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Kelly Cammack Poetry Collection

– Poetry by Kelly Cammack –

Also available in Issue 13 of Dreamers Magazine

You Don’t Want Me To Say

I startle awake in fear of falling, I remember
clumsy stumbles on the way to Sunday school
Dirt stains on knee socks that no longer stayed up,
scuffed toe of my shiny party shoes
Blood on knee, matching blood dripping
from the holes in Jesus’s hands and feet
he shedding scarlet tears, mine clear
and in that moment, I love him

I wake up sweating, I remember
The familiar dream of a man groping me
On the movie screen behind closed eyes
I see my father’s face as he reaches across the stove
The look of ownership as his meaty hand inches
towards my favourite embroidered peasant blouse
I smell the greasy pork chop in the frying pan
“Your breasts are growing”
and in that moment, I despise him

I work amongst men, I remember
white starched shirts, tight necked ties
engineers, draughtsmen, they all husbands, fathers
The times they cycled in and out of my work area
figures in a cuckoo clock, in one door, out the other
for no other reason than to stare,
I feel like I have been pimped out
the starring act of a vaudeville peep show
And in those moments, I pity them

You grab my breast as I am getting dressed, I remember

You don’t want me to say

“You remind me of my father”

A Slow Death

My sister is slowly killing me
with every failed suicide.
I tell her, “You really suck at this,
throw yourself in front of a train”
an almost certain death
knowing there are no trains on our island.

I am not a good sister.
She tells me this
Not when she is sober,
when the alcohol runs alongside her blood
a lymph system of manipulation
it freezes her heart,
her words, meant to melt mine
chip away, her tongue an ice pick

I have been an easy target
The toddler she batted around
like a stuffed animal
with the memory of an elephant

“Walk into the ocean”
I suggest on a stormy day, “You can’t swim”,
an almost certain death
And then I remember,
the one thing we have in common
We float

About the Author – Kelly Cammack

Kelly is privileged to live on the unceded traditional territory of the Ligwiłda’xw people on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. She recognizes that it is truly a beautiful gift to live there.

She is a very proud mother of two sons and grandmother of four and can often be heard crowing their praises to the sky’s and anyone that will listen.

She is an emerging poet at the ripe age of sixty-six. Kelly has lived a rich life full of love, friendship, and loss. She was widowed at forty-nine and this loss and childhood traumas inform her poetry. It is through this writing that she has healed, and she hopes others find their path to healing as well.

Kelly has previously been published in Abandoned Mine Poetry Journal.

Did you like this poem by Kelly Cammack? Then you might also like:

The Identified Patient
What I want the surgeon to know

Sanctuary, and other poems
The Body as Poem
Metaplasia and other poems
This is What Death Does
Where Courage Lives
The Psychiatric Patient Profiled in My Application
Modern Medical Miracles
What the Mirror Says
Writing Myself Alive: An Episodic Poem
Breathing; Love These Lively Things

Oh Emma; Slow Dancing
In the Mirror, For My Mother

Zenstronomy: Zen of Instruction, Godma, Astrophysical Reality

To check out all the poetry available on Dreamers, visit our poetry section.

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