Poetry for Children by Jenean C. Gisltrap: Cardboard Lives

Poetry for Children by Jenean C. Gisltrap: Cardboard Lives
Jenean C Gilstrap
Children playing ball games, detail. Marble, Roman artwork of the second quarter of the 2nd century AD. Provenance unknown.

Children playing ball games, detail. Marble, Roman artwork of the second quarter of the 2nd century AD. Provenance unknown.

This poem is dedicated to all those children who grew up living a nomadic lifestyle – because their parents simply chose such a lifestyle of constant geographical moves with changes in towns, schools and friends and all the other constants that most children grow up being secure in – or for whatever reason – but living a traveling life from the backseat of a sedan and one new home after another filled with cardboard boxes…

cardboard lives

shadow world filled

with cardboard boxes

and paper dreams

of all those years we

had not lived

in empty spaces none

of us had willed

with lives compressed

to fit within paper corrals

of nomadic life

winds of discontent blew hair and sand

into my face as i sat wedged between

faceless siblings in the back seat

of the 57 chevrolet and we rolled

down barren roads and dirt trails

that always led to another sterile box house

in a quarantined town of no return

the unknown man called daddy

behind the wheel that went

round and round in circles

going nowhere on the road

of childhood gone astray

tumblin’ tumbleweeds blocked our play

in and out of this wooden frame

and that bricked domain

filled with more cardboard

boxes of love unlived

lives unfilled

days rolled down

the highways and back ways

into ghost towns of years gone by

children lost without a map

but age kept going without a gap

and cries turned into silent sighs

as the man called daddy dissolves

disintegrates into clouds of silence and stillness

not to be weathered

in the cardboard life

of paper dreams


View Comments (5)
  • many thanks and much gratitude for honoring my poetry here in yareah!!!

  • Bob Smoke

    A story to tell…vividly and certainly from the heart….gut wrenching writing …I know that’s not a pretty or intellectual adjective…but neither is this subject…kudos Jenean, another exquisite piece!

  • so glad you enjoyed this little trek through part of my childhood, bob – many thanks for the kind words!

  • Margene

    It’s аpρropriate time to make some plans for
    the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I
    waոt to suggsst you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles
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Jenean C Gilstrap

Since childhood, Ms. Gilstrap has had a love of words-of writing and other arts. An individualist, she chooses not to follow any pre-conceived pattern for the outlay of these words – rather, she allows them the freedom to forge their own path as they make their way from her heart to pen to paper. Her art work involves both photography and mixed media on large canvasses. She is a weekly featured poet in Yareah Magazine where her works have appeared for more than a year. Her piece The Granite God was the winning poem in Painted Bride Quarterly Sidebar #12 [2012]. Her work has been featured in performance poetry theatrical productions in Louisiana and her short story, Retribution, published in the Helicon Literary Magazine there. She and her gypsywomanworld blog are included as character/story elements in Ghost Key, the fictional work of award-winning author Trish MacGregor. Her first volume of poetry [2013], words unspoken, is available in both paperback and on kindle at amazon. She currently divides her time between her home in Louisiana and the east coast as she completes her second volume of poetry to be published in 2013.

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