Mama decided the family tree needed pruning. Sturdy branches could stay; twigs had to go.
I was flimsy. Always had been. God knows I tried to branch out.
She looked at me… a long, hard stare.
I turned away, but I could still hear the rustling of those graceful limbs.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana and has never been removed from her family tree.
You’re dead, Patsy Brown? Only forty?
Day after Noddy’s dad come home, you invite her: “After school, come for ice cream.”
She skip all the way.
Your mother sneer: “Jailbird’s kid. Go home, Nadia!”
She crawl away like a bug.
And you laughed, Patsy Brown.
My Noddy still alive.
Rita Stevens is a graduate of Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University and lives in the area, in the city of Portage, about 40 miles from Lake Michigan. She has been a teacher in the local schools and a jill-of-all-trades for a small newspaper.