Smile, Child, by Kaci Skiles Laws-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Smile, Child, by Kaci Skiles Laws

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Kaci Skiles Laws
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$14.00
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Poetry, chapbook, 24 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Smile, Child is a brief portrait of growing up in a broken home and society where abuse is normalized. Each poem illustrates a different aspect of what it means to limp through life carrying generational trauma and suffering major losses while navigating a sick nation and uncertain future. The confusion, grief, and injustice are palpable with each stanza revealing more about the author’s inner world.

The title came to be fifteen years ago, long before any of the poems were ever written, when the author worked as a “sandwich artist.” A gruff man would come in for lunch almost daily and fill his fifty-two ounce Big Gulp at the soda fountain. The week following the suicide of the author’s sister, the man looked at her sullen enthusiasm behind the sandwich counter as he sipped his Dr. Pepper and said, “Smile, child. It gets worse.”

In the years between age nineteen and thirty-four came a hatred for working in customer service, major depression, a journey into self-awareness, motherhood, and an absolute necessity to search for hope and meaning in life. Smile, Child is for the person that sees and feels too much and can’t keep quiet. It is a voice for every child and adult that was told to just be happy under the most shitty circumstances.

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer who reads and writes voraciously in the quiet moments between motherhood and managing Crohn's Disease. She was a 2023 winner for Button Poetry's short form contest, and her short story, "Eugene", was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2022 by Dead Skunk Mag. Her most recent poetry has appeared in 3Elements Review, River Teeth Journal, Blood Tree Literature, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry book, Strange Beauty, is available on Amazon, as well as her most recent collection of poetry and prose, Summer Storms. https://kaciskileslawswriter.wordpress.com/