M e l e s s a H e n d e r s o n , J . D .
C h i l d r e n ' s B o o k s
- Night ~ A Counting Backwards Book. (2011). Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Silver Medalist. Book of the Year Finalist.
- 12 Months of Baby Animals. (2011).
- A Granny's Heart. (2008).
For a complete listing of 2011 Moonbeam Children's Book Award winners see: http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1483
For a complete list of 2011 Book of the Year finalists see:
- “The G.O.O.D. Life.” The Opinion. (2005).
- “Wise Guardians of Knowledge.” The Opinion. (2004).
- “Crystal Murphy ~ A Life Well Lived.” The Opinion. (2004).
- “Unsung Heroes.” The Opinion. (2004).
- “Serve Up Some Christmas Korv.” The Opinion. (2003).
- “The Five Love Languages (book review).” The Opinion. (2003).
- “To Litigate or Mediate, That is the Question!” The Opinion. (2003).
Under a pen name, poetry published in national publications such as SP Quill Quarterly Poetry Magazine, Write On, Shemom, Skyline Literary Review, Soul Fountain, Time of Singing, Language and Culture.net, Hudson View, and Midwifery Today.
A few published poems...
Sunshine, heat, and wind;
vine scratches and bug bites on my bare
All that’s seen of her above the patch,
is the red bandanna in her hair.
She hollers to “Hold tight, and don’t spill the pail!”
I was once her, and we were once
We are the vine that shoots from vine,
yet carries the same sweet fruit,
the same thorns, and twists with both the old for a time
and then the new for a time. I
is like a
falls and ripples the
receptor's brain; Images,
feelings, tangents wave from
the epicenter caused by
just one little
They sit beside
the cut browned stalks
and nibble on fallen corn seeds.
At the slightest sound of approach
they congregate in the sky;
a whirl of
that will soon tumble
towards the harvested field
never again to land
in the same formation.
On those darkest days
when demons dance at your door
I will hold you tighter
and love you even more.
When they try to break in
and capture your precious heart
I'll help you stand so strong
they'll surely ever part.
If they actually seize your soul
I'll run right after it
and even chase them to the door
of Satan's dark and fiery pit!
Then on the wings of eagles
we’ll fly above the earth
towards the sun and clear blue sky;
an eternal second birth.
And to the farthest reaches
of recorded and everlasting time
I’ll be light and comfort
I am yours and you are Mine.
The below short story was first published in the Shadow Poetry Quill, and took third place in the flash story competition. ("Flash story": a story under 500 words.)
When I was still young, Momma had to start to go to work. In addition to her daily duties of caring for us kids, the wash, the home, the meals on time, she did the books for the local bin builder for just twice as much as she paid the lady down the street, Mary, who had a younger brood of her own still at home, to watch me. At her house, Mary also watched a few other scrappy neighborhood boys about my size, whose momma’s also had to go to work.
Those were Darwinian days; a test of mettle and testosterone, king of the hill, and the pecking order.
Mary was married to John, the local butcher. To lighten her daily burden, which ever of us boys was the most Hell-bent that day, served our time with John down at the meat locker.
Some believe Hell to be a hot place. I bet it is cold…cold as that old smelly meat locker, where death just hungnin the air.
When my turn was up, and I was sent off with John he always warned me to stay close or “I’d mite jus’ ge’ locked in un off dem lockers,” piled up high with white wrapped meat…piles and piles of little frozen mummies.
Once or so a day, we’d go in a large, empty room and I’d stand close to John with his shot gun, and I’d see Judas run in. Judas was the goat that would lead the steer off the farmer’s truck. A beast that weighed between 1500-2000 pounds would then stand frozen still, probably too smelling death, in that room with John, me, John’s shot gun, and Judas already escaped out the side flapped door.
Everything in me wanted to scream to that innocent beast, with beautiful, big, brown eyes, like an angelic mother doe “John weighs only 195, at least try to charge him! Don’t just stand there lookin’ at the gun!” But my voice had escaped with Judas out that side flapped door.
“Bang!” hollered John’s shotgun.
And every time that beast would fall to the floor. Its legs would twitch for a while, until the neurons finally caught on to the finality of death…and stillness.
Decades later, I still wake up at night from a dream, as in that old meat locker, in which I try and I try, but I cannot scream. Wakened by my own silence, alone in my home, I will scream at the top of my lungs, just to…to make sure it was only a dream,
a childhood dream.
Author's note: "This story was woven together from two stories in real life; one was from my husband and the other from my brother."