The Tattooed Poets Project: Katie Ford Hall

    Today's tattooed poet is Katie Ford Hall.

    Katie sent us this photo of her tattoo:

    Katie explains:
    I got my tattoo in 1992 when I was 25.  I had been considering a tattoo for awhile and decided on a Claddagh to honor my Irish roots.  My grandparents were immigrants and I look the part.  I've always felt very connected to Ireland and whether it's nature or nurture, I seem to embody a lot of the well-known characteristics.  For the design, I used a ring I had been wearing for years.  I consider it good luck because no matter how hard I try, I never seem to be able to lose it.  I took it to Designs By Dana in Cincinnati, Ohio and one of the artists copied it onto my left arm.
    For a poem, Katie offered us this:

    The Thing Itself

    There’s a shadow
    outside my kitchen window –
    falling on Japanese maple;
    sweeping over swing set.

    A corner of the
    eye distraction from
    the scraping of a
    crusty pan

    then again a flicker
    as I turn around to say
    ‘chicken’s ready’

    there was a me
    who became a secret –
    when the time came for
    a me
    to set an example –

    the secret dances across grass
    on the cool dew of
    thick summer nights

    reckless and unbounded,
    compelling and unglued.
    oblivious to
    blind to

    born of a
    shame and hunger

    denied by laughter
    denied by wet heavy air
    and denied again --

    three times
    before dawn

    Sacrificed at
    the altar of the
    And laid to rest
    in the tomb of
    the proper

    A life that can’t be
    sustained must be
    set free,

    traded for
    half acre lots
    stainless steel
    and the dream of a
    freer next

    But there’s
    still that shadow.
    I suspect
    it’s me

    and I suspect that
    fall just beyond an

    infinity of
    kitchen windows.

    Never mentioned
    barely noticed  
    banished to
    the edges of
    anxious eyes
     ~  ~  ~
    Katie Ford Hall is 43 years old and lives on the edge of civilization just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two children.  Her poetry has appeared in several online and print journals including Chantarelle's NotebookAncient Heart Magazine, Women Writing for (a) Change anthologies and For A Better World 2005: Poems and Drawings on Peace and Justice by Greater Cincinnati Artists.  She contributed a story to When One Door Closes: Reflections from Women on Life's Turning Points and has written feature stories for CityBeat Magazine and Cincinnati Woman MagazineThese days, she can be found blogging all over the place, but mostly on Uneasy Pink, her blog about breast cancer-related issues.

    Many thanks to Katie for sharing her poem and her tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

    This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday. The poem is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

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