It will be easy and

Light to pull. Just a rest

Is what I need,

From the chatter that really

Doesn’t matter!

Just for an hour, would do, to

Have a chance to introduce

A new thought or two.




Put on a shelf and left alone,

No other cans, jars or jam

To stand by me.


What is my shelf life?

Only God knows when He will

Take me down.


If there is only someone who

Could understand the jam I’m in.

Where Did He Go?




Where did you go?

I would like to know,

I’ve tried to replace you,

With sweat and tears,


How can I let them out?

They are as hard as a rock,

They are a part of me.


If they were not, what would

I be? A mere smidgen of me.

A trifle, like a day


Without sun and a night without

Stars -


A rainbow without colors -


An ocean without water -


Daddy, do you remember your












What excitement!

The day had finally arrived.

To be reunited with my father,

Who had been so cruelly snatched

From me.


A name tag had been pinned

On my lapel as I boarded the

Greyhound bus.

Labeling me as the child with

No identity, is this who I am

I did not know?


The bus was ready to leave.

As I boarded, I smelled the

Exhaust and heard the roaring

Engines. It gave me a surge

Of excitement with the promise

Of seeing him again. How many stops

Before the final destination?

But thoughts of joy made it seem

As nothing.


Finally the bus rolled into the

Familiar terminal of many trips

Before. I anxiously looked out

The window looking for him. As

I descended the steps and saw my



I fell into his arms,

Feeling his tight embrace.

Smelling the familiar alcohol

And cigarettes that clung to his

Clothing. This was my father,

And I loved him so!




I gave up lipstick long

Ago, two red lips now thin and

Pale. Lines drawn on my eyes

Removed, eye shadow too .

Now two hollow holes in my head.

No Blush on the cheeks,

Face long and drawn.

The holes bored for

Earrings, skin filled in.

No more dangles, bangles,

Diamonds or anything.


My unaltered face erased

From the world.

Now pure and obscured.

An angled tooth took away my



I was pure, I was clean,

As a washing machine.

Pure as a virgin, sacred as

A nun. I joined a cloister

But not for fun.


I faced the world plain,

I was a rare scene.

Thinking I had cleaned up

Myself, little did I know

The inside walls needed

Scrubbing as well.

Glass Wings



Lord,take the sting out of

My wings, with these

Pierced Wings

I can’t fly as high.


Make them like a glassy

Light that is clear, with

No more bruises or stings.


Attach them with golden

Hinges so they will stay on



Wings that I can fold and

And unfold in the evening

And morning light.




I placed my nose in a pink

Fragrant rose and low,

There was a bee inside.


We shared the rose together.

No bee sting on my nose.

He may have seen my wings


Were much

Larger than his and taken

His flight.


So teach me to flutter and

Fly with my new wings, shiny,

New and bright.


Oh, That I Had Wings



A dove is resting her foot upon

The earth, preparing for her



Take me with you, I said,

You have wings of rest and

I am heavenly dressed.

Clean and ready to bring my


She looked at me with sad


Well come aboard, we’ll try.

As we near heaven, I gaze upon

The sight,

Just for a moment through the

Gates ajar.


Are the skies bluer?

The birds sweeter?

The flowers brighter?

What makes me long for something



I plead for a moment as I

Try to enter in,

Just to stay where there is peace

And joy.

But I am denied and turned away,

For now the gates are slowly



Regardless of my opposing.

Why will they not let me in?

My penance will not grant


Me entrance? I feel like

Eve removed from the garden,

Her only hope, trusting in the


I rail against you, heaven.

I beat the air not getting


For You promised I would “fly

Away and be at rest.”*


I did my very best.

But then what child am I to

Think He should

Bend the rules? My time on earth

Is not removed.

I have no choice but to finish

My course.

He has prepared a sacrifice,

His Son has paid the price,

My meager offering will not do.


I sat dejected upon a bench,

Waiting for my ride,

When to my surprise a mourning

Dove descended,

How fitting for the ride.

She understands

My grief and hears my cry,

Of returning to the other side.

She will take me back to my

Pilgrimage on earth below.


We sped across the skies,

The sunrise in its splendor,

The sunset as it dies.


Not all is vain, some things,

Are true.

Not all is silent,

For what is a mind without a



Even if it is one of doubt?

What is a bell without a ring?

Or a bird that cannot sing?

In a God without a trust?

Trust in Him, I must.


I am reminded of this,

Though the dove of rest and the

Mourning dove have shared their

Wit with me,


God has another dove, a Dove of

Peace and tranquility. It will

Carry me through the journey of

Life, until I am called to the

Other side.





























*“Oh that I had wings like a dove,

I would fly away and be at rest.”

Psalm 55:6

A Tree Planted by the River



What will You do, God, with


When I perceive myself,

My silhouette is like a tree.


With branches twisted and

Tangled, encumbered with

Vines and tendrils of fear.

Fed by


Roots reaching deep into

Earth’s cisterns of

Misbelieves and lies.

Even the birds of the


Air cannot find a space to

Perch, to rest their little

Wings. To raise their

Fledglings and share their


Sweet song, for my downcast

Spirit drives them away,

To find another abode to stay.


Devoid of shade and blossoms

Of fruit, green leaves are

Withered with decay.


Oh Lord, take Your fine comb,

Undo my tangled thoughts,


Separate them of their twisted

Ways. Take away my doubts and

Human reason.

Make me a tree as you

Have promised, planted by the

Rivers of waters,*

Bringing fruit in its season!


*Psalm 1:3

Rebirth in the Womb



Oh, half womb,


Conceived in a June

Brilliant moon.


Child divided in two,

A pierced cavity.


Pale yellow fluid,

A baby oozing out,


With a cry, taking on

Fears I didn’t know about.


I am a woman now -


Floating in an earthen womb,

With pangs of a second birth.


My dress is fine filament with

A silver sheen, scalloped at

The edges, buoyed by the waters.*


My hair swept back from the

Rush of the sea.

Two wet eyes in ceaseless

Motion in a bed of water.

I dived for pearls of wisdom,

Finding only bubbles

Of air. My only resort is prayer.


I reached for the shore,

An extended Hand with

Mine, grasp each other.

To be born twice, is heaven’s plan.



*Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through deep

waters I am with you.”

Tea Party



Come dear and join me for tea,

A party set for three,

Jesus, you and me.


The table is set,

With pink cloth and white china.

Cookies and tea,

Waiting for the guest.


I wonder why you are late?

Then I see. You have been

With Jesus, for you have

Not felt safe with me,


And have resided

With Him temporarily.

Then I see you coming,

Jesus, you and I are

Now together, all three.

Embrace and celebrate,

The fun has begun.

A pretty blue dress, He has

Made for you,

With ruffles, bows, petty

Coats and slips.


A garland of flowers, intertwined

With red roses, leaves and vines,

A token of victory, a child has been

Reborn and set free.


Dancing in a circle,

Skipping with joy, Jesus, you and me.

Life is Like a Puzzle Memoir



As I contemplate what I have written,

Is it cathartic for my soul?

Or could it be beneficial to others?


Life was like a puzzle, trying to push pieces

Together where they did not fit.

When one was wrong I put it down and

Looked for another.


First was religion, but that piece had too

Many sides.

Then were meetings with all the memorized



Along came psychology, being told I

Needed to learn to relax and have fun.

Pills for depression and anxiety, self-help books,

All of no avail.


Then I thought the solution would be to get

Out of myself and help others, get so busy

I didn’t have time to think, surely that would

Be the missing link!


I tried many things, thinking my life would

Just fall together if I did enough, maybe

Like the pages I’ve written would arrange

Themselves and turn into a book.


No matter what I did the pieces would not fit!

Sometimes I would feel like this puzzle of life

Would never be solved. Maybe I should have

Started out with play dough, so pliable and

Easily molded.


But slowly after time,

The pieces came together. I am still looking

For a few missing ones, waiting for

Him to help finish this picture of me.

A Day of Rest


He took the world in His


Six windows of time He


He separated the sea with



He then drew the curtains

Back so His works could

Be seen. The light we see

And the air we breathe.


The grass shown like an

Emerald dressed with

Seas of yellow daffodils.


In the azure blue sky,

The orange oriole sang from a

Mountain top, echoing


From a thousand hills,

With the Whippoorwill

Answering back.


The angels bowed folding

Their wings, in honor of the

God who made everything.


He lowered the curtains

Of purple and blue,

To reflect the evening lights.

Lighting the wicks on the


Stars above. Making the

Moon with its silver strands,

So we could rest at night.


As the night lights passed,

The freshly made sun arose,

He raised the curtains

Of yellow and gold.


He gave us a *special day

To rest, to take time

With Him, so we won’t be

So stressed.









































*Exodus 8:20





I had refused to embrace this life,

swallowed in darkness. The


Pallor of hell I narrowly escaped,

With red tongues of hell licking

At my heels.


But my child I now embrace, no longer

Chasing her away, she is a citadel of light.


I try to listen to how she feels,

To show her that life is not all darkness

And can be bright.


I am a Miner



I go to work every day

With my pick and shovel,

But not for silver and gold.


The more I shovel the

Deeper it gets,

It is dark in here.


The earthen womb bears

Memories, seen from

The eye and heard from

The ear.

I pick and shovel all

Day and night, nothing

Moves to the left or



Icicles in this cave,

Drip tears on my

Mind. Drip – drip -

Never goes away.

Crevices in My Mind



I fell asleep to the radio,

The station went off at half past

Twelve. Once again I fell asleep,


To the droning of the mill

Down the street. The conveyor

Belts vibrated and jumped,


Separating ore from dirt.

The noise was unbearable to hear,

My mind fell into a nightmare.


Many wheels turning and spinning

In my head, clocks ticking

And chiming all at once.


Spinning, ticking, turning,

Tossing in my sleep.

Sighing, crying, grinding

My teeth.

Abruptly I awoke,

Opened wide my eyes, fear tucked

In the crevices of my mind.

No peace did I find.


To the miners picking at my

Brain before, on the bedpost

I hung a sign – “No Trespassing.”

This place is for sleep and

Nothing more.



God’s Blanket



I think of all the

People I love,

And want to pray

For each one.

But I feel



I have a hard time

Remembering all the names.

If I could just bring

Them all together one by



I know! It’s my scruples,

I try not to think so much.

God already knows them all

By name.


I wonder if He knows

I do my best and those

I forget He will bring to



My loved ones and friends

Are covered with a

Soft * warm blanket, now

They are all together -

Tended by Him.






*Ecclesiastes “If two lie side by

Side they keep each other warm”





Baby pumping babies out,

What do I do with these two?

Four brown eyes staring at

Me,with little clenched fists.

I don’t think I can do this!


Alone with two in a mining

Town, at nineteen,

When will they ever be



Would I raise them like me?

I sure hope not.

Determined to change the

Course of my life, so my


Babies would be spared their

Mother’s strife.


All the right things I tried to do,

Some were wrong.

I wasn’t very strong.


But things turned out, they

Learned how to, crawl, talk ,

Walk and run.

They did alright!

Poems on Our Life in Nevada



As oft the case, the old

Mining shacks had no

Foundations. In a hurry

To mine the silver,


They built houses with

Boards, nails, and

Tar paper, just to get by.

Then on to the next place,

To get rich, steal and die.


In the dining room, little

Red sail boats hung on the

Wall. The roof slanted at

An angle. My brother was

Sitting at the uneven table.


His plate and glass slid

To the other end. Disgusted,

He jacked the end of the

House so the table was level.

But then he couldn’t open

The door to get in.




At thirteen he asked to drive

The car, she said no. An

Obstinate little guy, he snuck

Around and did it anyway. He


Always liked a thrill, climbing

In and out of mine shafts with

A laugh.


Careening down the dry dusty

Road, he pushed his foot on

The throttle and missed a turn,


Swerving, the car hung over a

Cliff, next to the old V & T

Railroad track.

He crawled out along with his

Friends, he never did that again.




A trip to the store in Tonopah,

A rare occasion, stew and beans

Were our usual meal, pretty lean.

Returning home our Chevy sedan’s


Spindle bolt broke, turning the

Car over three times, landing on

It’s top. I fell on my brother,


We couldn’t breathe. We don’t

Know how we got out!

Not one egg or bottle cracked.




Just a few tales to tell, of

Our lives in Nevada. As you

Can see, He was watching over

My brother and me.

Nevada Mining Towns


Dust storms and tumble weeds,

Cold winter night,

Screeching voices,

Howling through the town


Cursed with fright.

They had a story

To tell, one from hell!


Boards creak in front of the

Local saloon, my brother

And I search for cigarette butts,


Not much luck, we head for home.

With cold fingers and toes, we

Hasten our steps as we walk



Tired from our day, we get

In bed, but first

Shaking blankets and sheets,

Looking for hiders,

Scorpions and spiders.

A nightly ritual

Before we go to sleep.


We are awakened by parents,

Back from the saloon,

Drinking and gambling.


Now all the money is gone!

Fighting begins with yelling

And threats, once again in debt.


No food for the children, we go

Back to sleep with hungry stomachs

And bad dreams to keep.


The potbellied stove had long

Gone out. Our shoes are by the

Door for trips to the outhouse.

Just too cold, hopefully we

Can hold it till dawn, neither

Of us could linger there long.


We awaken from sleep,

Parents are gone,

Just as we expect,

For who knows how long?

Is anyone’s bet!

The Old Mining House



Frozen in the mining house.

12 degrees too cold

For 6 inch buried pipes.

The blow torch took all night.


Slipping down the icy hill,

We carried water buckets

From the creek.


The old wood stove went

Out when we left for school.

Coming home, we stoked it,

But it never recovered it’s

Warmth at night.


Seeing our breath,

Like puffs of smoke,

Frost on the inside panes.

Layers of wallpaper could

Not keep the wind from

Coming through. Sometimes

Our hands were blue.


My brother went to the pen,

To look for eggs.

The brown hens were nestled

In their nests.

Hoo-Ray! There were frozen

Ones, we would have breakfast

That day.

We wrapped in brown blankets

To keep warm, piling them

High, burying our faces

Laying very still in place.

The bathroom was so cold

We had to place our hands

Between our butt’s and the

Toilet seat.


The roof leaked,

Making an obstacle course

Of pans and bowls, to

Catch the water dripping

From the holes.


Listening to the rats in the attic,

Left alone most of the time,

We scrambled to survive,

Amazing what children can do!

The Rocking Chair



She sat on the pine

Rocking chair on the

Old wood porch, pots of


Red geraniums sat

On the steps, morning

Glories with their big


Blue flowers and

Green tendrils climbed

The fence, thick and dense.

You could hear the creak

Of the runners as she

Rocked back and forth,

On the pink quilted chair.


She loved her grand


A time when she was the

Happiest, to see her

Child bear two little



She rocked them morning

And evening before they

Went to sleep. Not a

Weep or peep


From their rosy, heart

Shaped lips, sucking on

A bottle, it quickly

Slips away.


They were sound asleep,

Not a sound anywhere but

The trickle of the creek.


I still have the rocking

Chair, thought of giving

It away. Since I have

Written this, I think

It is here to stay.

A Horse Named Silver



He rode up the creek,

Green willows and

Shaded trees gave a

Reprieve from the hot

Summer day.


On his horse, Silver

With a rifle on

His shoulder and his

Dog ,Smokey by his side.

He rode all over the

Dry dusty hills. As

He went up the road

The grade was steeper


And made him hot. He

Turned to the creek to

Seek a swim.


The mill up the canyon,

Called American Flats,

Long abandoned, housed

Lots of critters.


He was looking for our

Goat, Snow White, she

Had run away. He looked

And looked, he was not a



He never did find her,

But he saw lots of things,

A Great Horned Owl

With her little puffed

Babies dressed in white.


A rattle snake in a hole

Where he put his hand.

A herd of deer resting on

A knoll in the shade.


Grey and brown lizards

Lay in the sun.

Sunset with her orange

And golden strands and

Lingering rays,


Cast brilliance across the sky.


Of evening bade him go

Home, enough roaming for

The day.


An Art to That



We played down the creek

About an eighth of a mile,

Swinging on swings and

Branches with such fun

And a smile.


We were just trying to be

Kids, that’s all.

But there’s an art to that.


Our house up the canyon,

Another fight, they were

Screaming and cursing,


We made our flight.

Didn’t want friends to

Hear or see this plight.


Another reason to gamble,

To soothe their nerves.

It got so bad my mother

Could not hurt her children



She went to the casino asking

Their refusal to let her in.

She stopped gambling,

But got a new addiction,


The Cat



Step father number two

Came home drunk,


He ordered my brother

To get the gun,


He shot the cat in front

Of us,


We were stunned.

The sound of the gun

In our ears.


There was blood and tears,

Now we had none.


We would just have to get

Another one!




Another episode in Silver

City, Nevada


How much longer,

Riding to the hospital

With sirens and lights,


Her children crying,

Would mother be alright?


Inebriated once again,

Husband number two

Hit her head

With the old car door,


Metal against metal.

She trembled,

Blood oozed out.


She seized like a stricken

Bird. Her brain already

Compromised now even



Her body stiffened,

She fell on the floor

With a shriek.

She bit her cheek!


She bit her tongue!

Purple turned white

Quick get the spoon!


Teeth rattle against metal,

White spit comes out of her lips,

Dilated eyes now white slits.


The hospital smell

Made me sick.

Almost fainting,

Holding on to the wall.

Sterile doctors and nurses

Dressed in white, working

Under glaring lights.

White, white, everywhere.


Dilantin, pill for her ill

She refused to take. Please

Mom take it for our sake.

Usually hostile, but when

Docile, a sign of another

Spell. We could always


Red Shoes



We went to the store

To look at shoes.

I chose a red pair,

Shiny and pretty.


Shoes that beckoned me,

Might they be the ones,

With a click of the heels,


Skipping down the

Yellow brick road,

Taking me to “father?”


But then I would get

Tired and pause. This

Is a lost cause,

I’m done, I’m through,

Looking for you.


My mother said I could not

Have them now,

We would come back.


We left the store and

Walked down the street.

She had an errand she must


Do. To double the money

So she could buy food and



She slipped through the

Door of a building, lit

With enticing lights,

Blinking, sparkling, in

The night.


To play 21, she would

Be there till the money

Was done.


I waited on the street for

Hours, she came through the

Door, no smile, but sad. I

Knew the news was bad.

She had lost the mone.

No shoes or food for

Another two weeks but

Then it will happen all

Over again!

The Tower


The loneliness road in America

Runs through it – Austin -


Another mining town in Nevada,

Stokes Castle or Tower called

By some,


All little girls have a dream,

To live in a castle, to sip tea

In dainty cups. A fairytale of

A princess with a blue dress,

Tiara and veil.

I didn’t live in a castle, but

I played in one,

Eight years old, I had a safe

Place to go.


Some of it was falling apart,

With ruins on the ground but the

Walls were erect, a tower of

Strength for my confusion and fear.


With dreams of what it looked

Like before. A castle with red velvet,

And windows of stained glass,.

A place where my imagination

Could escape the tumult at last.


I can imagine I spent hours

There, day dreaming of a

Beautiful home and plenty to eat.

Loved and cared for, but then I

Always had to go home.


It was very cold in Austin,

I sat by the fire in a mining

Shack eating Dinty Moore

Stew from a can.


I felt so frightened there,

But I could always go to the

Tower for comfort and care.


I think of the verse -

“The Lord is a strong tower,

the righteous man runs into

it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10


Train Ride and Sexual Assault


My brother was three and I was

Six. Wow! We’re going on a

Train ride trip. The whistle

Blew, the red engines roared,

With a cloud of smoke we

Started down the track.


Something seemed odd, father

Was missing. He wasn’t there.

Taking us with her,

She fled across the country.

We were boarded with strangers

In an eastern state, she went

Away. My brother was stripped

Bare and held in the air,

People laughing everywhere.

We can’t remember what happened

Next. Our minds must have spaced.

Eventually she came back, then

Started the moving from place to place.



Sexual Assault

What are your fingers doing down

There in a nest of hair

In my crotch? In dirty sheets,

Don’t defile me like that!

I’ll get you back.


I’ll tell my mother.

Get your hands off of me,

You would try to take my

Virginity away from me?


I thought I was to blame, I

Was filled with shame. But

Then I learned it wasn’t my

Fault, it is called – Sexual Assault.

The Shed



No money for a motel ,

We were sleeping in

A shed on the floor.


A sudden banging,

Step Father three was

At the door.


We awoke to the

Pounding of his

Fists. He ordered

Us to open at once.


We sat quietly, in a

Daze, not knowing what

To do.


Then it was quiet.

We wondered where he

Went, when suddenly


He was back with a

Marlin spike, hitting

The door with three

More strikes.

He told us he would

Kill us with the spike

If we did not open the



Once again there

Was silence. He passed

Out! We ran, fleeing

For our lives.




The Scooter, Lessons Learned, Mizpah Hotel


The Scooter


He was a tough little guy

At six years old,

Free to do as he pleased.


Seen with his scooter

All over town.

He and his friends rode

Up and down the

Hills of Tonopah, fast

And furious.


One day he missed a

Turn, his scooter went

Up in the air and he fell



Blood everywhere,

Gravel embedded on

His face.

He still has a knot

On his tongue. That day

He lost the race.


Lessons Learned


He stole bottles from

A local saloon. The

Owner of the bar locked

Him in a shed. It was

Dark in there.


He was terrified,

Being left for an hour or

More. The man came

Out and lectured him.


He ran home never

Stealing again.


Mizpah Hotel


Playing with his friend

In the basement of

The Mizpah hotel,

The hotel caught fire

And burned to the



The blame was put on them,

The real reason

Was never found.




The Children’s Requiem



In the steeple,

The church bells are


Calling the people,

From all walks of life.

Released from fear and



The candles are lit,

The glow of the flame

Dance in silhouette.


Sunlight streams through

Stained glass,

Prisms of purple, red

And blue,

Forming mosaic designs,

Heavenly enshrined.


Children come in and

Take their seats,

Raising their voices to

The sound of the beat.


Those who learned

To dance and sing,

In spite of the trials

This earth brings.

Little ones abused and



Until they withdrew and

Fell asleep,

But now they have heard

The call,

“Let the little children

Come unto Me.”


The celebration of life

Has begun,

The altar is covered with



With challis of wine and

Communion bread,

Symbolizing the body and

Blood of our Lord,

Risen from the dead.


Prayers are ascending from

The altar of incense

Invoking His presence,

Honoring His guests.



The Conductor raises his

Scepter, His arms open


Then begins the sweet sounds as

The joyous songs arise.


Heaven bends nearer, never


The call is received, God’s

Children are risen

From sleep, reborn and set


Fight the Good Fight



We lived in twenty places

Between six and twelve

Years old.


Many more stories could

Be told.

This book is not large

Enough to hold them all.


I hope by sharing what

I have, memories will

Be lessened, and yours

As well.


It is hard to understand

This pain,

But if we can help

One another here, later

It will be explained.


So don’t give up,

Fight the good fight

Of faith. Let’s win

This race!








Donna’s Grandmother, Uncle, Mother and Father




Donna, her brother Terry and step sister Kathy







Some of the many places Donna and her brother Terry lived









Donna’s brother Terry Cassingham




The author Donna Nieri





A Child Interrupted

A true story in prose and poetry of a child born into an alcoholic family relating a sister and brother's traumatic lives of abuse and sharing their hope with others. Dedicated to all those who have had similar experiences. About the Author; Donna Nieri was raised primarily in several isolated mining towns throughout Nevada. Her childhood was laced with neglect and emotional abuse from parents addicted to alcohol and gambling. She writes on those experiences in order to share with others how she found deliverance and hope. Other Kindle Books by the Author; A Child's Journey Through Darkness, Weeping Child to Forgiving Child, Crushed Violets, And The Child Grew Up

  • Author: Donna Nieri
  • Published: 2016-11-05 23:35:34
  • Words: 12799
A Child Interrupted A Child Interrupted