'householes,' 'marine's young daughter,' and 'no one teaches girls'

from Householes

a collection of hybrid haiku poems inspired by the female voices of Veteran Caregivers




            with or without him

                        whenever he left

                        to go fight in the desert

                        spiders big as dinner plates

                        no foxholes, no blanks

            no peace here either



marine’s young daughter

            asked for a princess phone, got

            a long cord instead

            anchored at her father’s chair



no one teaches girls

            to fall down with grace

                        coaches yell, Slide and Get Up,

                        Hey, You Are Not Hurt,

                        No Blood, Brush It Off.

            when he falls down now

            off the bed, wheelchair,

            i try to grab him

            i crash too, old knees.



Natalie Parker-Lawrence

Natalie Parker-Lawrence received her MA in Linguistics from the University of Memphis and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. Now a Training Instructor for the Caregiver Center at the VA Medical Center, she was an instructor in the Communication department at the University of Memphis for eight years and taught in Memphis-area high schools for forty years. Her essays and poems have appeared widely, and her nine plays have been produced in Tennessee, Illinois, New York, and Florida. Householes is her first book of poetry.

She lives in midtown Memphis with her husband and two dogs, but loves visits from her daughter, stepsons (three active US military), and their families. Natalie recommends the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 22:01