Iowa Writes

SHEENA SMITLEY
Porcelain Memory


Who gave you right
To call yourself Daddy?
I remember the pressure
of your large palms
like wind on a black umbrella tent
smashing my skull
into the thick, dark, crimson carpet.
Your dry, paint-stained fingers
wrapped firmly 'round my shoulders
as my frail body, shoved
through air, finds a wall
tough as your fist
that used to scrape
itself across my cheek.
Who gave you right
to call yourself Daddy?
The sting of alcohol
in your breath,
burning beneath the blood
stained cuts on my skin
and causing my tears to well.

Who gave you right
To call yourself Daddy?
I remember the pressure
of your large palms
like wind on a black umbrella tent
smashing my skull
into the thick, dark, crimson carpet.
Your dry, paint-stained fingers
wrapped firmly 'round my shoulders
as my frail body, shoved
through air, finds a wall
tough as your fist
that used to scrape
itself across my cheek.
Who gave you right
to call yourself Daddy?
The sting of alcohol
in your breath,
burning beneath the blood
stained cuts on my skin
and causing my tears to well.
Your forceful roar, so close to me
that I could feel your droplets of
alcoholic saliva landing upon my freckles,
blending with the tears of blood
that dripped helplessly down
the side of my face.
I remember your head would shake
in complete rage
until your voice no longer existed.
It thundered through my home
what used to be our home,
and the walls began to tremble
as your beer-stenched self
made way through the front door.
My tiny feet were left with no choice
but to hide and pray
that someday an angel would come
and carry me away.
The fury in your eyes
seeped into me
like hell's tempestuous black hole
and eventually swallowed me whole.
Who gave you right
to call yourself Daddy?

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


SHEENA SMITLEY

Sheena Maree Smitley was born in Des Moines, Iowa. She is 20 years old and a sophomore at Simpson College. An English major, she plans to teach high school after graduating.

This page was first displayed
on April 16, 2006

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