She promised to save me a seat.
“I’ll drape my sweater over the chair next to mine.”
I’ve looked every where and can’t find her. The only sweater I see is on a chair beside a little blonde girl.
Estelle has white hair
Maybe she didn’t make it into heaven.
Candace hopes someone will save her a seat.
Drone of the television. A new life awaits if only she would color her hair or brighten her smile.
Each day older. Peer at the mirror. Who is that? Wrinkled face, tired eyes, sad lips.
Wait for the phone to ring. Wait for a visit. Each day closer to death.
Madelaine Wong won Freefall Magazine’s Chapbook contest in 2010. She has stories published in Dark Gothic Resurrected, Mused, Toska Magazine, and Shy, an Anthology. She is also the co-author of Cradling the Past, a Biography of Margaret Shaw. See more of her work at madelainewong.com.
Some form of dementia has stolen her brilliant mind
But has kindly left her beautiful soul.
From a hospital bed finally she knows no limits.
All worries, self-doubts have vanished,
Layers of life’s woes stripped away.
Her eyes filled with love, she sings and is happy.
Her truest self, revealed?
Lisa Lysen is having fun exploring her passion for words, hoping an adventure in writing may be somewhere in her future.
My paper boats—one pink, one yellow—float in sunlight. I stand calf-deep in the lake, camera in hand.
A flood of ice cold water pours into my right boot. Do I give up and go home?
No. My laughter echoes across the lake: after all I’m seventy-five years old.
Joanna M. Weston is married with two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, Those Blue Shoes, was published by Clarity House Press. She has also published a book of poetry, A Summer Father, through Frontenac House of Calgary, and an eBook, The Willow Tree Girl, through her blog.
“You’ll like it here,” my children said, moving me from my home to Assisted Living.
My room overlooks the parking lot. Outside my door an endless corridor leads to the elevator. In the lobby old people play little games to pass the time.
Seems to me more like Assisted Dying.
Catherine Mathews, a retiree of the Foreign Service, spent time in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt and Istanbul. Now living in northern Virginia she has published a memoir, and enjoys writing short fiction.
The nursing home is bright, austere. I watch mother comb grandmother’s hair, matted from her constant cat napping. Mother is tender—unlike the rushed ponytails I give my daughters—speaking slowly, loud.
Leaving, I touch grandmother’s hand. Is she, too, wondering if this is forever?
“I’ll be waiting,” she says.
Anri Brenninkmeyer is a New Yorker living in Cambridge, MA. She has worked as a English teacher, management consultant, and pastry cook. She currently owns a small sewing business and raises her two young daughters. The one constant through it all has been her writing.
September raged outside, violent bursts of russet and gold. Her tiny hand made a fist around my finger. “We’re in this together,” she said without words.
Different hospital. Different decade. The ache is deep and I am sinking. Papery fingers entwined. “We’re in this together,” she says without words.
Alison has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pen. Her first story was a horrible island romance scribbled at the tender age of eight. She has recently been featured in Firewords Quarterly and Journeyman Magazine and hopes to one day remain seated long enough to produce a novel.
They were married for more than 50 years. Every day they went
to the mailbox together at 4:27, even on Sundays when the mail
didn’t run. You could set your watch by them.
The Sunday after her funeral, I saw him standing at the mailbox, empty-eyed and empty-handed.
Rachel posts the writing she doesn’t hope to publish at
flutedcups.tumblr.com and thinks scrunchies are great. You can find
her Twitter at @rickit.
It’s hard to cry when the stench of death fills your lungs.
Still, seeing his frail body and gaping mouth, it’s hard not to cry. His breathing is ragged, eyes wide in anticipation of the inevitable.
Eighty five long years he’s had. Can’t help but cry for one’s own mortality.
Nicolas Frame is an author of short fiction, nonfiction articles, and some poetry.
Georgi, by 15 months the older brother, would say, “Bori, bring the toys,” and Bori, heeding authority’s voice, hastened to comply.
Now, in their eighties, their relationship has not changed.
When Georgi thinks it’s time for lunch, Bori, though slowed by age, limps to the kitchen to bring the sandwiches.
Catherine Mathews is a State Department retiree formerly stationed overseas in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. She is now living in Northern Virginia and writing about her life.