Melinda Bennington’s Poetry

Life In Me - anthology of love poems             LPR Social Justice Cover

I’m honored to have my work, Losing Words, included as one of the love poems, above, and to have Charly’s Shoes, Returning, in the Social Justice issue of the Little Patuxent Review.  Click the tab for more information on these Published Works!

Losing Words and writing contests

Here’s one thing I love about the journal Poets&Writers. I recently received an email from them titled…
“28 New Writing Contest Deadlines.”

Now that’s motivation!      

I just received news that my poem, Losing Words, will not fit on the page of Life In Me Like Grass On Fire: Love Poems.  I had to work on the line breaks so that the structure would still make sense – it’s an important part of the poetry.  Once the agreed-upon amount of time has passed after publication, I may resubmit or post the poem.  So, sometime after October, look for it here in its original form!  The bad news: I have to change it.  The good new: It’s being published! It was selected for publication through a writing contest. 😀

Addendum: Here is is, fit to the page!

Losing Words

I am a man, a father, and husband who loves his wife, his children, rare tortoises, boats and dogs
I am not afraid of anything, really, for I am a giant—the tallest and strongest of my peers
I am intelligent, run my own business, feel safe in my home and my life
Loved and cared for by my wife
And admired by my children;
Enjoying and enjoyed by

I am a man, a father, and husband who loves his wife, children, rare tortoises, boat and dogs
Not afraid, for I am tallest and strongest
Run my business, safe in my home
Cared for by my wife and
Admired by my

I am a man, a husband who loves his wife, tortoises, dogs
Afraid for my business, safe in my home
Cared for by my wife and
Admire my

I am a man who loves tortoises, dog
Afraid in my home
Cared for by my

I am afraid and
Cared for by

I am afraid
Cared for.

I am.

~published in:   Life In Me Like Grass On Fire: Love Stories. Ed. Laura Shovan.  Baltimore: Maryland Writers’ Association Books, 2011.  138. Print.

Melinda Bennington, BSW, M.Ed., has worked in long term care, taught in three states, and was an award-winning teacher in Maryland.  She’s lived in eighteen towns and cities across the country, collecting images and experiences for her writing.  After raising an assortment of animals she’s down to one good dog, one great husband, and three fabulously fun kids.  She currently writes at home in Maryland and California, and on her sailboat on Chesapeake Bay.

Losing Words is a poem from Melinda’s collection, Growing Down, which explores the joys and challenges of aging.  Written from multiple points of view, the collection is inspired by personal and universal experiences, and includes not only poetry, but stories, resources, and hints for surviving the process.     

One little poem…

I just heard that one of my poems is being published!  It’s in an anthology of poetry with other writers from the Maryland region.

My poem was inspired by the moment I redefined a good night as: one on which the police didn’t call to say they’d picked up our senior.  

No, not high school senior…

The poem is called Losing Words, written in twenty-eight diminishing lines from the first person point of view of an aging man.  It’s from my collection, Growing Down. You can find it in Life In Me Like Grass On Fire: Love Poems*an MWA book edited by Laura Shovan.
My advice on helping an elderly family member through the aging process is: keep your sense of humor.  

If you’re going to hunt for a lost pair of reading glasses twelve times in one afternoon either way, make it fun!  Use your imagination.  A little competition with prizes is okay!  It’s part of life. You may as well laugh about it.  Be kind to everyone involved, including yourself. Remember how you’d want to be treated, because one day that may be you.  And your kids are watching. 🙂

Life in Me Like Grass On Fire: Love Poems, available at