I am standing on wet ground outside my childhood home, under mid-morning tropical sun. The air smells of earth and newly banished rain. Adults speak indoors; their everyday worries are abstract, distant.
I wake up to a snowy Chicago morning, work on a weekend, and infant needing to be fed.
Priya Balasubramanian is a writer and physician. She’s written a novel, and no longer wakes up to snow.
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.
I dreamed we were still in my kitchen, laughing
at the dog, who kept trotting to the door, then not
going out, lest he miss a single scrap
of whatever we might offer.
When I woke, the dog comforted me.
It was you inside the door, poised
to go through.
Jennifer L Freed has a friend whose tumors keep outrunning the chemo. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
Sometimes I feel like you’re watching over me from wherever you are.
Sometimes I believe you love me still.
Sometimes the sun reminds me of your sweet caress,
And the moon of your deep, enduring passion.
Sometimes I realize it’s all an illusion and you are
Connie Taylor is an Operations Manager by day, a writer and reader by night. Her writing aspirations began in grade school with her heroine, Pantoulia, who leaped over football fields of fire. She’s contributed to the Journal of Integrated Studies and enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction.
It’s so far up the beach, her first sandcastle. The bucket is too full. She stumbles. Water sloshes over the rim.
It’s scalding. Her leg blooms with pain.
A nurse prises the teacup from her knotted hand. He leads her slowly to a chair. It’s so far up the ward.
Tamsin wrote this story during quite a long walk.
I remember an Uncle
sitting on our swing
he was three axe handles
across the behind,
the swing only one.
It looked unpleasant
rope cutting into his skin like that.
He didn’t seem to notice
kept on talking, smoking
pushing his feet into the dirt
till mom called him in.
Marjorie is from Michigan, now living in Maine. She is a painter with a consuming passion to write.
He knew, often before she did, what was needed. His casual remark midweek, her nodded assent. Saturday morning: lunches packed, headed toward the rising sun and the smell of salt.
Now, when she stands alone by the edge of the sea, she thanks him even though he is not there.
Ellen Sinclair is from Belfast, Maine. She is a retired teacher, counselor, widow, mother, and grandmother, a lover of words and the sea.
Friends and family gathered around me on that cold rainy February night, waiting for the news.
“No brain activity,” the doctor said.
Walking in the house at midnight, I called out your name, by habit.
In the dark silence, your last words echoed through my mind: “I can hear you.”
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters and two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren, two boys and two girls.
My pillow greets me
My soft slumber
Recalls romantic memories
My soul whispers…
She finds my pillow
Entangles my dreams
We land eyes
walk within a summer’s breeze
Our hearts embrace
A moment held
Melt our reality
Will grace the earth
Fifty words is such a challenge. Patrick hopes to improve.
On the first anniversary of Momma’s death, I prepared her casserole recipe to honor her memory. Setting the dish on the table, I held back tears.
“Gross. What’s this slop?”
“Shut up and eat!” I snapped, and then laughed until I was out of breath.
I sounded exactly like Momma.
likes to keep it short.