On a warm summer day, an old soul returned to a

place where parts of it remain for years. Waiting

while misplaced pieces of it floated through life on

waves of tears. Many gathered on this day all had the

same ancestral blood flowing through their veins. Some

came out of respect; the unbroken circle… was there for


These mortals had tried to keep the old soul away from this

final commemoration. They did not care about its many years

of painful isolation. Death had not fractured the unbroken circle

had gone unchanged for years. The return of this old soul brought

to the cloistered multitude panic and fear.

Disregarded, invisible with no right to be heard, the Old soul was

damned in their every fearful word. Watched closely, made to feel

like a thief, an intruder daring to be a part of their hypocritical grief.

The old soul tried to enter this circle of mourning, doors slammed in

its face. A reminder of why it was not wanted in this protected place.

Unwanted at birth, cast out on a journey at an incredible cost, to

penetrate the unbroken circle was a battle that would forever be lost.

The old soul believed there was a time to grieve, a time to pray. A

time to remember when an innocent soul simply forgotten and tossed


On soft breezes, those that gathered could be heard with a pretense

of moans. Their voices echoed memorials where truth was silenced the

real story hidden, inside of the unbroken circle truth forbidden. The old

soul stared down at a mound of dirt waiting for love that the grave could

not offer, while the unbroken circle gathered and divided their coffers.

A loving soul had returned to where a part of it remained years, it gathered

up the pieces of its heart and wiped away its tears. The shattered old soul

had returned on that warm summer day, to grieve the loss of never hearing

“I love you” or feeling a parent’s gentle touch. It needed to tell the unbroken

circle when children are unloved their lives are crushed.


Author: Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Artist/Writer of Fiction, Poetry, Prose and Thoughts, Opinions Author Bio Born in Alabama to a Native American (Chickasaw) father and an emotionally absent mother since birth, raised by father, a Native American great-grandmother and an African-American woman whom were all grand storytellers. As early, as four years old, I was roaming the countryside around our home alone or with my father; in the evenings I sat at the feet of these strong-minded individuals listening to the stories of their lives. Summers I lived with my fathers' sister in Birmingham, Alabama; it was she that would help to discover a library, and mingle with my aunt's circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians. A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was also my playground on weekends. My aunt encouraged my imagination by introducing me to journaling, which I filled Big Chief Tablets with stories over the summer. Planted was the desire to write, a seedling waiting to spurt from the warm southern heart of a child. Nonetheless, with adulthood, the desire to write buried itself deep within, the dream wilted but did not die. It laid dormant, gaining experiences. These experiences became short stories and poetry ready to share with anyone who would want to read them. I began painting as a child and later as an adult, and then it lay dormant for years. I write of many life experiences in poetry format; questioning everything from Mother Nature to God...the poetry is raw, sometimes dark and may not be understood by all. Yet, it comes from deep within and reads of truth within my soul. The harshness that shrouded my life would cause me to withdraw from most of the world; it fills the pages of my writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial of a mother, all frankly portrayed. Today, I enjoy my children, grand and great grandchildren, my four-legged companion Mason, I live in Southern Wisconsin...far from my southern roots; however, I continue to write and paint almost daily. Below are the books that I have published in paperbacks at, under the name of Ann Johnson-Murphree: Book #1 Echoing Images from the Soul 2012 Book #2 Beyond the Voices 2012 Book #3 Reflections of Poetry 2013 Book #4 Honeysuckle Memories 2013 Book #5 Sachets of Poetry on Adoration, Anger, Asylums and Aspirations 2014 Book #6 My Journey into Art 2014 Book #7 Fragments of Time 2017 Book #8 Rutted Roads 2016 Book #9 Asterial Thoughts 2017 Book #10 Flying with Broken Wings 2017

5 thoughts on “Shattered”

  1. As you well know all of our(mine and your’) comes from an experience, the heart…this came from the day of my mothers’ funeral. She would not care for me when I was born as she did not want another child, I lived with my fathers’ sister until I was big enough to walk them he cared for me. She let it be known that she never wanted me and I kept going back even as an adult. Three years before she died she told me to stop coming back that I was not wanted there. I was 53 and I guess it took I never saw her alive again! Then “Shattered” was born from the day of the funeral. Love to you hopefully we can get through another year with the help of our Angels. Ann

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