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Jennifer Cummings

PO# 516425
United States
United States
just me.
April 25, 2019
Richland, United States

Kilroy,

How does one compete with memory of potential cut short? Her specter hovers over me and from my view she try’s to protect me. But in the heart of another she is the unfulfilled dream of the first born. The one who never grew up. The one they loved first - the one they will hold the longest.

I do not envy her. I do not want her place in the heart of the mother. I have witnessed the pain of her loss every year. Her birthday and the date of her death,  almost 6 years apart, are less than a month apart. Our mother disappears while with us.  

Kilroy, I guess it’s not competing but understanding. To me she is the shade of shadows. To my mother she is the eclipse of the sun.

I’m writ...

HOPE BATEMAN
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April 12, 2019
 

Foo,

I do not know if you have opened my last message. If you have not, then do not. I ask that you keep it in its envelope and when you find the need to; put it back in to your pocket.

I have come to the realization over the course of my years that we need to hold onto the things that bring us comfort. That help us stay strong. Stay sane. Feel safe.

I have read your last letter so many times the folds in the paper are beginning to separate. I feel strongly that the next time he imposes his brand of affection that you make known your dislike of his touch. Loudly. Physically. In front of witnesses so there is no mistaking your meaning.

I myself dislike touching people. I reserve the right ...

ANNA
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April 9, 2019
Richland, United States

Kilroy,

I sit here at my desk. Pen in hand writing to you. I have a confession. I received your letter but have left it unopened. It is in front of me laying propped against my desk lamp. Your hand writing flowing over the outside. The ink slightly smudged from, what I presume, was a rain.

I wanted to tear open your missive the minute I received it. And that is why it sits unopened. I put it in my pocket and I carried it with me for the day. I will read it. But I am waiting.  The anticipation of your words is almost as great as reading them.

I also have another reason for waiting. I received your missive the day He came to visit. He acted as if nothing had happened and he had a rite to be ...

QUILL CREATION
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April 5, 2019
Richland, United States

My dear Foo,

Friend. I received your letter with gratitude. That you reciprocate my feelings of connection make me so very happy. I know that with this change we have opened our lives to discovery. After all the only secret kept is the one held by one person.

I do not regret sharing with you. Please do not feel that I would harm you by telling others of you and your words.

For me today was not easy.

I stood with my toes touching air at the edge. The fall was tempting. I wanted to open my arms and close my eyes. I wanted to fly.

But I remembered what you said in one of the very first letters. You said that I was not meant to fly leaving earth for the sky. That for me to truly fly I wou...

POOJA WAHANE SUBMISSION
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April 4, 2019
Richland, United States

Kilroy,

I have read your words over and over so many times. They sang off the page and etched themselves into my mind. I catch myself working or doing some other task and I can hear your words drift through me.

I too feel the same. It seams strange that I can feel so free with you. Especially when I don’t know if we have ever been in the same room at the same time. As you said our breath has never mingled. Our hands have never brushed against each other. Our lives are so far apart.

This physical distance does not stop us from reaching out to each other. Does not stop us from sharing what others don’t understand.

I can look at myself now, Kilroy. I don’t just see the scars. I believe you ...

POETRY BOOKS
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April 1, 2019
Richland, United States

Friend ,

I know that we have become casual in our corespondents. Our notes have lost the formality of unfamiliar lives and have turned to these rambling sentences of friendship and intimacy. I understand that my stating this outright may make you uncomfortable and possibly exposed. Just know that I too have much to lose by this transition.

We have ventured from talks of weather, our days, hikes, and grocery shopping to the more interesting aspects of hearts. You know my beliefs. My desires. My truth. I hope that we are equal in this. I feel deeply that we are.

I don’t know your face, I have never shaken your hand, never felt your breath mingling with mine. But I feel that we are ever tied ...

RUMA ZAIDI
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March 22, 2019
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I’m sorry I have been gone for so long. I was working through a very unhappy time. I had no words to share when my world slowed in its rotation. I have a common friend one I wish I did not have. But it is not something I can change like I do my socks. I will admit that this was a fairly long visit. It was darker and deeper than it has been before. I had to keep moving forward for myself and be present for my heathens. But it was suffocating. I felt like I was caught in a pool of molasses. My home reflects the distress this visitor causes. Am, I take medication, but sometimes that isn’t enough. I wish those who don’t have to deal with this part of themselves could just understand. I...

ANNA
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September 11, 2017
West Richland, United States

Hello Am,

Today is that day. The day when our family and international cousins stopped and stood in disbelief and horror. A day that began a cycle of fear and hate. It is also a day when you children came together and fought for the lives of our family. Our family we didn't know.

I remember watching the planes, the smoke, and the devastating sight of people falling from the towers. I remember the bravery and selflessness shown by first responders and strangers that started a trek cross country to help.

I've read the report, watched the documentaries, and felt that day to the bottoms of soul. There is evil out there Am. But it did not win. Even with the devastation it brought our family sto...

NEVER FORGET
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September 3, 2017
West Richland, United States

Hello Am,

This is an intervention. I am not sure how to say this nicely, with grace, or for that matter respect. A large majority of your children have fucked up. They are so focused on what is owed to them that they have ceased giving even the barest amount of respect to those who have earned it.

First issue Am, DACA. This is crazy! Why, why, i ask, would we, as a people, a family, turn our backs on those children who forced into our system? These children who strive and reach everyday; paying out more in blood and tears than anyone could comprehend?

Second; Am is also related to the first issue. Harvey blew through Texas. Killing some, many losing so very much, and making heros of those...

YOUR DREAM, YOUR STORY
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August 28, 2017
 

Hello Am,

I am supposed to be asleep right now but find that it eludes me. I am packing. Again. I hate packing, moving, and readjusting to new space. It makes me panicky and stressesd.

I know that part of the problem stems from moving 2 to 3 times a year up until I was 7. I hated it. It didn't matter if i would be in the same school or if I would still see my same friends. My world would be ripped apart in sutch a way as to never be the same. Never feel comfortable or safe. I new that just as i would start to settle the boxes would come out.

I believe that is why I have strong hermit like tendancies.  I also have something thay makes living difficult. Even if I never moved again my world w...

THINKING CLOUD
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August 26, 2017
West Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I am lost. I have been lost before but not like this. Not in a time like this. Most definitely not with a President like this.

I used to be able to proudly say that I am an American. That I am a part of you Am. But this man who is supposed to lead us is not someone I want to be related to. How do I explain to others that he is a school yard bully? Yes, he has power, he always has, but now it is not based souly on his money and who he can intimidate into capitulating. Now he twists our laws and abuses the house he resides in.  

Am, what he is doing is taking us backward to much darker times.  I can only hope we don't repeat the mistake that is him. I pray that no more lives are lo...

IN SEASON
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August 14, 2017
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

This weekend i was brought to my knees by the horrific images on the news. I felt fear deep in my stomach and my heart hurt for those being touched by such darkly vile and insidious beliefs.

What caused even deeper concern is the ambivalent way the President responded. He rode the middle line. He gave half assed and clearly biased public side talk about condeming the violence on "both" sides. Corrct me if i am wrong; but to my recolection the injuries and death occurred only on one of those sides.

I cannot comprehend their hate. What they feel is disposable, no, in need of exterminating i love. My children of mixed heritage, my friends from the amazing spectrum of the LGBTQ fam...

FREEDOM
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July 21, 2017
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

Again time has passed quickly and i have fallen behind in my correspondence with you. I see your messages daily and give a nod each time. It is hard to be sometimes. Actually, it is hard most of the time. I feel compelled to stay in, to seclude myself, to not be subjected to the mercurial ways of others.

At times i have to force myself to not cringe away from my children's exuberant love and affection. This is a bone of contention with my mother. She does not understand how hard it is. It is a battle we have fought for as long as i can remember.

I have been fighting the dragging darkness since i was a child.  I have always been, just that little bit, to different for people to b...

LET IT ALL OUT
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June 12, 2017
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

With fathers day approaching i thought i would take a moment to thank you. Thank you for my father. And for the way he raised my sister and i.

Am, i know you are aware of him and the small things that he has done. I lnow you know he wanted only daughters, is a big bear of a man with the voice of a volcano, is surprisingly liberal for a Siletz River river rat, and one of the best men i have ever had the privilege to know.

He took my oldest siter in at 14. They were not going to foster anymore; then he spoke to her. He went and picked her up and she was there the day i was born. He stood by my mother when they lost their oldest child. He is the one who told me that my friends moth...

EAGLE
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June 3, 2017
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I am laying in bed with my daughter next to me. She is asleep and snores. I love listening to her and her brother when they sleep.  But this is not why I am writing you.

I am writing with a very selfish  heart tonight. Having been alone for almost seven years I feel lonely.  My children are amazing and I love them dearly; but I love me too. I want someone to love me not as momma but as Me. If that meant i would eventually be able to give my children the father they deserve the puzzle would be complete.

As it is I feel like a star map puzzle being pieced on black cloth. Pieces are missing but unless you look closely you wouldn't know. I can get by as I am but there are holes that...

HEARTBREAK
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May 28, 2017
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

It is Memorial Day. Many will barbecue and sunbathe, many will enjoy the extra day. Only a few will acknowledge the importance.

I will sit today at a barbecue and listen to my dad; and i will wear my poppy in memory of those who have fallen. I will explain to my children what this day truly is. The importance of our battles on foreign shores, and why we went there.

I will remember.

Their blood, their lives, their breath still flows today. Sacrifice not always freely given but duty served.

Me

THANK YOU VERY MUCH
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May 2, 2017
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

It has been more than a while. Closer to an eternity it seems. I am writing to you because I have begun to have concerns about the way our family is changing. Growth is a slow process, off times painful, and always awkward. But with the advent of our new President it has turned dark, fearful, and in many ways, abusive.

His words are careless. His people are cruel and single minded with hateful intent.  His own party seems to be at a loss as to what to do with him. Am, with all that has happened,  we are not going forward under his "leadership". We are falling back to times of vicious action. Times when not turning your neighbor in, for their supposed support of certain political ...

STRONG
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January 20, 2017
 

Hello Am,

I have kept quiet these last week's. I have needed the time to process all that is going on. I chose now because as I listened to President Trump's inauguration speech I felt free creep through my bones.

I have tried to give the benefit of the doubt to him. Tried to look beyond his cabinet choices; but today I stopped.  In no way is this country founded on the ideal of me alone. We have, for the most, been about we. Family, both that we're born into and that we make.

I heard speak of separation, innuendo abounded, we are only as strong as our family. I heard speak of xenophobia and Christian rabble. I am Christian but my god belongs in my home. He does not belong in government an...

FREEDOM TAKES COURAGE
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December 8, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

My silence has not been to hurt you. I hope you know this. I love you, and have had to process what has happened.

I look at my children and am in awe daily. Beautiful, healthy, smart, and kind. That is what my babies are. Am, I have to send them out into the world that no longer has the cloak of respect and courtesy.

I am sending them out into the world and what they have to face terrifies me to a soul deep level. My son's heart is so kind and without any type of protection from the cruelty people can so thoughtlessly hurl.  My daughter seems so fierce; but I know she craves love and acceptance as much as her brother. She is hurt the same as him but she tries to hide it behind a...

LAST HUG
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November 8, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I am sorry.

Me

YOUR DREAM, YOUR STORY
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November 8, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

Again it has been awhile.  And it may be longer still between this letter and the next.  I have never watched an election with such despair and disgust.

I feel like we failed you. I hope when this is over the outcome is better than it is at this moment in time. If it isn't, I have a promise for you: You are my home, there may end up an unwanted visitor who over stays their welcome; but I will still be here to make sure you still stand.

I will not treat him as he and others treated President Obama. I will show him true courtesy. I will stand by him until his actions decree that he is no longer deserving of respect and courtesy. I will not stand by but take action.

I just needed...

VOTE 2016
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October 8, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

And again I am writing not to impart good news; but to question what in hell is going on. Why is it ok to degrade, dehumanize, and violate women?

I was harrased starting around sixth grade and it continues to now. It was so bad at times that I feared for my safety and life. My friends have been violated in so many ways so often that it's almost par for the course. They and I feel guilty when it happens. We feel dirty and disgusting.  Why is it ok for another person to create these feelings?

Where is the outrage at the Republican presidential candidate speaking about his desire to sexually assault women? Why are they more outraged by a trans person sharing the bathroom with their ...

CHESS
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October 5, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I am disturbed today. I am actually disturbed a little everyday; but today more so than usual. I have noticed a trend that started six and a half years ago. Or at least that was when the first heinous act came on my radar.

Every few months, each coming more frequently it seems, an infant, not a child. An infant; one that can in no way fight back, yell words of hurt, or do anything other than suffer and die, has been raped.

It is a fearsome word for an adult one that should not ever be in the realm of a baby. But sadly it has. More than once, leading me to question if this is just an aberration or if there is something grotesquely wrong.

Am, am I noticing these reports more beca...

BANKSY SWING
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October 3, 2016
 

Hello Am,

A day or so ago an update passed ever so briefly on the news about the latest school shooting. One of the children shot, a six year old boy died.

A child who was in a house of education, who should have been safe, died.  I do not know the particulars. I do not know if he regained consciousness.  I only know that some of his last moments were spent in terror.  

The shooter was not an adult. The shooter is a child. A child shot another child.

Am.... I will admit, I am scared.  Hold your children close. Love them. Am, love us.  We, your children, seem to be in a war against ourselves.  

Am, I think it is time to come home. We need you at our table.  As Hamilton asks in the musica...

NO LOVE
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September 28, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I needed to reach out to you today.  Another person walked into a school and tried to kill people.

I am fearful where this will lead. Luckily no one died as of the last news report. But I can't help think about all of those lives that were affected.  The pain and the fear that had to permeate the school and town it is in.

I feel like we are being held hostage. We are blind in the dark and have no clue as to who has us in their custody. Am, how can your children do this? What causes them to walk into a school, mall, a church?!

I came home today, held my monsters close; and prayed that this compulsion would not overtake someone here. I don't ever want to face the devastation tha...

RETRO RED WOMAN
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September 23, 2016
Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I have started letters and discarded them. My words have not seemed quite right.  I have dealt with troublesome questions and asked them aloud. The answers that came; well lets just say they were not comfortable.

I have always considered myself to be an open loving person. One who if not always, tried very hard, to harbor no ill will. I try very hard to see a picture from the eyes of other observers.

Am, I have fallen short. I am ashamed of how great the distance from who I thought I was to who I am actually is.

I am also tired. Of the hate. Of the violence. Of the ignorant fear.  These things have ruled us to long. And I stood silent while they used my disregard to their advan...

AT THE END
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August 19, 2016
West Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I know it has been a while since last I wrote you. I have had to pull back and contemplate how to ask you a question. It is not a question I would normally ask; but I feel it is important. It is something that can help me understand.

Have you ever, I mean, ever regretted being able to see all of the amazing things your children are capable of? Things that you know; in not just your head but deep down in your soul. Things that they themselves won't attempt; just because they will then stand out.

Do you cringe inside when hate spews from the mouth of one your children. A child that has had so many privileges; they could amount to too many. That child was never barefoot in the garde...

BARE FOOT
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July 24, 2016
West Richland, United States

Hello Am,

I am writing today because I wanted to let you know that for all that is going on and has happened, I have faith that we will be better in the end. I have seen so much anger these last few months. So much bitterness. But I have also seen amazing acts towards and for my brothers and sisters.

These acts are the ones that stand out for me. They are, to me, what defines us. I have written about the tragedies that have occurred. And they still are occurring. But so many, like me, are done. My acts from here forward define my place in this family. My actions alone are the ones I have power over.

I am tired of staying silent of watching as others act. I take my first step. If I fall, Am...

MICROPHONE
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July 22, 2016
West Richland, United States

Hello Am,

It is another day darkened. More children are gone from the family. Our cousins.  I am so tired.

It seems that every time we turn around we are inundated by hate.  I don't like to point fingers, I don't like to accuse or blame. And the only thing I can cast blame on is us. We have allowed this to fester and to permit a person to preach hate. He has incited hate where once you encouraged thought.

We have never been an excellent and shining example of humanity. We have never truly been great. But   Jesus jumped up christ, Am! We have tried. Not all, of course. But so many have stood up, have fought, have bled, and yes Am, even died to better the lives of others and themselves. To t...

BE ONE
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July 17, 2016
 

Hello Am;

Sorry it's so late. I can't seem to sleep tonight. We arrived home safe and with incident. I just can't seem to stop thinking.

Am, much is going on right now. I can't help but wonder what's going to happen. We have an election coming up. Am, you would not believe the circus that has been going on.

The drama! I know you have dealt with your fair share of drama Queens. But these people make me truly scared.

One is so over inflated he has no sense of reality. He wants to bring torture back! Yes, I know in some cases Intel was given that saved lives, but at what cost to our humanity? Do we want someone like that in a position of such power. Someone who would reenact our sad and so...

GOWTHAM GOSALA
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