I was only 13 when I was put in life threatening danger.
I had to stay up every night waiting for my dad to come home from his second shift job.
I had to learn how to shoot my dad's rifle, disarm and detain, and knock someone out long enough to get away safely.
"Where were the adults," you ask?
With me. My step mom was with me.
But I could barely keep her from hurting herself, so I also had to be the adult.
Dad's gun was kept on the coffee table next to the couch where I slept.
Always within reach.
I've seen my dad beaten and broken.
He was supposed to be the protector.
When we moved away from that place, the people who were trying to kill us followed.
And shortly after we moved, a day after to be precise, they came into our old apartment. Kicked down our old door with their weapons and guns.
They were looking to kill us. All of us.
Me, my 2 week old brother, my dad, my dogs...
We moved  to East Troy, in a small 2 bedroom apartment.  
They took out my dad's truck mirrors, followed us to Waukesha,
followed us everywhere.
We had our own personal stalkers.
Finally, two years later, my dad was out at the Kwik Trip down the road a ways.
Craig or Crispy or whoever was there.
He saw my dad and punched him in the face. Right inside of the gas station in front of people.
He told my dad this:
"You're dead, Travis. Fucking dead,"
I was at school when all this happened. I wanted to come home.
I wasn't there to protect my family.
I felt so bad.
I needed my dad; I needed to see that he was okay.
But Mandie said to stay at school;
I was safer there.
I cried for about two hours.
Now I'm seventeen.
I'll be eighteen very soon.
Things have settled. They've left us alone and fled the southern part of Wisconsin.
But still, I think about how I couldn't protect my dad that day.
I still feel useless and like I could have done more...
He's still around obviously, but he might not be if he wasn't threatened in public.

Just a portion of my life.
Nik 2d

April 24th around 5:50 pm a group of boys took it upon themselves to laugh.
I proceeded to look around to see if someone had fallen, to see if someone was wearing, or not wearing, something they shouldn’t,
I waited.
I began to walk faster.
“But It’s Better if you Do” by Panic at the Disco was blaring in my ears so whatever they were saying was blocked out by the blare of Brendon Urie’s voice…
I still don’t get what was so funny—but I have an idea.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been subject to jokes about how I look.
I am the butt of everyone’s fat joke,
My comedy is a product of every snicker, every cackle, every time I’ve been called Big Momma or Rasputia.
My pearly white smile is painted by the white lies I tell myself and everyone else to get through the day.
I wonder if people ever stop to think if there is a person, suffocating, lonely in the center of this big, fat meat suit.
I wonder if people ever think before they speak or laughing at me when I eat.
I wonder if people know that I was raised by the strongest single mother in the world, so I have skin tougher than steel so their words can’t hurt me,
A mother who raised 3 children on her own.
A mother of an 8 year old
Whose father died in Honduras 2 years ago after being deported back 2 years before that—she told us it was a car accident,
but my mother taught me was to be nosey and to always search for the truth, especially when it’s being hidden from you.
My little brother’s father, the love of my mother’s life, was gunned down murdered in cold blood.
She is a mother of a 23 year old
Who has had Asperger’s his entire life, has dealt with being shipped from school to school because it’s so hard to find a special education program for him.
My mother taught me patience is the biggest virtue, and that my anger with his repetitive questions and running around is nothing compared to the anger he feels with himself every day for being a “burden” on those around him.
A mother who
Beats herself up over the fact my brother my father’s side is addicted to drugs,
My brother’s mother was a drug addict and so was my father at the time,
And even though my father was able to clean himself up, he had so many warrants out for his arrest it forced him to play hide and seek with the police and his own children
So for months at a time my mom would take care of my brother, thought about adopting him, but of course that didn’t happen—
His mom got clean.
My dad was finally caught, things were looking up
Until his mother got dirty again, rolling with dogs, her arms look like she was eaten up by fleas
My father was never a father,
Disappearing for weeks without so much as even a breath and reappearing as if he never left
No wonder my brother can never stay clean.
My mother taught me to love my brother unconditionally, that no matter what I have to laugh with him when he needs a laugh
Because my brother doesn’t know what stability is, he doesn’t know what standing on his own two feet feels like because he is always high.
She taught me to always laugh with him because I don’t know if he’ll come down the next time he gets high.
A mother of
An 18 year old girl who suffers from clinical depression and anxiety, but has to keep it swept under the rug because the public school system failed in teaching her about mental illness.
However, my mother taught me that as much as I depend on her she depends on me, that I am her backbone and she believes that even if I sink I will learn how to swim before the tide engulfs me and I’m taken too far from the shore.
I’m ripping off this big, fat meat suit because I’m tired of suffocating,
I’m learning how to swim.
I can feel the sun now.

I will learn to rise up soon

When I was very little, my dad used to make up songs about what he was doing around the house.
Getting ready to go fishing, he'd make up a song.
Making lunch; he'd make up a song.
And once, he was making coffee, and I vaguely remember it.
My dad was holding me while he was pouring the coffee into the coffee filter,
The water in the coffee pot.
I remember him looking at me and smiling and then he sang:
"I love coffee," he'd sing and I'd echo with what he'd sing.
"Coffee every day,"
"When I wake in the morning,"
"It gets me on my way."

I love you dad. Even all of your weird embarrassing songs.
Manny Arriaga Apr 19

Bite your nails and make them rough like the burliness set beside you.
Don’t let tears fall like streaked sweat along the fabric of your skin
And speaking of your skin,
Let it dry;
Dry it with the blood of your heart so that men will nod and boys will bow to your feet,
The same way a curtain sways at the touch of strong wind
Let your strong limbs, your embedded masculinity rise within
And roar.
Take down all the boys and rise
Like a man.
Let your hands clash
Like a man.
Let your emotions die and your body live
Like a man.

Stop laying your hands on your hips while you speak.
Stop allowing your razor to cut strands off your legs.
A real man has hair,
Hair that flows like strings across the frame of your limbs
And your sides,
The space between your thighs
And speaking of which,
Let your emotions flow inside a woman for her to love you.
Love a woman like the woman she is,
And be a man like the man you are.
But certainly,
Most importantly,
Act. Like a man.

Show her what’s between your legs
And love what’s between hers.
She won’t refuse
And she won’t cut back.

She loves men.
She only loves men.
She is a girl,
And she’ll only love you if you act like a man.
You must act like a man.
You must dress like a man.
Strip off the layers of feminine odor
Take off that necklace,
Take out that mindset
Undress from that dress of indecisiveness
And appreciate what I gave you.
Clean up those cosmetics.
Clean up your act.
Quit quietly cooking that head of yours
Into the land of ridiculousness.
Change what those demons have created
And act. Like a man.”

But father,
What is a man.
Is a man someone who differs from those with different heads.
Is a man someone who keeps his hair short but his ego long.
Is a man someone who dwells in their own glory but refuses to acknowledge the worth of others.
Is a man tall?
Is a man short?
Is a man big?
Is a man small?
Is that a man who walks the streets in pursuit,
A cigarette dangling from his dead fingers.
Is that a man who feels the soft skin of a flower
Yet too ignorant and too lazy to care for it
So they pluck her while she’s still pretty
Then when bored, leave her to dry in the midst of a desert.
Is that a man who dares call a woman prude upon refusal
Yet easy when she accepts.
Is that a man who lingers on his own masculinity,
Entrapped in his bodily scent of hormones
Yet too ignorant to recognize the life he could have
If, just if,
He gave a look into the reflection of the water
Just to see himself for once.
Is that a man who makes false claims
Yet lives in complete hypocrisy.
Is that a man who has the nerve to defend lost causes when a woman speaks the truth?
Then I am not a man.
I am not a man.
I never was.

I never was confined in the stereotype you set aside for me,
Nor was a piece in the patriarchy
That was once built with honor
Now wrecked with the tomb of lies that all who were the norm,
Remain the norm,
And stay the norm,
Holding power over all for their own benefit.

I never was a man,
Never like a man,
And never will be a man.

If a man is all you told me to be,
If a man is what all you claim,
If a man is what you took from your father
And gave to your own,
Then I am not that man.

They weren’t demons.
They were me.

Ashly Kocher Apr 17

I closed my eyes to fall asleep
I saw an image and felt a warm breeze
The image I saw took me by surprise
I really didn't want to open my eyes
To my surprise I saw your face
You smiled at me and said everything will be ok
Even for a couple minutes to see your face
You sat in your race car and took my pain away
I felt a moment of love from you
All the way from heaven I got to see you...

I saw my dad in my dream last night   He used to be a race car driver when he was younger. It felt so good to see his face.
Arlene Corwin Apr 15

Happy Birthday, Daddy Dear

Happy birthday once again,
Daddy dear.  April fifteen,
And you’re not here to share it
For you died so many years ago.
(the year before we reached two thousand).
But the fifteenth rolls around
And somehow sounds a chord inside me.
This year happens to be
                                      Pesach, Easter;
Easy to remind myself.
You would have been one hundred nine –
Not unattainable          
As age today.
But still you went celestially.
I hope you’re happy
As I wish you happy birthday anyway.
So with a happy memory,
I’ll say happy goodbye
And start
A hopeful, happy day.

Happy Birthday, Daddy Dear 4.15.2017
Birthday Book; Love Relationships II;
Arlene Corwin

a dad is never forgotten.

David Grey "that poor Scotsman--"/Poet Andrew.


How dew lies silver in the valley, pale
Shafts through these naked boughs whose shadows' dense
Grey draws up silhouettes upon the sense
Of green lawns' soft new carpet to avail,
Half winking through the ghost of mists' detail
As trees' gaunt skeletons stand silent hence
In sheer calm's fragile note of light suspense,
And I could lose me here where dawn's eye'd hail.
But, no.  Just take a fleeting gander, poor
Though thinner notice be, and while we two
Put on the eggs, make porridge, toast, or fer
All that I do, as Dad makes gravy, view
A Saturday?  Roll 'cross my tongue what were
Sae almost hallowed ere, and say we knew?


I forget what [else] you're supposed to put here *cough, cough*
Genevieve Apr 7

He lived a long life of 95 years
telling me stories had been music to my ears,
Life experiences of plenty he was never without a story for me.

Life without parents at such a young age
became a truly honorable man in times of pain he raised his sister
as brother/father figure to a degree of course he always protected Junie,
Never letting it destroy who he is or
his name he held his head up proudly!
A Handsome like a stud for back in those times,
He is a stealth lady killer for sure and Grandma won his heart and owned it and still does from heaven above which my friends is where you find Real Love.
     Married for over 50 years they celebrated year after year
still making each other hearts warm and full.

He is the Best Man I knoW
I watched him and listened as I wanted to taste his wisdom,
         And I had longed deeply to know more of who he is and what he lived! Because that is where my dad whom was my grandpa but father to me.

Robert C. Brown
a Navy Seal and War Vet as well
Flying Aircraft and maybe even one or two kills.

He is an amazing man who deserves to be acknowledged
if you know what I mean because not only was he honorable
he was the best Dill Pickle maker anyone has taste or seen!

Always did want him to go big and sell in the markets but Dad
is a humble man who did it for the fun and love of his family and Friends!
For us it was a treat and we all looked forward to eat,
That certain time of year was Ever so Sweet!
Waking up from a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpas house ~

Exciting for sure knowing we will awaken to dads famous so light & fluffy
Scrambled eggs~buttered toast~Jam with french as well !
Choices of hot syrup served and more than that too!!
Yes Waking up at our Grandparents in the mornings were a time for chatter and
being playful with Gma and Gpa at the breakfast table and us taking it all in that special gentle kindness they always did extend.

So Tall and stellar
truly like the old diner/navy cut style,
this man was quite Incredible that people may stop and stare
but Gpa waves his hands and says " Oh Phewy!" blushing a bit.
Survived Throat Cancer thrice ah yes"

he is a fighter won many times but his voice was got light and raspy a smidge louder
than a whisper which would frustrate him with gatherings on holiday times,
So I sat close near listening with an avid ear ; Taking minutes to look into his piercing blue eyes to see that smile time after time again.

Trying to absorb yet another smell of him a hug to feel his sweetness
Love a kiss to tell him how great he is ;
To feel the scruff of his growing back in beard against my cheek
Reminding him of how much I value him & his presence his love.

Always make sure to say Hello if you walk in the door don't waste a single moment!
Since everyone did know not to ignore him or you'd get a pop in the nose!!

Well he would chuckle and grin with sweet humor across his face
that is when Dad was the cutest in all times,

A joke to tell and a smile to give that is how dad chose to live!
whom I Adore
you will be missed
forever until my days end,

I will never forget you dad, My best friend.
Such an Honorable intelligent man watching you
helped me to pick out a Great man too as a husband.

I became extra picky because of seeing you and hearing you speak
watching you be the man you only knew to be and Jesus in your heart!

This too is amazing I say so what I want you to know is I love you still each and every single passing day,month and years until there is no more so thank you for being
A Grandpa,Father,Friend
thanks for leading me til the end. Lvuxoxome

My Grandpa died a couple years few years ago and I mourn as if it were yesterday I am also having lots of stress in life right now but it makes for great poems at least,
So I wrote this so people can hear about the Best Man to be. Everyone misses out without having knowing him or met but much richer he makes your life by he has a way of getting you to appreciate what you have and the time here with each other
I also have witnessed death a couple times so I am hyper sensitive to valuing our time. Don't sit around forever and a day get up be lively and help others out
even if it seems small even a tiny thing to us may be huge to another. Kindness was his gift and being humbled always Grandpa just purely loved people and I learned from him so now I share this with all of you. thnx

we were raw
knew nothing about good or bad
but there was one person to teach
and that was you my DAD !!

Time passed by
Life came with various shades,
But there was one person
whose love never fades....

Giving warnings of the incoming tides
But holding hand each time I slide
I sincerely thank you DAD
For always being by my side....

Being a DAD ain't an easy job
You are to feel a child's laughter & his sob.
He needs you whether he is happy or sad
and I m happy that you are my dad....

(For such a nice father)

I haven't done anything yet
that would make him glad,
But one thing is for sure
that I love you so much my dad......

ju Mar 2012

Green-apple pings off of a shelf,
just misses his ear,
watermelon scores a direct hit
to the back of his throat.
… askin’ for it... the tart...
short bloody…

Woken mid rant, we don’t hear the rest,
not yet.
Straight-faced to the telly,
feeling confusion
pierce the backs of our heads-
Silently we pray
to the gods of Friday night
and sour candy, that
he’ll nod off and start snoring
before one of us pops
into a neon-snot-mess of giggles.
It’s taken too long
and we’ve eaten half our ammunition, but
he’s at it again. We grin.
Retrieve pink and green missiles
from 'round the chair legs,
to what he’d do to her.

Next page