by Sheliagh Simmons


I hate being picked up.

When I was younger,

We would drive for

Eight hours to Savannah,

The Spanish moss air

Hanging above our heads.

I couldn’t care less.

I just wanted the food.

My Grandmother would

setup two picnic tables,

Seasoned crab splayed across them

Like paint on a Jackson Pollock.

At the homecoming parade,

Children would stand

In front of parents

And receive candy from

Clowns who didn’t scare us.

Afterwards, Daddy would

Put me around his shoulders

And I was flying, reaching

for the sun with tiny hands.

But I’m not a little girl anymore,

And Daddy isn’t here.

I want to be among

chrysanthemums and clay.

That’s as close to him as I can be.

So please,

Don’t pick me up.


Sheliagh Simmons graduated from Nashville School of the Arts this spring and is now attending Nashville State Community College. She is also a superb visual artist. Learn more at

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