I see you
I know you
Every piece and part
I’m tired
Of always being the strong one
I have to get out
Of my head
You need to try
Hope whispers
And goes
Like a vapor
We’re both left
I step
I’m tired
Of being the only one stepping
Now what
You here
Me there
I see you
If I stop
I’m afraid of my own
That my feet
Keep breaking
New beginnings
Let’s do this
The merry go round
Of life
How long can we keep repeating
This same stepping?
Our past
Our future
Is this
What our future
Looks like?

JJ McCreary


You Died On A Sunday

You passed away on a Sunday.

I couldn’t cry because my focus was your granddaughter

Who sobbed in my arms, unable to comprehend that you were really gone

No more “You little rascal”, “Barking Spiders”, “Hi honey”, “Bye honey”…

No more silly faces and inappropriate jokes

I loved your beard as a little girl…would rub my hand over your chin

And giggle

I’ll never touch that chin again

I wasn’t there

You didn’t want me there

In the end

I died inside, not being there…for you, for me




Emotions that seem useless, but brew, bake and grow within me




I sat for days in a daze

Curled in a ball, I heard your voice, “Hi honey” over and over again

What was comforting became torture

Torture that I receded from you

Years ago

Was I the daughter that I should have been?

Could have been?

For the first time in years I looked at myself in the mirror

Really looked

Deep in my own eyes

I am accountable

It was my own fault

I could have tried harder

I should have been more

Of a daughter

For you…your only daughter

But I wasn’t

I see myself now; in this mirror… really see myself

Inside, outside

I stayed away from you

Due to differences of opinion

Severe sadness

Who does that?

I did

I missed out…on you. My father I loved dearly

I’m sorry I didn’t try harder

I was so mad at you

That I wasn’t accepted

Rebellion of you

I was wrong

You were wrong

Let’s move on, but we can’t now can we?

You died

You’re gone

In the mirror I look

I really look

I can change



I forgive

I forgive you

I forgive myself

I let go

Of these emotions

That I have allowed to batter and beat me

For months

For years

I give these emotions away…

I tried to handle it on my own

And I can’t anymore…

This is yours to handle

No longer mine

I will miss you Dad

I will grieve

I will remember…

Our laughter

Our pranks

Old English spin that I never got quite right

Your sparkling eyes

Mischievous grin

Your joy when you saw your granddaughter born

When you held her, you held your breath

Our two Hal’s, two peas in a pod

Same dark eyes, same toes

Black licorice ice cream




Redwood trees

Margaritas and chips

Cheese and crackers


Gathering with friends


The fearless way you walked

The fearless way you talked

Your quiet observations

Havalina hunting


You passed away on a Sunday…

I will never be the same again.


Who Told You To Be Strong?

Born a fighter

A survivor

A stranger, head tilted

Eyes perplexed asked,

“Who told you

Since you were little

You had to be strong?”


Seven brothers

Tackle football, concussions

Shake-it off, be strong

Twelve years old…decided to leave home

For a boarding school

Early decisions, strong decisions

Graduated high school at sixteen

Wonder woman?

Super girl?

Dedicated, focused

Enough was never enough

Stay strong

Be self-sufficient

Rely on yourself

Be strong, live strong

Here I am


Back burner…everything

Must keep stepping

Stepping shows strength

No tears, shake it off

But some days I wilt

Tired of the grind

Of the stepping

I’m different



When do I stop being strong?

I can’t breathe

I just want to breathe…

A loner? A fighter? A survivor?

I use to view life as ‘One day when’, ‘I’ll be good when’…

Not anymore

In my now

Right here

So let’s stop stepping

And deal with the mess

Embrace the now & all it comes with

Cry, write, discuss, pray, breathe



Not one day when

He asked the question… a stranger

“Who told you since

you were little you

had to be strong?”


But not

Right NOW



A Thousand Scrolling Faces

I sat and watched thousands of faces
Scroll in memory of them
They were young
They were old
They held their babies in their arms
They held each other
We watched and I wondered
What brought you to this place?
What heartache?
What pain?
What tragedy?
The smiling faces staring back at me don’t help me understand.
We gather, standing, holding our breath
Waiting for our loved ones face to come on the screen.
They’re gone
They are not coming back to us
To hold
To cherish in our arms
To watch their children grow
We are the ones left waiting
Wanting more for those smiling in the scrolling pictures than they wanted for themselves
I’m broken
I want to know their story
I want to know why
And then I see her
Holding her breath
Camera poised
To catch a glimpse of her son
He can’t be missed
Never forgotten
None of them ever will be
The tears come for what we wish could have been
What should have been
Heroin destroys families
Hold on to hope
Get help
We love you
We miss you

“All I wanna do is make a difference, some way, somehow….maybe create a few smiles in the process.”
Christopher Holland 10/16/85- 3/7/2016

Hibiscus Girl

Hibiscus Girl

Radiant sunlight
Strawberry blonde hair glowing in the sun
Hot pink cheeks in the Florida sun
Humid, sticky
Run & run, play & run
Aussies nipping
Birds chirping
Beautiful hibiscus flowers
Hot Pink
Dainty fingers choose hot pink
Huge grin
Proud moment
Outstretched hand
Hot pink hibiscus, plucked before me
Sparkling eyes, love brimming
Memories created & flash
Off again
There she goes
Aussies barking
Poop on shoes
Hibiscus flower tucked in
Strawberry blonde hair glowing in the sun

Jeni McCreary

She was only 69

She was only 69

Blue eyes, button nose

Cute as the dickens

Cancer an unnecessary end

To a life that was precious

and beautiful

She saw the potential in anyone

And anything

“Fake it until you make it”

“Let go & let God”

“You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to”

“You are a King’s kid”

Were all common mantra’s growing up

Painting & art were her stories on canvas

Unique & flamboyant

Orange- was her favorite color

Radiant like the sun


Everything “Just So”

A place

A space

5 were better than 1…. in anything


Sloppy Wet Kisses

Long Naps

Snuggled up reading books

Fiercely loyal

Perfect hair, Perfect makeup

Turtlenecks & PJs- her favorite things

Tucking my hair behind my ear

Back rubs

Her sneeze

The best laugh you’ve EVER heard

Oh my God, how I miss her

But she’s with you now

Pain free

Dancing with her Savior

Ravaged by cancer too young

She left us on a Monday

Holding my brother’s hand

She was only 69

Blue eyes & a button nose

She was mine & I miss her

Keep her safe God

Until I see her again

*In honor of my Mama, Christene Smith Kulze.       11/27/1944 – 8/5/2013

Not Untouchable

My first published poem
Titled, ‘Untouchable Rose’
Created for the life you led
And here I am today
Looking at beautiful roses
Dying & wilting
You’ve been untouchable
For almost 5 years now
I can’t see you
I miss you
I need you
Everyone needs their Mom
Regardless of age
And time
Ugly cried
All the way home
Hard workout
Triggered repressed
Grief in missing you
Grief in my now
Grief for a future
That feels fuzzy
I’m sorry for judging
For not understanding
I get that you did
The best you could
I wish I could hear
Your voice
Listen to that laugh
That was so uniquely
I heard your voice today
So clearly
“Honey…you will when you’re ready”
You always believed in me
My dreams
My hopes
My writing
My forever champion
How I miss you
You were never
An untouchable rose
I just didn’t get it
Like I get it now
I see your beauty
I smell the wilting roses
And cry