Spotlight: Anna McGee-Blackburn
It's a wonderful day to shine the spotlight on someone I find highly talented. It is with great pleasure, on the Jimmy Broccoli page and website (to be posted later), to share with you the poetry of Anna McGee-Blackburn.
I've known Anna for years - she's a terrific writer and a wonderful friend! She is one of my favorite people.
This is Anna in her own words:
Anna is a nerd raising two more nerds with her wife of 11 years. She is taking time off from her nonprofit career to stay home with her sons. She enjoys traveling with her family, fixing, building, creating, writing.
And apparently she randomly writes dark poetry.
Here is a poem by Anna McGee-Blackburn - and, I know you'll love it as much as I do! ______________
I hear that song on repeat A constant loop for years The lyrics don’t match the visual that accompanies them Not by a long shot Because while I hear the words I see the withered, shrunken skin
She sings of strength and love But I see weakness, bone deep Soul deep.
Daddy’s hands are skeletal They don’t remember work They’re cold, thin, tissue-soft. The stuff nightmares are made of And mine really are.
Daddy’s hands… She sings about fairness and hard work But I see frailty, fumbling, shaking Submission to the great equalizer of addiction.
I see daddy’s hands alright I see them laying cold atop a white sheet At his sides Yellowing
Daddy’s hands She sings and sings. I don’t know her name and I don’t want to. I don’t even remember when I first heard the song
But she remembers daddy’s hands supporting her Warm, loving, constant I remember them cold Freshly rolled from the human freezer Why are they above the sheet? So I can see just how gnarled they became?
Three days gone
Three days stale
Three days without circulation
Daddy’s hands Why won’t she shut up? It’s been three years. But she keeps singing in my head
Daddy’s hands Above the sheet Will they reuse it? Or will it burn with him, tucked beneath his arms, Will it slide into the oven with him? Will it turn to ash along with daddy’s hands?
Yellowing Fingernails unnaturally prominent because the skin is receding They look so long They were never long
Daddy’s hands God, please stop! Have mercy, nameless songstress What even is this stupid song?
I hold it in my own— Daddy’s hand I kiss it one last time The hand I don’t know The hand that lays atop the sheet I squeeze that hand That cold, yellowed, lifeless hand
I close my eyes I’ve said what I had to I’ve said what I need to I forgive and I let go But only literally.
Because daddy’s hands reached in They took a piece of me With the cold touch, receding skin, swollen knuckles
Daddy’s hands took my peace It burned in his loose, yellow grip
Turned to ash
Scooped from the oven and tossed into a plastic bag
With daddy’s hands.
Photo: Anna McGee-Blackburn cosplaying as Bellatrix Lestrange for DragonCon (a sci-fi, fantasy, & horror convention in Atlanta, Georgia) and, obviously a baby.