“Get a switch,” Mamaw said. “A good one or you’ll be sorry.”
My five-year-old mind is already sorry but doesn’t know why, like my dog who peed inside but got his beating hours later. I’m ashamed that I don’t remember.
It better be a good switch: from child to adult.
John Atkins is a Renaissance curmudgeon, retired from corporate America, who spends days writing for himself and watching birds eat dried mealworms on the front stoop. He also edits a local quarterly magazine and is working on his first science fantasy novel.
You were the tomboy next door. We played children’s games: raced, wrestled, bickered. One day, suddenly, you were grown up. Poised, complicated, spellbinding.
You left for the city. Texted me that you were in love.
I suppose we’d known each other too long and too well ever to be lovers.
Alex’s story is what it is.
The world below is screened by cloud. Above, the sun is glowing.
He faces emptiness, then overcomes his fright,
And like a stone is falling.
He counts… A jolt! The canopy’s unfolded! He’s soaring… And smiling broadly as he touches land.
He jumped a boy and landed as a man.
Victor is native Russian, and English is his second language. He lives in St.Petersburg, Russia, and by now he has had two pieces published on FiftyWordStories.com.
Adalyn climbed up her father’s lap for a game of “hop, hop to Boston”. Her father was the strongest man alive and she loved him “the morst”.
“Watch out my little girl!” he sang as she squealed.
But she never fell in: she flew from his lap all grown up.
Damian Sebouhian is a freelance writer, playwright and English tutor living in Northern California. He misses the rain.
The boy who hated Dick and Dora
And found writing difficult
Now writes books
The boy who kicked against authority
And school discipline
Now commands a lecture hall
The boy who “failed” the 11+
Went on to prove himself
And became a professor
This boy will always be my boy
Ann Sangwin is a retired teacher, now a career grandmother. She has written all her life but until recently has not thought of submitting for publication. She lives in Kent and is part of a writing group, which has changed her life.
I set the small slide down and settled nearby.
She climbed, slid down, climbed, slid again.
On her fourth climb, she stopped and said, “Thank you, Mama.”
A first; I had not expected spontaneous gratitude to appear as a cognitive milestone, or to bring me to tears when it did.
Patrice St. James
writes creative nonfiction. She is from California, but lives in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys most of the seasons.
“I want to see it.”
“Are you sure?”
She frowned at the sticky red placenta in the blue plastic pan.
Could the newborn see it? He eyed the afterbirth and sighed a breath of apathy towards his now-lifeless life-support.
She couldn’t know he’d eventually feel the same about her.
Liz Lambson is a Jane of all trades who might write you a song about painting with cross-stitched sheet music propped on a hand-carved wooden stand. She does things like this when she’s not watching her kids.
It must have been hard on you, Mother, when I grew
long and lanky and all legs, my waist no longer waif-like.
Gone was your living doll to dress and display, your frilly
designs now silly on gangly me. Such a cruel trick
my thickening, adolescent body played on you.
Deanna Morris is an MFA graduate of Butler University with multiple publishing credits.
My new friend, at end
of summer camp,
told me she would miss me
oh so much
and could I please
come visit her, but not
if I was
her mother hated
I was ten. I held the knowledge
of such hatred
like a stone
beneath my tongue.
Jennifer L. Freed lives in Massachusetts, where she raises her children, writes poetry, tutors (writing and ESL), and likes to play with clay, which she disguises as ceramic sculpture. She has taught ESL in China, the Czech Republic, and the U.S. She has recently published a chapbook, These Hands Still Holding (Finishing Line Press, 2014). You can read more of her poems at her website, jfreed.weebly.com.
Andrew had never beaten his dad in golf. He’d been close; he’d faltered before.
Today, he had a 10 foot putt to win.
“Take your time,” whispered dad.
Andrew smiled. This was his time. He knew. His moment had finally arrived.
The Titleist rolled true.
Andrew smiled. Dad was proud.
Dave is living retired in California. He is completely new to writing. He credits Daniel Pink for the inspiration.