One of my earliest memories was of watching Shakespeare on VHS and listening to my older sister and father banter back and forth with quotes from “Midsummer’s Night Dream” and “Taming of the Shrew”. Her on her tiptoes, so much shorter than my father, yet far more smug.

The words resonated with wavering emotion.

I remember reading faery tales and mother goose poems aloud while dancing around the frayed trailer’s carpet, or while walking with my older brother to get fresh water from the gas station a half mile away.

I remember the vinyls the clearest. Multi-coloured faded cases sandwiched together in an old red Cola crate. I would flip through them with my small fingers as my father played classic rock and strummed on a black electric guitar. His favourite song to play was “House of the Rising Sun”, a song to this day that still absentmindedly rolls through my mind. The lyrics enamored me. So bittersweet that it pulled my young heart-strings.

These were my first loving experience with the art of words.

It was only a brief while later that I found the need to write my own. I was the middle child of 3 strong boys and an athletic girl. The words of strangers and family alike never fell on deaf ears. I was the “Pretty child” small and not quite as competitive or bright as the others. I was the child that often felt the desire to wander off into the fields and woods of the Kansas country-side, but always required an escort, a chaperone. Always assigned one by my mother. But, even as a child I felt the need for more. I recall sitting at the window and writing my first poem about the wind. Oh, how undeterred it was with it’s constant movement. This work was riddled with jealously and adoration, a child’s confusion of feelings composed feebly into a poem.

Yet, it was a start.

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