On the radio recently, a doctor said, “COVID-19 is a wimp; it can’t live long in the air.”
But radio waves do; they pass right through like it’s not even there
and propagate like ocean waves,
heavy and salty with memories of sunlight
or wishes for things long since gone.
Matthew Eichenlaub spends his quarantine days contemplating a lake in Maine from his kitchen table, yet despite his good fortune, he longs for the good ole days. When he could linger in the long juice and soda aisle of Hannaford Supermarket, and read the many different cranberry juice labels.
“The Governor said our next election will be an all-mail election,” the wife said.
“But that would be illegal,” her husband replied.
“Because of the 19th Amendment.”
“What was the 19th Amendment?”
“It granted females the right to vote, so actually you can’t have an all-male election ever again.”
Don Nigroni studied economics at Saint Joseph’s University and philosophy at Notre Dame but now cuts invasive vines at the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
I have always
gone my own way.
I’ve often been told,
“You are so much
like your mother.”
What would I
if she had lived?
Would I be
My deepest loss
is that I’ll never
know for certain.
Casey Laine looks and sounds so much like her mother that a stranger once approached her at a restaurant and asked if she were Lesa’s daughter. She is both Lesa’s daughter, and perhaps, in a way, part of Lesa’s legacy, having inherited not only her looks, mannerisms, and inflection, but also her interest in books, houseplants, and philosophical reflection. This poem is dedicated to her memory, with utmost love.
Quiet like Sunday on the first of Spring. No traffic, no voices, no airplanes. Only birdsong or a dog barking.
Humanity withdraws and the world settles into silence. People in houses gaze through closed windows. They can hear sunlight drip off buildings and roar down empty streets.
Robin writes in the odd corners of the day and night and often about birds. See more at thenightmail.com.
The story of the week for March 23 to 27 is…
ICU by Donald A. Ranard
We are fair weather friends. Yet here you are seeking my embrace. You need sustenance, but the shelves in town are ransacked. You need nurturance, but the seven beds at the hospital are all spoken for. I am a mere Band-Aid for a bullet wound. I am only a house.
Shoshauna thanks all the other authors of 50-Word Stories for their continual inspiration.
When the dreaded thing happened, a strange feeling of calm came over her. Yes, they might put her in ICU, surrounded by beeping machines and strangers in hazmat suits. She might end up on a ventilator. Or, worse, she might not.
But she would no longer be completely, utterly alone.
Donald A. Ranard’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, 100 Word Story, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.
I have Dad’s nose, long and hawkish.
I also lose my temper over small noises, criticize people’s musical choices.
I feel shame and power.
I also try not to use the word “I,” Dad’s favorite.
Surely a nose isn’t a harbinger. I also have Mother’s eyes.
I block all mirrors.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, 50 Word Stories, (mac)ro (mic), and Ariel Chart.
It is evening rush hour in my city Glasgow.
I hear a solitary blackbird singing
no longer silenced by the snarl of roaring engines
and angry drivers.
The blackbird’s song is sweet but I yearn to hear it no more
meaning normality has returned to free me from this self-isolation
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
I escaped his slithering hands and bolted into the night. Johnny’s malty breath followed me before giving up with a cuss; he was always skittish about the marshes.
Crouching among the reeds, a frog startled me. I clasped him in my fingers, took a breath, and kissed him.
Nicholas Katsanis lives in Chicago and writes magical realism and absurdist fiction. He is currently editing his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter at @NicholasKatsan1.