The grey mask shields her eyes from visions of the children she never had
and scents her dreams with lavender
The ear plugs muffle the whispers of her ghosts
She bites down on a bullet, designed to take the strain
And she lays herself down,
to fight the night.
Jennifer M. Smith lives in Burlington, Ontario.
Who are these senior citizens who surround me?
I see retirees decked out in bifocals and new teeth, but I remember energetic cheerleaders, state football champs, school newspaper reporters.
As we pass phones to share photos of our kids, grandchildren, and pets, we promise to meet again in 10 years.
Roberta tried retiring, but it didn’t work. See more at RobertaJacobson.com
My grandma has forgotten the word for Mahjongg. She keeps asking to play yoga.
I think about what that might mean.
She’d be teacher. Her poses would have names like desserts: the rugelach, the macaroon. I’d contort myself, wobble, fall. We’d both laugh.
From the closet, I get the tiles.
Brooke Randel is a writer and copywriter in Chicago, IL. Her fiction has been published in Ropes, Two Cities Review, Punchnel’s and Beecher’s Magazine. She’s currently co-writing a memoir with her grandma.
I can’t turn my back on you, even though we’re now strangers.
Once you were brave and clever. Your body gave me pleasure, comfort and delight.
Now your limbs tremble. Your mind wanders. The strong man is a lost boy.
In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.
Lucia Saja wrote this story.
She looked through her cataract cloud. Her hair, like the bathroom mirror, had silvered. Her face showed cracks like the tile. Toothbrushes… two?
Nothing looked familiar. Not the photo of children that fluttered from her purse to the cold tile floor. Not the gray-haired man who carried her to bed.
Eileen McIntyre writes to the hum of hummingbird wings and listens to critique from crows in the woods of Northern California.
This morning, we do the crossword puzzle on the floor, just like we did the day we moved in fiftysome years ago, before we had furniture or the children who will, today, help us move into assisted living. We’re rusty at the clues, but the coffee tastes just as hot.
Ingrid Jendrzejewski grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and loves cryptic crosswords and the game of go. Recently, she won the Bath Flash Fiction Award. Links to Ingrid’s writing can be found at ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets @LunchOnTuesday.
I don’t remember anymore.
I have a disease, but I can’t remember what it is called.
I can remember things, but they seem so long ago. From when I was younger.
Someone helps me, and I think she is special to me.
Fog rolls over me, and she is gone.
Gordon Lysen resides in Manitoba, Canada and spends his time between the city of Winnipeg and his true home at Sugar Point on Lake Manitoba. Retired from police work after some 27 years, Gordon co-authored the novel “A Deadly Blend of Souls” with his wife, Lisa. Writing and painting are Gordon’s relaxation methods when retirement becomes too stressful.
The daffodils were open only a day when the wind bowled most of them over.
I gathered all those with broken stems and put them in a vase and put the vase on the table. This is what life is like after 60, the light, indecisive, distraught, sprouting black feathers.
Howie Good is the author of Danger Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.
My mother leans into my father and points at the elderly man at the far end of the nursing home dining room. My father sports a baseball cap; the old man wears a fedora.
Over the clatter, and behind the shield of her other hand, mother asks, “Is that you?”
Gail Louise Siegel’s work has appeared in many journals and anthologies from Ascent to Wigleaf. She is from Chicago.
The random coin Fred got in change at the coffee shop was so worn and grimy that he had to rub it vigorously with this thumb, hold it right up to his face, and squint to read the date.
Yep, that’s what he thought: the same year he was born.
John Sheirer is the author of several books for adults and children. His most recent is a book of alphabet poems called, The Alpha Dog Alphabet, featuring photos of his canine coauthor, Libby.