Comments Posted By Melissa

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Cassettes are old school, but bring back many great memories of my teenage years. Friends and Friday nights cruising around blasting music and making new friends. What a great time.

» Posted By Melissa On 01.07.2019 @ 7:44 am


I like Ukulele. It’s a instrument very simple, but handsome. I wanted to play the ukulele. Remember me the luau.

» Posted By Melissa On 10.10.2018 @ 12:17 pm


I’ve never been a user of backpacks. Growing up, the Walmart bag was by far more useful for my gifted brain. Backpacks required too much organization. You would see me walking down the hall with 4 Walmart bags full of lunch, homework, textbooks, and my favorite journal.

» Posted By Melissa On 10.19.2017 @ 8:30 am


Death lurked here. I walked slowly. It was day, but it seemed so dark. The silence was loud. The smell was unbearable. I looked forward, walking as fast as I could. I needed to get out of here. Something wasn’t right about this place. This place I called home.

» Posted By Melissa On 08.25.2017 @ 12:30 pm


The flower peddles fell upon my head as the wind blew them from the trees. The blossoms filled the air with the sweetest smell. A calmness fell over me and I sat quietly meditating.

» Posted By Melissa On 08.18.2017 @ 6:04 am

The wind blew the daisy filled field in slow motion. I stood there. Hair blowing sideways, breathing in the smell of fresh grass and flowers.

» Posted By Melissa On 08.18.2017 @ 5:40 am


I am drinking an ocean of water to keep up with the thirst I have from the hottest day we’ve had so far. It is currently hotter than Egypt. Can it get that hot? Yes, apparently it can. I do not like it. Sand or no sand.

» Posted By Melissa On 06.12.2017 @ 5:28 pm


I don’t like when people stare at me. Yet I sometimes stare at others when I don’t think they are looking at me. Kids stare and it bothers people in public places.

» Posted By Melissa On 01.23.2017 @ 7:31 pm


Wealth looks like…whatever you want it to mean.

» Posted By Melissa On 11.17.2016 @ 6:07 am


I’m always on the go. Some days, I have two jobs and drive through six counties. I’m moving, driving, restless, running to get away from the sensation that my life is full of stagnation.

» Posted By Melissa On 11.15.2016 @ 6:09 am


I will not get political. I will not get political. I will not get political. I will not talk about the riots. I will not talk about the riots. I will not talk about the riots. I will not get political. Being a teacher is hard. “Who did you vote for, Mrs. Kiefer?” Who did you vote for who did you vote for who did you vote for. The word idiots–it’s been thrown around too much these past several months. This has been the first election where students I respect and love come to me and cry. And my heart breaks for them. Who did I vote for? How about I don’t say. I believe in love but not the kind of love that either candidate expressed. Who did I vote for? For God. For guns. For pro-life. For military. For law enforcement. Love? Tough love. It’s all contradictory, isn’t it? I will not get political. I will not get political. CRAP. It’s all political.

» Posted By Melissa On 11.10.2016 @ 6:12 am


“Onward Christian soooo-l-diers, marching on to war,” are the lyrics I remember from Vacation Bible School. Pigtails and sparkly jelly shoes, I remember deliberately and enthusiastically marching. I didn’t know, then, that the battle was more than scraped knees on the playground, more than running out of sugar wafer cookies and purple punch,

» Posted By Melissa On 09.27.2016 @ 6:10 am


A human’s perspective can be cloudy and complicated. My perspective is often biased and confused. Furthermore, decision-making is difficult for me because I try to consider the problem from many angles and all perspectives.
What I really want is the perspective of a puppy. Yes. I want to see life from a puppy’s point of view. :)

» Posted By Melissa On 09.23.2016 @ 6:04 am


Since you were young, you’re taught to share your feelings so that friends, family, and general people around you (that you’d like to share with obv) can know what’s going on.
When you get older, and this may just be my case, but when you get older you begin to safeguard your feelings. You don’t want to share – you don’t want to be vulnerable, you don’t want to be a burden – so you keep your mouth shut. You bottle your feelings until one day…you explode.
It’ll keep happening. The same vicious cycle. Unless you make the active decision to begin to pinpoint these semi-destructive behaviors and try to change them, it WILL, and I promise it will keep happening.
What happens when you bottle things up for years and years and years and then finally get diagnosed with a mental illness.
How do you cope then?

No answer.

You’re weak now. Don’t share. Do share. Who with? Anybody? Just one somebody? Family? Friends? Your cat? Therapist?

No one.

No answer.

You’re dead.


» Posted By Melissa On 09.21.2016 @ 7:31 am

I put safeguards in place. I put my guard up in most situations. I take every measure I can to ensure nothing bad can happen, nothing unexpected or surprising. The funny thing about life? It doesn’t matter. Life doesn’t care about the safeguards, the guardrails. Life cannot be controlled.

» Posted By Melissa On 09.21.2016 @ 6:14 am


This summer I grilled you salmon with lemon and butter and sea salt. I try to embrace this autumn, what was once my favorite season. Instead I long for citrus, for charcoal, for delicate pink underbelly flesh. Something fresh. Something caught. A time when supper was a casual and intimate event that could take place at ten o’clock at night and the aroma of coffee was my only alarm for the morning.

» Posted By Melissa On 09.19.2016 @ 6:11 am


My cabinets are messy. They mock me. Each time I open the cabinet doors, I get the message: There’s always something you haven’t done. You could always be better. Nothing in your life will ever quite fit.

» Posted By Melissa On 09.15.2016 @ 6:10 am


Growing up, I wished I was the middle child. In reality, I’m the oldest and only have one sibling. Some kids think the middle child is the forgotten child. I wanted to be out of the limelight. I wanted out of responsibility. I wanted my parents to not have the excuse, “Well, we didn’t know. We don’t know what’s normal. We’ve never done this before.”

» Posted By Melissa On 08.31.2016 @ 6:06 am


Traffic signs make me think of my husband–and not just because he’s a cop. Words like Stop. Or green lights. Or red lights. Or red and blue lights. Or Pedestrian Crossing. Or Falling Rocks. Words like Merge. How do you merge two lives together. Traffic laws are a lot like marriage.

» Posted By Melissa On 08.29.2016 @ 6:07 am


You brought me back a Corona bottle. I was naive but in love with the person I thought you were. You brought it back from college spring break filled with Florida? Mexico? sand. I kept the bottle on my dresser. Every coarse, minuscule grain. I kept in there beside the dried roses until time allowed me to unlearn all I thought I knew.

» Posted By Melissa On 08.25.2016 @ 6:12 am


Grandma Mabel was a painter. I didn’t know she possessed this talent until she was dead. I found her paintings in a back bedroom. A vase of flowers. A bowl of fruit. Her husband in a boat on the river, bringing up a net of fish. This woman, this Mabel Elizabeth–my husband’s grandmother–was so much more than good fashion, good food, good manners. She was more than classy. More than domesticity. She was art. She was a creator. Maybe she even painted outside of the lines. This is the side of her I wish I knew.

» Posted By Melissa On 08.23.2016 @ 6:09 am


transform is to change,. change your life, change your close become a different entity. Transforming is essential to growth. Without transformation, we would all still have the minds of a baby. It is the ability to learn to be smart to become individuals .

» Posted By Melissa On 05.19.2016 @ 4:13 pm


Bullets fly through the air seeking their targets. The goal is a simple one: inflict damage. Is the infliction of damage a good or an evil? Can we make that di

» Posted By Melissa On 04.04.2016 @ 12:56 pm


I’m a lightweight. With every harsh word you say it affects me. More than you’ll ever know. So be careful and think about what you’re saying to me. Because I’m a lightweight.

» Posted By Melissa On 03.30.2016 @ 6:39 pm


In northern Illinois, I was not teaching. I was barely moving, barely breathing. I saw a class offered above the building where they held town hall meetings: Adult Beginner Ballet. I was the youngest student. The women were uncoordinated, clumsy, rotund, and anywhere from sixty to eighty-five. I loved my leggings, my leg warmers, my leotard, my over-the-shoulder sweatshirt that slipped as I twirled faster and faster in order to get warm in a room where we could see our breath. I loved, most of all, my ballet slippers with ribbons that crisscrossed, tied around my ankles. I learned nothing about technique in this class. I knew more, probably, before I entered the door than when I left each week. But I learned, as I untied my shoes, as my massaged bruised toes, how to move again. How to find some kind of bizarre hope every Wednesday morning. I needed to move to remember I was alive. I needed to see my breath in order to keep breathing. I needed proof. I needed bruises and blisters and bloody toenails. I needed all things to unravel, untie. Turn, turn, pick a spot on the wall so I don’t fall. Turn, turn, turn. Faster. I’m alive.

» Posted By Melissa On 03.07.2016 @ 6:24 am


You unhinged the bathroom door. You said unhinging would be better than breaking it down. After all, we were only renting that house.
I became unhinged, unglued when I watched Chris Stapleton’s music video, “Fire Away.”
I was wrecked yesterday, all day. I drove to Walmart after school let out and brought the CD. So I could listen and cry–not remembering the last time tears fell, not understanding completely why the drops fell so steadily.
And I keep flashing back to the music video, to the husband pulling his wife out of tepid bathwater.
Feeling like you treated me as a rebel-teenager, a child, I demanded privacy I didn’t even want.

» Posted By Melissa On 03.03.2016 @ 6:29 am


It’s funny, the things we want. Your grandma’s in the grave, and I do not want that 9-carat rose cut diamond or the ruby ring. I want the recipe box. Because she loved it. Because the real Italian lasagna (with the real mozzarella and the fresh basil) is how showed us love. Because the chocolate pie is what she made for you and only you. I want her art. I want her art because I sat at my spot at the dining room table beside you and often glanced up at the silhouettes of ballerinas that pirouetted above the piano. I want the covered bridge painting above the couch in the living room because it reminds me exactly, exactly of Vermont and New Hampshire and our fifth wedding anniversary which really marked thirteen whole years of love. I want *everything* Mabel Kiefer painted herself–the baskets of flowers, the fruit in a gilded frame, the fisherman. Novice, she was. Precious, it is. Your grandpa’s in the nursing home. You don’t want his money. Your grandpa, who held my hand last night. Allowed me to feed him chocolate ice cream. “Missy, you’re here. I’m better now,” he gasped through pain that shot through the back of his head and as his one working lung tightened and heaved. He ran his fingers through my hair as I cried for him. He told us, finally, to go. I think he knew we needed his permission. And so we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house so you could fetch some paperwork. Some piece of me died a little when we had to walk up the front door like guests, had to use keys in the lock. The house was too cold. The house was too quiet–no Westerns blaring in the back room. We walked to the basement, and while you looked through the filing cabinets, I was the one who found all you really wanted: the tools, in the room where he taught you what you know; the fishing rods and reels and nets and lures lined up in perfect rows. You taught me how to “finesse” a fish, and I know where you learned it. As I stood there, I recalled the photo outside Grandpa Earnie’s new nursing home door. Strong and smiling, holding a record-breaking catfish. Husband, you lured me in. Finessed. You did the work that wasn’t really work. But your grandparents, the ones you took me to see on our second date? I fell in love with them too. Set the hook hard. They’re the ones that caught me–and catch me still– in a wide net of love I don’t deserve.

» Posted By Melissa On 03.02.2016 @ 12:52 pm


Lemon shakeups from the (very southern) Edwards County fair. I thought it was the only nectar that could cure, could quench a thirsty northern transplant in the dead dead dead of winter. On a drive (that could have easily turned into my escape from a husband who loved me and everything else), I found Hubert’s lemonade (the glass bottle with the smiley face and too many carbs and too much sugar) in a rundown gas station where I stopped to fuel up. A sip. A pucker. A sweetness. A smile. All my bitter-sour dissolved. I bought five bottles to make the taste last a little longer. It wasn’t shaken lemonade, not a shakeup from the stand by the gyros and the funnel cakes and the cotton candy. But I was shaken. And it somehow steadied me as I drove back in the opposite direction of home and all the way back to him.

» Posted By Melissa On 03.01.2016 @ 6:16 am


Workshop. Writing residency with Elena Passarello. I told her, “I can’t write these stories–not for a public audience, not for eyes outside this workshop.” She said, “Your responsibility is to write. You just write the truth about it all. Honey, your grandma’s dead. She won’t know the difference. Write. Worry about the rest later.” And so, I did. And so, I will. My next big project that will wreck an entire family who likes to hide the truth. First stop: Workshop. Next stop: World.

» Posted By Melissa On 02.24.2016 @ 6:12 am


An education professor in college was worried about me. He said I seemed quiet. Timid. Shy. Squeaky. Like a mouse. He told me to practice using my “teacher voice” in the car. He told me to yell and scream and carry on as loudly as I possibly could.
I love Dr. Ciscell (retired now), but he had me wrong. My voice is loud.
His other inkling, though–well, he had it right.
I’ve spent every year of this career proving myself.
And it makes me want to scream, yell, carry on.
Carry on, I will. I do.
Carry on.

» Posted By Melissa On 02.22.2016 @ 6:30 am

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