Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Contribution to Creativity

by Ellaraine Lockie

If you don’t know, try to find out where and when you were created.
—Writing exercise from Fruitflesh by Gayle Brandeis

I can only imagine
her nightgown hoisted waist high
as she slowly counted to a hundred
Much like she did
during consequent contractions 
nine months later

I’ll never know though
Since her solitary account came
commiserated into a selfsame sister’s ears
And eavesdropped into an eleven-year-old
daughter’s memory bank
Something about wifely duty
and a wet washrag on the nightstand
to wipe away any sticky residue
of the repulsive act

By eighteen I’d defined the act differently
And in honor of writing exercises
The perpetuity of progenitive ones in particular
I clarify for my daughters’ creative futures
that the first one was conceived
after a game of strip poker
And the other on the kitchen table
belonging to those puritanical grandparents


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Ellaraine Lockie

is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books, and essays. Her eleventh poetry collection, Where the Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest and was published in early 2015. Other recent work has been awarded the 2013 Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Prize, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David’s Leg, winner of the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest for Red for the Funeral, and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Spring Pick for Wild as in Familiar. Lockie teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury