Helen Marie Casey


You make funny faces at the camera, clown-like boy
in flannel pajamas, a red toy car in your hands, maybe
eight years old and, for the moment, happy. We watch
the years pile on, you teaching your cousin, the one who
idolizes you, how to scale the highest backyard mountain,
the two of you, survivors, coming indoors for cookies and
milk. Before you destroyed it, you kept a journal. I wonder
what you confided, which kind of code you used, and if it
helped at all, before you decided there was no point. What
could spilling words onto a page do? Did you try to say it,
how desolate you felt, the loneliness growing too large
to encompass, the cold, hard struggle to clamber down
the cliff more than you could embrace until you decided
you’d had enough. You decided to unburden yourself.
Totally unburden yourself. You climbed up, you tied
your wool scarf, tested a bit, then tightened the knot,
as any aviator would, visibility cloudy, winds turbulent.



Helen Marie Casey completed her B.A. in English and French at the University of Portland, her M.A. in English at Portland State University, and pursued doctoral work in Literary Studies at Washington State University. She worked for some time in Corporate Communications.

 … return to Issue 11.2 Table of Contents.