THE PILES: An Excerpt from 'The Experience of a Young Woman in Hitler's Europe'

The following is a poetic excerpt from a play I wrote entitled ‘The Experience of a Young Woman in Hitler’s Europe.’ The play revolves around three women’s stories from growing up in the midst of the Holocaust. This excerpt is spoken by the narrator, when she introduces the physical piles that are on stage. The piles serve as a kind of character of their own throughout the play; they are set pieces, props, and also represent the people who perished during the genocide.

Piles of shoes

Piles of hair

Piles of pots, pans -

I couldn’t help but to stare

At the piles.

Piles of memories

Of lives lived

Of unrealized dreams

The piling of questions

That have not-good-enough answers

How could this happen?

Have we learned? 

Will we remember?

A lack of piles of response.

An abundance of recovered notes,

Letters from the otherwise forgotten

Uncovered underneath the rotten piles of memory.


the artist strokes
the rough what...
quick lines are possible
criss-cross, cross-hatch
crisp lines cut clear across the sheet
you, a future observer, run your finger along diagonally
take pleasure in the smooth
cut corners with the rough
what the rough is...
the rough criss-cross, cross-hatch
and when your finger passes her eyes, pause.
the woman in the etches
her eyes reach out
is there a way to end this less... sudden?
transcending the metal confines
scratched lines send her eyes
longing, easy, peaceful
she watches you
with her imbalanced, unproportioned eyes
and you are frozen
as the quick strokes
dug diligently by the distant designer
dance down and etch her nose
creating the rough
rough criss cross
rough cross-hatch

HURT: A Poem/Spoken Word

Did I Hurt you

When I said no more?

Because it Hurt me, too

That you didn’t tell me 


How nice it could feel

For me to be yours

You showed up

With no warning

Barely a morning’s


After I left

And you tell me

That I’m what you want

And those words 

Made me feel so good

Made me feel worth


When for so long

I was worth 


To you

Or so I thought

Because there you were

Wanting me to 

Leap with you

Am I worth

The Hurt

That will come from that Leap?

I have to tell myself


I am worth


I shouldn’t have to bleed

To feel loved

Loving should not


Your green eyes

Stare at me hard


I haven’t seen them

Ever like this

It’s almost as if

I can trust

That stare

And those words

And I run my hands through your hair

And I believe you

And for the first time

You are genuine

And true

And in love

And for the first time

It doesn’t matter

Because for the first time

I can’t be blind

To the Hurt

There is someone else

And he is soft

And he is kind

And he is enamored with my mind

Not my breasts

And the rest 

Doesn’t matter

Because even if you had my heart

He can love me better

Did that Hurt?

It hurts me too

Because for now

Even though I want him

And I choose him

Every now and then

I’m still thinking about you

MY WINTRE POIME: A Throwback to 1st Grade

This blog is not necessarily about creating something new each week, but about sharing pieces of my work that I’m proud of, no matter when I wrote it.

So, I present to you: a poem I wrote in the first grade. My aunt kept it all these years and framed it for me at the end of my Miami University career. She said that she always knew I’d be a writer after I came home as a six-year-old with this in my backpack. Feel free to laugh. This one always makes me smile.



Winter oh winter you

sparkle and glow in the

deep light snow. You are

so cold it makes me

cry. you shimmer and sparkle

in my deep dark eyes.

FEELS LIKE HOME: A Poem, Inspired by an Image

Alien streets

Turned familiar

In just a few weeks

The same steps

Each day, morning and night

Through weather of all kinds

Under a multitude of skies

Green, gray, black, blue

Tracing the same paths

Until they become our own

Until they are ours 

And we can walk them

With our eyes closed

Know them

Like the backs of our hands

The expression goes

But each evening

As the sun sets

I always seem to forget

The way the world changes

And how the ground opens up

To receive the sun

And the way the sky stretches big and broad

To catch the night

And before my eyes

This street that has become normalized,

Mundane and familiar

Puts on a show

For me only

And that is how I know

That this time is mine to hold

That this street is mine to own

That this is home

Outside the Château

Outside the Château

ALL OF MY HAPPY: A Poem/Spoken Word

I was born with all of my happy

Radiating out of my cheeks

In rosy roundness

Aunts and uncles, grandparents

Would kiss them

And I would beam

And I would glow

And I would relish in all of my happy

When I got older

And I would scrape a knee

Or lose a battle

My happy would rattle

And roll off of me

But I was always so sure to go back

To collect all of my happy

Back up into my fingertips

And taste it

Like ice cream

My happy is so delicious

And older still I grew

Losing and picking up

My happy all the time

Until I met you

And I don’t know why

But you became my happy

I poured all of my happy 

Into your cupped hands

And then

When I wasn’t looking

You spread your fingers

And watched all of my happy 

Spill onto the floor

Every. Single. Bit.

And I had been warned

Not to trust someone else’s hands

With all of my happy

My happy is too fragile

Too important

To be tainted

And yet I painted the inside walls of my eyes

With your laugh

And for that

I traded you for

All of my happy

I pumped all of my happy

Into colorful balloons

And gifted them to you

With the naivety

Of pure, innocent love

And I saw you laugh

With that laugh I admire

As you let go

And watched all of my happy

Float up into the clouds, streaming across the big blue

Like they were nothing more than ordinary Party City balloons

My happy does not belong to you


It’s taken me

So. Long.

To pick up

All of my happy

From the floor

To pluck all of my happy

From the sky

To paint over your laugh

That has marked the inside of my mind

And I have realized

Now that I have gathered back up

All of my happy

That it is worth more

Than a lifetime

Of your laughs