Recalling the smiles of my youth
I see the greenery, opulence, white pillars, and cars
As fires, fragileness, and feigned freedom
Mistaken for a world of bliss
Now I flip through fertile flames
Molded tablecloths, fancy watches, and fired clay;
The only keepsakes
That outlasted God’s dark test of time
Annie Lyall Slaughter wrote this story.
My dad’s thunder would pluck you out of a trance before you realized you’d entered one.
“What’s that crap you’re listening to!? Rock ‘n’ Roll? That’s not music; it’s shouting!”
Sixty years later, every nerve twitches when bombarded by the “music,” all words and volume.
I’m irrelevant. Just like Dad.
Eileen is a writer on good days, a crafter on others. She wishes the muse would sit on her shoulder more often.
“You are your Momma’s sweetest girl,” Janeen cooed as she changed her baby’s diaper and pulled a soft yellow onesie over the child’s shoulders.
“It’s time for your lunch, Momma,” Nancy said, helping Janeen to her feet and gently placing her gnarled hands on the walker.
“Don’t forget your babydoll.”
Traci Mullins has more than three decades of experience in coaching, editing, and collaborating on hundreds of non-fiction books. She is currently working on unearthing the girl who used to love stories.
She was a girl. Big smile, lots of friends, big demands, bigger expectations.
She went to see the world to find herself. She had to fight to keep that smile big, make new friends, reduce her needs and realise that dreams are not always real.
She is a woman now.
Alidiane is an English language student in Dublin, Ireland. Originally, she’s from Brazil.
Dreams and reality sometimes ravel and blur in the longest hours of the night. That’s when I reach out and touch your arm, your back, your thigh, lightly, ever so lightly, so I don’t wake you. We’ve grown old and frail together, you and I. Now, constantly, we seek reassurance.
Alex lives in a suburb of the Big Apple.
One spring morning
A strong wind arose
Waking the old trees
Their young leaves shimmied
Like tiny gymnasts stretching
Practicing handstands and cartwheels
While nearby other giants
Stood somber as if caught
By some old trauma
Some unspeakable shame
That had broken
Their mighty spirit
So many long years ago
Matthew lives and grows in Maine.
All is tranquil, sleekly efficient, sterile. I’d been visiting my old friend. Now I’m out on the perfectly manicured grounds, pausing on a bench to catch my breath before shuffling off to my car. Passing staffers chirp cheerful good-afternoons. They see gray hair and a cane and make an assumption.
Alex likes to spread his wings and soar.
Her son took her to see the scorched husk of their old farmhouse one last time. He stood behind her as the salt smell of earthworms soothed her wrinkled skin.
In her eyes, a mud-splattered boy ran through the yard and into the house. “Take off your shoes,” she said.
Tracy Gold is a Fiction MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. She also works as a marketer, writer, and editor for technology companies. Find her at tracycgold.com.
Rabbits jump around the green grass, soaking up warmth, delighting you. Daffodils are up; robins have returned. You survey this dazzling day with bright eyes.
Without warning, you retreat into your world. “When will it stop snowing?” you wonder out loud. “It’s so cold!”
The Alzheimer’s again… We miss you.
Deborah Davis is a former equities trader. She lives in Richland, Michigan, and enjoys fellowship and encouragement from her kindred spirits in the Richland Writers’ Circle.
Again, leaving the grocery store, to the side of the exit, I see that large cage of big, bouncy, colorful plastic balls.
I want one each time I see them, but my wife and grandkids assure me I’m too old to play with such things anymore.
When did that happen?
Alexander Key teaches high school when absolutely desperate for attention.