Picture of Hilary

Scroll down below to see Hilary’s art, followed by poems and a video. You can follow her on Instagram at: @hils_art_

Image Description: A picture of poet and artist Hilary, looking up at the camera. She has brown hair that’s pulled back and long bangs at the side of her head. She is smiling, and wearing a dark with white polkadot dress with spaghetti straps.

Hilary Art

Pencil sketch of woman kneeling

Title: White Noise

Image Description: A pencil sketch of a woman kneeling down with her back against a door. She is sipping a drink and is wearing headphones.

Title: She’s Ok

Artist Description: Reminding me to Be patient with myself. It’s okay that I spent a week on this. It’s okay that it’s imperfect. My recovery is a process. The process is more important than the outcome. The attempt is what matters. Working through my brain injury is painful. I am grateful I found a craft and a means to support my healing process. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Image Description: A coloured sketch of two women. The woman on the left is brunette. The woman on the right is blonde, wearing sunglasses, and has a skull tattoo on her upper arm.

sketch of two women with long hair - coloured
Sketch of two women, one wearing sunglasses

Title: She’s Still Ok

Image Description: Black and white sketch of previous two women.

Title: Flower

Image Description: A coloured sketch on lined paper of two women facing each other. They have their hands covering their faces, and are sharing content smiles.

Soloured sketch of two women facing each other, with hands covering their faces. Drawn on lined paper

Pavement: Video and Poem


“I sat on the pavement for a long time after this. 

I stopped the recording and sat crumpled on the sidewalk.

My ears were ringing. Like someone messing with the dial on an old radio. 

My roommate asked me if I was okay. I mumbled “Yeah, why?” She told me it looked like I was falling asleep. 

I knew I needed water and sugar or protein or anything in me to get me back to my house. We were half a block away. 

My roommate said we can go when I’m ready. I probably could have fallen asleep there. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt such displacement like this prior to obtaining my brain injury. 

I played with this recording. It mirrors some of what it feels like to be swimming through reality with brain damage. 

On the walk back, I stopped at every house to take pictures of the flowers growing in my neighbour’s gardens. 

I felt drunk. And high. And slow. And lost. 

My roommate talked to me about her favourite flowers. She pointed them all out to me and she paused with me every few feet while I crouched down on the sidewalk trying to keep my heart rate down and my breathing regular and waited for the spots to leave my vision. 

I don’t remember getting home. I don’t know what happened the rest of the night. 

I am grateful to have someone in my life that doesn’t need any explanation.”

Poem: Like Smoke

Like Smoke 

Every time I take pain medication I lose four to twelve hours of my awareness. I lose four to twelve hours of my memory. I wake up without having moved anywhere. 

The medication pushes the pause button on my consciousness. The pain puffs out my ears. Agony seeps through my hair, like smoke. 

I escape. I freeze. 

I fiddle with my bracelet. I roll the beads between my index finger and thumb. I stare at the fairy lights that flicker above my bed. 








Trey purrs. He pumps his paws against my leg. I stroke his nose. 

Trey is my therapy cat. Trey is my best friend. Trey knows. He keeps me safe. He keeps me calm while my mind swims away. 

I am not twenty-eight. I am twenty-six. I am twenty-six and a half. I hit my head and I have a traumatic brain injury. I have chronic pain, short term memory loss, and aphasia. 

If I was actually twenty-eight, I would have the memories to prove it. I would have grown up. I would be engaged. I would have graduated. I would have gone to work and visited friends and family. I would remember Isla being born. I would remember when she learned to crawl. I would remember her first steps. She took her first steps on my twenty-eighth birthday.

I scroll through the pictures on my phone from that day. I look so happy. My head started throbbing at noon that day. The sunlight pierced my eyes like a knife. 

It’s my birthday. My fucking birthday. I refuse to lock myself in the dark and wait for the migraine to go away on its own. I swallow ten milligrams of Toradol

Pain puffs out my ears. Agony seeps through my hair like smoke. 

I fiddle with my bracelet. I roll the beads between my index finger and thumb. I stare at the fish in my parents fish tank as they swim.