April Poet Profiles: Kelsi Hasden

I’m excited to offer you the work of my friend and colleague Kelsi Hasden. Kelsi writes poetry on life. Love life, rage life, race life, gender life, and experiencing life. She is an adjunct instructor in Rhetoric and Composition in Jacksonville, Fl, and she adopts stray cats in her neighborhood. She has published in Bridge Eight magazine, worked as a managing editor for Fiction Fix, and writes and edits articles for Metro Jacksonville. Her poems below pivot on a common theme:


She told me they rolled you over
and then you took your last breath.
They looked at you in shock
in spite of knowing
that your time was drawing near.
I cried for over an hour
my face scrunched
in such anguish
that my forehead cramped.
I couldn’t get all the sobs out
the torrent of tears
wouldn’t cease.
At one point
I couldn’t tell
if I was crying
or laughing.

My tears weren’t falling
because you were so recently gone,
they fell because you were no longer
the you I had known in my childhood,
you hadn’t been for years,
but now that change was permanent
-an irrefutable fact-
you weren’t the pillar
that held up so many memories,
that carried so many years.
Old age had gathered you up in his fingers,
causing me to mourn your loss
years ago.

She told me that you’re in a better place
that you aren’t suffering anymore
but I can’t get my head
wrapped around the fact
that you’re still gone,
you’re just
away –
as though you simply stood up
and walked out the front door.

silence all the telephones,
the televisions, the announcements,
stop all the callers,
hold your questions.
He is dead.
He is dead.
I see it everywhere
on license plates, billboard signs,
and in cloud formations.
The grass is quite a bit browner,
the air a bit drier.
His death has halted everything.
I can still feel his touch
I can still see his smile
I remember his voice
and it makes me shudder,

Granddaddy’s Poem

Together we sat watching the casket
    Of our estranged grandfather.
He was very much alive
    in our memories and our tears;
      the smoky scent of his living room,
      the dead grass in his garden,
      his broken fence,
      how quiet his laugh was compared to mine, dad’s, the family’s.
Our mourning was alive and present.

The Honor Guard performed
    A Twenty One Gun Salute.
Each of our cousins received a shell casing
    that was handed to them
     by white gloved hands
    as did our father and his siblings.

We two, were the only immediate family
  who did not receive a spent shell
We did not have 
a hunk of golden metal
to hold in our hand
    to soften our sadness

we sat off alone
and whispered
childhood memories
as young girls with their grandfather.

2 thoughts on “April Poet Profiles: Kelsi Hasden

  1. Love “Grandparents”. For anyone who has lost such a precious person in their lives it touches deeply.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s