On Mother’s Day, 2015

Mom at 87. Photo by Callen Harty.

Mom at 87. Photo by Callen Harty.

You dressed me in yellow

and it became my favorite

color

because

it was

the color of your love

for me.

 

I sat on your lap

and you held me,

and in those moments

I could believe in God

and Heaven

and eternal happiness

and the simple comfort of love.

 

I need holding

today—

if you can remember

who I am,

if you can remember

that I am your son,

if you can remember . . .

 

When I call

you

seem happy to hear from me.

I tell you that I’m thinking of

you

and that I love

you

and you

say that you

love me, too.

I hope that you know

who you are talking to.

 

I hang up the phone,

tears at the corners of my eyes,

and seek comfort

in the memory

(the fleeting, fading memory)

of the color of your love.

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About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Both are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he has been an actor, writer, and director since 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events.
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