My life depends on the drugs, the research, the doctors. There are no miracles, only love of family. The IV drip is like the beat of a second heart pulsing its cancer-burning flames through my body. It keeps this fire raging in my eyes that both consumes and saves me.
Jim Doss lives in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
Sara pricked her finger arranging the roses and gasped. Pain still surprised her.
Since her most recent retrofit, Sara’s existence had been forever altered. Her service to the good doctor had been routine, until he had gifted her with the ability to feel, which would probably lead to his death.
Mary spends winters living on a 35-foot sailboat in Florida and summers in Ontario. A wanderer by fate, she embraces photography, writing, acting, and fitness coaching as opportunities present themselves.
“What do you want?” asked the nurse.
What did he want? He once had a house, but all he remembered was a tumble and then pain. Then he had lost it all: mobility, independence, dignity, his house. Now he was lost.
“What do you want?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
Linda writes for both children and adults. She blogs at lindaschueler.com
She often wept in mourning over a life she deemed wasted… unfulfilled.
She’d always had one singular purpose but at 43, that ship had long sailed.
Shame from decades of destruction and despair evaporated into rapture as she watched the positive result appear on the stick she’d just peed on.
Although Lisa struggled with severe mental health issues for many years, she worked tirelessly to rise above and find joy. She works part-time helping others dealing with mental illness while also soaking up the incredible joy she’s found in her beautiful, healthy 2 month old baby girl… her constant reminder that the Universe will always rise up to meet us.
For the Babies
Ten of us ate and ate, then ate some more. The bill was more than reasonable, considering the impeccable service, excellence and variety of food. The neat thing about dining at the inn was the nostalgic feeling of being at grandma’s house before the war. Stuffed, content, yawning with happiness.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.
Editor’s Note: Let’s all hope and pray for peace, not only in our own homes but in those places on the news that can seem so far removed.
The hospice nurse used an eyedropper to slip more morphine beneath his tongue. The whole problem was God. God’s absence throughout. That summed it up. God at the beginning, pressing dimples into your chin. God at the end, sliding his hand over your eyelids, saying, Shush. That’s enough for now.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net
The charlatan claimed to be able to read the bumps and dents on my skull.
He massaged and prodded, poked and stroked, then told me I was kind and stubborn, and just a little too sensitive.
What would he tell me if he could read the scars on my heart?
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.
When the pain is there, the pain is all there is.
It’s hard to get out, to find the path, to find the way back to life, to living. We must ease into it, push back the darkness, find the light.
The path is there. It has always been there.
Joletta Belton blogs on chronic pain issues at MyCuppaJo.com
, reads a lot, and loves adventure. She also loves staying at home in her PJs with her two favorite boys: her husband and their smashingly handsome dachshund, Buster.
The key gleamed in his calloused hand. Behind him, a childhood of broken promises and long struggles echoed the hallway.
Marcus held his breath and faced the door. Years of backbreaking construction for Uncle, and turning cheek to easy money, led to this defining moment: a place of his own.
Before embracing her affinity for writing, Shermie Rayne
had an indelible love of words. She likes to use written words to ponder, push back against, or relish in the journey of life. Currently, Rayne is editing the first draft of her first completed manuscript, SKY, an upper middle-grade, epistolary-journal novel that follows a tender-hearted soul, a seventh-grade girl, Sky Jeffers, as she contemplates the challenging burden of living.
Go on now,
purse your lips
to the only addiction
you’ve ever had.
The ashes of what was;
better than our
last breakfast shared
Let it rain and
ruin your white flag
while on grass-stained knees
I cry and beg
to gods who are either deaf or dead.
From the Midwest, Kacy Cunningham currently lives in San Francisco, where she is an MFA student in fiction at SF State.