Small Press Traffic

a semicolon with a green bottom and a yellow top, made to look like a dandelion.

Traffic Report

Tending to the Garden: Aáron Heard


When reality becomes too much

To bear

Too heavy to hold

Too much to witness

Too much to transcribe

The poet


The pen next to the paper

On the desk


The space between the lines



The silence

To be heard

Loud and clear


An elixir of pride and sorrow

Grams heard my poetry:

Sat in a room full of strangers

Watched me clip the laundry

Life fabric to flow in wind

For all to see

These words that paint pictures

Of a childhood trauma unrecognized

“We should’ve got you a therapist” she say

“How did we forget about you?” she say

I don’t remember my response

But I remember me enough to know

I didn’t get mad or

Maybe didn’t show mad

Always have to meet the world with compassion

Heart so heavy, been heavy

Throw love like a shot put

Put all my might underneath

Rage is foreign

Don’t know if this is temperament or facade

Is this me for me or me for you

In preschool I traded naptime for grief

I sobbed as the class slept

“Where is your daddy” she say

“In heaven” I say

I don’t know rage

No time for rage

Only time for sewing family together

Only time for melting into glue

Only time for catching passing aggression and dispersing the energy

with my self

I don’t know rage, but grief has become my closest friend, and compassion my oldest lover.

Aáron Heard

Aáron is a creative problem solver and self proclaimed peace being committed to our collective liberation through the intersection of art, healing, and education. Born to a 21-year-old mother in Los Angeles, CA exactly one month after the murder of her 19-year-old father, the first of many losses, Aáron has been on a healing journey embedded in art practice her entire life. Rooted in love, curiosity, and community, Aáron is described as the "heart of the team". She is grounded in purpose, leads with enthusiasm, questions with a critical curiosity, and prioritizes learning, reflection and growth.

Aáron's art practice includes poetry, painting, documentary film, and anything she finds interesting in the moment. Through her practice she grapples with questions that include: How does the weight of grief shift how we move in this world? What does it look like to be without our loves? What does it look like to sit with grief? What does it look like to avoid grief, and at what cost? Concerned with both the tragedy of the violent event itself and the daily tragedy that transpires when we are left alone after our loves have been laid to rest. Aáron's projects seeks to make space for the stories that come after loss, while encouraging that confronting grief is the path to healing.

Aáron is currently the Director of Learning for Maker Ed, a national education non-profit.

Traffic Report