I want to know women's stories, get them right
before they go wrong, lost in the mouths of men,
of children who did not listen slowly enough.
Was great grandmother's name Havens or Littlejohn,
and was it she who scattered her eleven children
across the Nebraska Plain when Sioux came to visit,
or was that on my father's side?
And was it her mother who came to Virginia
a young Yorkshire bride, a widow within a year,
the one we have a photo of in the hallway
after she remarried, her hair pulled tight
at the temples, lips pursed?
I catch my reflection in the framed glass,
own lips tightened, wishing to know the connection.
Eileen received a MA in creative writing with an emphasis in nonfiction prose and a MFA in poetry from CSU, Fresno. She teaches creative nonfiction, composition, and literature at Reedley College. Recent publications include the Platte Valley Review, The Packinghouse Review, The Mom Egg, Writing It Real, and Kaleidowhirl. Eileen’s latest writing project is in fact an old one as she has dusted-off the pages of a 10-year old manuscript and is working with a documentary film maker to bring her vision of landscape and memory to the screen. Genealogy research has been an obsession of Eileen’s since she was a twelve when inherited her grandmother’s letters.