Category Archives: NaPoWriMo 2016




her foot bounced in time
to the music
as she laid in her stroller
earlier that day
we’d finalized her adoption
a judge in black robe
telling us our family was legal
and final
Baltimore ArtScape 1996
Robert Cray sang and played
and she was happy
as were we
now she dances
on the steps of the courthouse
where our family
first became a family
my musical child
now a woman
and I wonder
how two decades have passed
since I first held her
and knew what it was like
to love someone
so hard
that you forget
you need to breathe


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 30


Found Poem: One Text Today From My Daughter



The. You. I love.

You are the best of all the Mom.

The new one
and only a small group in

The. You.
I love it

and I have no clue who they really are
the same thing over and over
a month or two
and three of us who we are

the only one of my friends to play the game is on my iPhone
is so much better now than ever before

I go back in time and money to get my money

on the way you can do
go home.

Sierra the best thing about it

but it doesn’t work on my iPhone

to be able
too many people have to be


Julie Ayers (& Sierra)
NaPoWriMo Day 29

When Social Workers Weep



She’d dream of Crock-Pot pepper steak when the going got tough
Angel food cake propped upside down to cool on a Coke bottle
She’d read reports that stress morphed your cells
Slowed your metabolism and thickened arteries
Decades in, her fingers remained pink
And her body tumor free

What she dreaded most
Was the look of dumbfounded horror
In the eyes of professionals
She wondered if they went home
Climbed into bed next to their partners
And spooled out her story

She should be an alcoholic
Obese or a secret cutter
Gray and sloven
Rage-fully bitter

Instead she was
Obscenely ordinary


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 28




Curled and quiet
She lay on her side
Watching the yellow wallpaper age
Wondering if the shadows
Playing there
Were only shifting light

Too tired to lift her arms
She lacked the will
To peel the paper back
And change her view
Instead preferring to seethe
At its daily sameness

Once she’d been a painter
Every wall a potential
Mural or statement
Bold and fearless
She’d shaped the world
To her perfect vision

Now she sighed
And shifted from side to side
The view the same from right
Or left
She suspended in the bland
changeless nowhere

Weary of hoisting paint brushes
She dreamt of a match


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 27

Apples and Girl Scout Cookies



I’m not asking you to buy Girl Scout cookies
so my daughter’s troop can take that trip to DC
or buy a chocolate bar so my son’s softball team
can get new jerseys
purchase pizzas, or cookie dough, or wrapping paper, or candles
so the school can get a climbing wall
cut a check for the sports boosters
so the stadium can be replaced

These are all valuable and worthy things

What I’m asking is for you
to donate
so together we can try and save my daughter’s life


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 25 – Bonus/Alternative Poem

Hand Out



I beg for donations and money
to help fund research into my daughter’s rare genetic disorder.
I find the asking agonizing,
embarrassing and rather humiliating.
Who wants to feel like they have to request help from other people?
Like everyone else, I want to be self-sufficient and care for my children.

I push down my pride and ask friends and acquaintances for favors:
-To perform at the fundraising event;
-To volunteer to work the concert;
-To donate goods or services.
My stomach knots with each request
and I fight feeling a profound sense of shame.

I remind myself I’m doing this to try and save my child’s life
and the lives of other people who live with her progressive disease.
Why should this task generate feelings any different than what I experience
as I do her day-and-night-in and day-and-night-out regular care —
dispensing medications,
tending her g-tube and bringing her to countless medical appointments?

I know, intellectually, that most people really don’t mind my asking,
this fundraising-for-charity-business being the most socially acceptable
form of begging.
If I can work up the courage to ask,
most people are more than willing to lend support —
sing, provide a keg, bake a cake…

Sometimes, I think of how painful it must be
to be truly out of options and out of luck and out on the street,
where asking for change could mean you see tomorrow or not.
Just like every injection you give yourself hurts,
even if you have to do it every day,
I bet that daily ask stings devastatingly deep.


Hey, by the way, want to help?

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 25