Two Adirondack chairs with flecks of white peeling paint, side by side, slightly cockeyed under the hedgerow’s green shadow. They hold no bodies today, just a little morning rain and thoughts of what could have been. It’s a quiet meditation, a memorial of sorts, to the fleeting perfection of pairs.
Thad DeVassie’s work has appeared in numerous journals including New York Quarterly, Poetry East, West Branch, Barely South, Unbroken, PANK, Lunate and Spelk. His chapbook, THIS SIDE OF UTOPIA, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. A lifelong Ohioan, he writes from the outskirts of Columbus.
Grieve and mourn here and now,
while their deaths tick ever closer,
though still some years away.
Take a week or two.
Use vacation time or sick leave.
Do this right and you may begin
to love them both a little better
while it matters most.
George J. Searles teaches English and Latin at Mohawk Valley Community College. Widely published, he is a former Carnegie Foundation New York State “Professor of the Year.”
Another day of wonder with my toddler.
I can only do so many unique voices and only one at a time. That’s why Mr. Elephant and Mr. Rabbit sound alike. She’s not pleased. I take her notes and will be better prepared for tomorrow’s encore.
I should’ve minored in theater.
Christina Marie Diamond is a storyteller residing in Hong Kong with her spouse and daughter. When she’s not being creative, the Brooklyn, NY native and her family are busy traveling around Asia.
I love blankets. I love their softness, their variety—their moods ranging from pastels to prints. I love my camo comforter most, big enough to cocoon me completely, my body hidden, protected from the cold, the open air, my parents’ voices swelling in the den… Nothing can reach me here.
Natalie Schriefer received her MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She works as a freelance writer and editor. See more at natalieschriefer.com.
She smiled sweetly, her fingers brushing mine, and my breath caught, heart swelled.
But the smile was mere politeness, the contact accidental as she held the door open and I moved to take it. She didn’t know who I was, didn’t know I loved her, would never, ever know.
Maria is inspired by everyday events, and odd coincidences. She’s excited for the time she’s able to high-five people again.
It was 1918. Grandpa loved his 9 grandchildren, but the Flu was deadly, so whenever a grandchild approached, he held up his hand, and shouted, “Hey!”
His grandkids still loved him, but they never hugged.
They started calling him “Heypappy”, and that’s how it was for his remaining 25 years.
Harry Demarest wrote this true story about his great grandfather, Franklin Conklin.
George sits in his pitch-black room, his pallid face lit by the flickering computer screen. He runs his left hand along his right forearm to remember the feel of human touch on his skin. He smiles at the person who touches his heart on the screen. It’s okay. It’s enough.
Lisa is a Tokyo-based writer who loves coffee, dogs, and talking about Terrace House.
The fairy godmother appears
The willow wilts, until another noon
Intimate details of a concealed life
Bright days encroach on moonless night
Yet, no prince knocks—
she never gave anyone shoes to wear.
You knew this wouldn’t last;
Then she lost her job at the dressmakers’.
Mandira Pattnaik is an Economics graduate who lets her degree gather dust while she word-weaves. Some of those pieces have made their way into Spelk, Lunate, Gasher, Star82, and fiftywordstories. She tweets at @MandiraPattnaik.
Ensconced in a wheelchair, my mother holds up her feet and wiggles them, showing off new pale beige moccasins, fur-lined, soft and roomy for her swollen feet. “My sister got them for me,” she tells a nursing home attendant, gleeful. But really it was me, her daughter, become unimaginably old.
Jacqueline Doyle’s flash chapbook The Missing Girl is available from Black Lawrence Press. Find her online at jacquelinedoyle.com and on Twitter at @doylejacq.
A year later, we give thanks—
that it was then, not now,
that we could be there
in the hospital with him, for days,
that so many friends could come and go,
give last goodbyes, lean close,
and not once did any of us worry
about sharing the same air.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various
journals and anthologies. See more on her website: jfreed.weebly.com.