"My Diaries Are In Your Basement"

Everyone has at least one good book in them, and I think yours should be about me.
— Grandma Woodcock, 1955

boxed under that Raggedy Ann

I made you from practically nothing,

which is what I loved about my life—

always something from nothing.

I apologize for her Magic Marker mouth—

embroidery takes so long—

and for the dresses I trimmed with lingerie lace,

as if anyone could even tell.


I hope by now you’ve lightened up.

So much attention to books

when reading the synopsis would do.

My diaries, though…

There is more there than the visits to Dr. McGinty

the heart medicine

the complaints about your uncle’s cigar smoke.

Please. Read between the lines.


You’ll see how hard it must have been

to pack up and move—with memories and diaries

and Social Security checks and S&H Green Stamps—

from one daughter’s house to the next.


All that sewing

and apple dolls, shell dolls and doughnut making.

I just wanted to earn my keep and tell my stories.

Such good ones….


about my mom dying when I was 12

and me hunting with my brothers

and shooting rabbits along the railroad track

so I’d know the way back home.


If you pull out those books, I know you’ll find me.

Somewhere. In words

like African violets, Nelson Eddy, tomboy.

Why have you waited so long?


About the author

Pat Hurley is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Columbus, Ohio, whose work has been published in journals including Pudding Magazine, Poydras Review, The MOON Magazine and Snapdragon. With her late husband Bill, she co-authored the chapbook Hard to Swallow (NightBallet Press 2018). You can find her online at pathurleypoet.com


Pat Hurley