POEM: Aging in a Cup

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“Aging in a Cup”

 

When I was five,

there were no second thoughts

with that first cool sip

of sweet and tart–

the morning juice, the sugar rush

and tasty treat I was permitted

for the sake of a daily dose of vitamin C,

to be taken each morning

with a bowl of dry Frosted Flakes.

 

Now decades have passed,

and that cold glass of sunshine

is an act of bravery,

only possible when

taken with powder-yellow tablets;

 

stubborn determination tastes

like chalk on my tongue

and sours my stomach.

 

It’s worth it.

 

*Thank you for visiting. If you would like to meet me and some other local writers, please come to the Local Author Fair at Massillon Public Library on Saturday, November 11th, from 11am–2pm. I hope to see you there!

 

*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

 

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POEM: Gathering

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“Gathering”

 

Sitting by the pool

my father and his friends drink

cheap beer from cold silver cans

I fetch for them from

a white igloo cooler.

My small bare feet make wet sounds

on the pale coral-colored patio,

mini splashes for each tiny puddle

in its pock marked surface.

My mother walks back and forth

between the kitchen and through

the sliding glass doors,

getting chips and dips

and anything else the men require

as they watch the game on TV,

drinking their bicentennial cheer

with a mixture of slow sips

and large cool gulps,

regulating their temperatures

from the warm Florida sun

 

 

 

*written last April for National Poetry Month, in memory of my father.

FridayFlash: A Dream Life

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Cat sleeping on the bed by her feet, she dreamt of solitude, and why not?  The man she had given her past, present, and all her future prospects no longer cared for her. Her son would soon leave to start a family of his own, her oldest friend left her long before she died, and her parents were going, going, gone from her life and soon this world.

The background of her mind played soothing melodies as she travelled in empty trains, toured abandoned bookstores throughout the British Isles–wandering their brightly lit halls with noone to hurry her, no schedule nor expectations, just the joy of a world of literature all to herself. She walked with ease, knees and wrists bending readily and without pain; her body no longer betrayed her.

She was surprised she was not lonely, but the books themselves kept her company with the silent voices of those long gone. She hummed to herself as she perused each aisle, composing a little poem in her head:

Invisible or
ghosts…does it matter? This world, 
freedom hers alone.

Finally her journey ended in the far north of the globe. She took her paper pulp treasures with her inside the glass igloo, the Northern lights danced above her as she sat padded in covers within the dome–a miniature cosmos heated just for her from machines hidden deep within the earth’s crust. As long as she had food and shelter, books and a view, she could drink in eternity with her eyes.

Contentment filled her. The thought of being alone no longer hurt the hole in her heart but filled it with hope. Her child, the bright spot of her existence,  was fine and would be a great man despite his current growing pains. Her husband neither needed nor cared for her. Didn’t accepting her solitude grant her freedom?

Her eyes were weighted shut, her muscles stiff and unyielding,  but at last she pulled herself from her lethargy and forced herself to swim upwards, through the depths of her dreams, to open her eyes. The cat, the feline that had shunned her so often, lay curled at her feet. The woman smiled good morning, scratched behind the creature’s ears, then went to walk the puppies in crisp, white snow.

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Friday Flash: One Shot

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One Shot

 

I hear

someone complain

he missed his

one shot

to accomplish his dream—

a single chance,

a single moment

on a single day

of his entire existence.

 

He sits

in the coffee shop,

3pm on a Wednesday—

sipping $4 espresso,

and whines into his smartphone

about his lot in life:

 

The lost chance he’ll never get back.

 

I want to empathize,

to shake him from his reverie and self pity.

 

I wait for him to set the phone down,

then walk over and sit across from him.

Sipping my tea,

I smile and say,

“Isn’t every day

another shot?”

 

 

 

 

(101 words)

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

 

 

 

 

Friday Flash: Leia-esque

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Her destination awaits, but yet she can’t bring herself to walk up the escalator. She should, she knows that. She should race up the moving stairs to reach her goal sooner, but it seems undignified somehow. Sure, her Leia buns are mere headphones, and her white satin bathrobe a poor approximation of the space princess’s Senatorial garb, but her persona is the most important part of the costume.

For tonight, she is Leia.

She adjusts the black-rimmed monstrosity that sits upon her nose, clutches her tickets, and steels herself for the trial before her. If only she carried a lightsaber…but no, theater policy forbade that part of her fantasy. Still, Leia has midichlorians enough to fight a Galactic Empire, so surely she can face an overzealous crowd on opening night. After all, she is the child of Vader as well as Amidala, and she’s fully prepared to force-choke the bejesus out of anyone who blocks her seat tonight.

 

*inspired by a photo prompt and published in first draft form at the six minute story site on Thursday, December 10, 2015. The above version has been edited.

**The above story was written in honor of next Friday’s premiere of The Force Awakens.

***Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

 

Friday Flash: Heartbeat

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Beatrix clasped her hat tightly to her head and shuddered as the cold wind whipped across the platform. Stage fright already had her firmly in its clutches, and the outdoor performance only increased her anxiety. What was she thinking? Singing in the shower was one thing; this was totally different. She gazed at the sea of faces before her and felt her heart beat even faster. Her breath caught in her throat as she thought of him in the audience–his reaction. What would he think? Would he think her a fool, an artist, or a lunatic? Her entire future might very well rest on this performance.

The audience murmured at the unexpected delay. A hush descended on the crowd as she cleared her throat and signaled to the band. Beatrix began crooning “They can’t take that away from me.” Her voice rose in pitch and volume, and the band–in rare form–performed as never before. Was it possible that they knew too? No matter, she couldn’t think of that now. She lost herself in the words, the melody, the feel of her heart breaking before the crowd…

When it was over, the audience remained silent for almost a full minute before bursting into applause. Her face reddened, but Beatrix only nodded once before gesturing to the band. Her fellow musicians bowed, but she had eyes for only one audience member. Then, flushed and happy, her entire body melted when she saw him smile and begin clapping with the crowd.

 

*inspired by a photo prompt and published in first draft form at the six minute story site on Thursday, December 3, 2015. The above version has been edited.

**Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.