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.
Donna’s ninety-year-old mother spotted the Christmas tree in her daughter’s living room. It was hard to miss.
She frowned, warning, “This is how it starts.”
Last March Donna married an Italian, a Catholic to boot. Donna is Jewish but very quickly acquired a taste for cannoli and tiramisu.
Mother was right.
Recently retired, Marian Brooks has begun to write some short fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. Her work has appeared in Thick Jam, Curly Red Stories, Short Humour and others.
Editor’s note: This story came in prior to Christmas, and it was entirely my fault that it wasn’t posted closer to the holidays! I think it’s still worth reading though, don’t you? :)
Mara’s seasoning shop specialized in rare spices.
As a Jewish woman, barely scraping by amid the loneliness of big-city life, she found it pleasantly validating that her most profitable time of year was Passover, when hundreds of customers came to her for bitter herbs.
Occasionally she wondered: was this irony?
This story was based on the prompt “bitter herbs” at TypeTrigger.