I purchased a copy of The Locust Years to review. Opinions are my own.
The Locust Years
by Kelly Hanwright
Kelly says that in her childhood she "created the thickest possible fog in order to protect me from an unlivable reality." This auto-biographical book, and it really is a book more than a collection of poems. It is a life story, told through well written poetry and organized for the reader to walk alongside Kelly. As someone who has worked with mental health patients, this work brought me to both tears and smiles as I saw the life of a household through the eyes of a child. The lines of poetry evoke deep emotion and do what great poetry always can - place you in the moment portrayed in a small turn of phrase.
"I didn't think shadows made noise until Mama and Daddy started shouting in the dark."
"Mama, I want to go to school. I am not asking for the world, just a little part for myself."
"The art of your grand design was stealing while pretending to give, all the time making us feel the weight of your great sacrifice."
I read the book in two sittings. Each page led me to the next. I expected to find the book a request for pitty or a declaration of shallow restoration. What I found was so much greater. I won't ruin it for you. Instead, I will point to the opening Bible quote, "And I will restore unto you the years that the locust devoured. (Joel 2:25).
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