A poem by a professional caretaker

source: depositphotos

“You’re purple today,”
the girl says. Her unicorn leggings
are splashed with stray acrylics,
brush cup water
stained green.
She glides lilac paint over a face,
thick paper spanning
across her kitchen floor.
I’m rendered, circle-headed,
two dot eyes and an upturned strand smile,
bodiless legs extended.

“I do feel purple,”
I agree. Yesterday, she’d deemed
me orange. An improvement
over Monday’s gray.
Some kids take to me instantly,
like funnel cake. A special treat
during life’s frenetic carnival.
A bonus adult, no grown-ups competing,
disrupting precious playtime with dull talk
of traffic, trump, and taxes. …

…and why other menstruators with a freakishly low cervix and tilted uterus should consider doing the same thing.

Image from depositphotos.com

I’m sure the headline has already pissed some people off, but you know what? I’m pissed too.

I’m pissed because I’d love to have a “normal” uterus and cervix. I’d love if tampons worked, and didn’t start leaking immediately while staying mostly dry. I’d love if so-called “low cervix” cups went low enough to catch the blood I expel from *my* low cervix.

But that’s not reality. My cervix while I menstruate is so low that I can reach it by inserting…

One teacher’s words changed my life. Was it for the worse or better? It’s unclear.

(source: deposit photos)

The year was 1987, I was four years old, and I’d just become public enemy #1 in Mrs. Williams’s class at Penn Wynne Pre-K.

Why? Because I threw a chair at the teacher. And I did not regret it.

I remember holding the chair up over my head. It was a child-sized and light, easy to lift. Mrs. Williams did that thing adults do to kids, where she held perfectly still except one pointed finger and warned me through gritted teeth DO NOT THROW THAT…


The show is soooo bad. But that doesn’t stop me from watching it.

source: Family Feud

If I told you I’m into Jeopardy!, you wouldn’t think any less of me. There’s no reason for me to hide that information from friends, bosses, or Tinder dates. In fact, when people learn I’m a Jeopardy! fan, I’ll bet they unconsciously add 20 points to my estimated IQ, while I transform before them into a wunderkind with vast knowledge ranging from opera to Greek mythology to literature to potent potables, whatever the heck those are.

But if I told you I’m into Family Feud, your evaluation of my brainpower may be severely diminished. Honestly, I would not blame you…

History | Creative

A brief history of canine bravery for my scaredy-dog

Willow in all her glory, by the author

My poor dog Willow nudges me, whining. She shakes with fright. She presses her chin on my leg, begging me to fix the big, scary world for her.

What has so frightened my 60-pound dog? Is there an intruder? Gunshots? Fireworks, a backfiring car, lightning, an earthquake, a psychotic clown?

Nope. She’s horrified because the upstairs neighbors are… walking.

Yep, walking. They’re walking around upstairs. And she hears their footsteps.

It’s terrifying.

Does this dog even know she’s descended from wolves?

Willow loves the backyard. The upstairs neighbors don’t use it much, so there are no other dogs or people…

…and it may harm a diabetic.

Photo by Mykenzie Johnson on Unsplash

It happens in movies and on TV all the time. A bad guy detains a group of innocent people. “You can’t keep us here!” someone declares. “My daughter is a diabetic! She needs her insulin!”

“Don’t worry, lady,” the villain says. “I’ve got a chocolate bar.”

At that moment, millions of diabetics watching across the world silently (or not so silently) curse everyone involved with the production. We know that promoting misinformation like this is dangerous.

What I’m about to tell you can save a diabetic’s life. Are you ready? …

Melissa Balick

Fiction writer, nanny, reader of books, type 1 diabetic, coffee addict.

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