I’m back with another author who I think you should get to know. Her name is Leah Tilly, and I think she’s going to make a huge splash. Her stories are personal and intense; she pulls no punches, even on herself, and this is part of her power. She has a keen eye for the truth and a gift for expression.
This is one of her poems. It’s a reprint, and the link to the original source is at the bottom. You should follow it, as her artwork adds to the words.
There’s no parade.
There’s no speech at a podium before a packed crowd followed by an encore.
If you get to tell your story at all, it will be in church basements and even then, all you’ll get is hugs and a medallion.
So, what did you expect?
I’ve seen bloated trailor trash women with fried perms on Mauie Povich weeping into their hands, sniveling, “I haven’t seen a dollar from him since our third was born. I have three kids but not enough money to make two decent one-pot meals for the week.”
I think to myself, how successful they are to be that loved and needed by their kin.
They are selfless because they have to be.
Their laundry machine and dishwasher are always whirring.
Running errands in sweatpants with bird’s nest hair because why look cute when your kids are beautiful?
And they don’t even know how to date anymore … it’s been so long.
Dizzied by distractions, consumed by a to-do list that’s the length of a scroll.
How wonderful to have a purpose as simple and complicated as caring about others more than yourself.
I have achieved nothing but 50,000 grand in the bank and a piece of property.
None of those things love or need me … but I need them.
Part of me thinks, I’m not done exploring and photographing abandoned properties.
39 is a good number.
If I don’t get knocked up by 39, I’ll adopt in Russia because its cheap and while I’m at it, swing through Chernobyl for a tour.
It’ll be my greatest and last urban adventure, crowning the many I’ve had since I was a teenager.
Then no more crow bars.
No more bolt cutters.
Everything will be about her and she will be perfect.
And I will understand why my fellow construction workers paint base board for six months straight and say, “cant complain. The pays good and ya can’t beat the bennies.”
They aren’t desperately in search for a purpose.
A reason for their existence that exceeds their lifespan.
The desire to leave a few footprints behind when they go.
Something to immortalize them.
And if my book doesn’t get into the hands of more than five people…
My legacy will be her.
My gift will be love.