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Cover Art by Lori McElrath-Eslick for Traffic Stop
Traffic Stop
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Janet gives an overview of the book:

Traffic Stop contains some of my best poems written from the 1970s to 2009.  Themes include being an assertive nontraditional woman, having close relationships, teaching college English and women's studies, loving nature, traveling, being involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement, mourning my father's death, being an artist/entertainer/writer, and experiencing folk music at different stages of my life. 
Read full overview »

Traffic Stop contains some of my best poems written from the 1970s to 2009.  Themes include being an assertive nontraditional woman, having close relationships, teaching college English and women's studies, loving nature, traveling, being involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement, mourning my father's death, being an artist/entertainer/writer, and experiencing folk music at different stages of my life. 

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Getting My Mouth Washed Out  

 

Once my grandmother got very angry

when I argued with her.

I was a five year old

who did not know her place. 

 

So she told me to open my mouth

and then she put a bar of soap inside.

Forty-six years later,

I still rememberthat awful taste. 

 

But I didn’t stop arguing

with her or anyone else.

I’ve argued with teachers, parents,

rabbis, politicians, and bosses

if they try to limit my freedom

or curtail other people’s rights.

 

I’ve lived long enough

to see some reforms.

 So here’s my advice

to other rebellious kids:

if someone threatens you

with a bar of soap,

keep talking so fast

that no one can ever wedge

a stopper in your mouth.

(Copyright 2009 in the Michigan Reading Journal)

janet-ruth-heller's picture

This is my first published book of poetry.

About Janet

Janet Ruth Heller is a poet, literary critic, college professor, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer. I am a past president of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, and I am currently president of the Michigan College English Association. I have a Ph.D. in...

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Published Reviews

Apr.14.2012

How the Moon Regained Her Shape by Janet Ruth Heller is influenced by Native American folktales and uses the phases of the moon to teach children how to deal with bullies.

...
May.18.2012

Book Review: How the Moon Regained Her Shape, Posted by Kristi Bernard, Monday, May 14, 2012, website http://kristisbooknook.blogspot.com...

Author's Publishing Notes

This book is available from Finishing Line Press and from Amazon.com