Her first tattoos were memorials. Then an image, then a symbol of sobriety. Each enriches her story. She embellishes her canvas with great care; her children are amused but shrug.
She is making a burning bowl of her skin.
One day everything she is will rise into the morning sky.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon. She is about ready for a new tattoo.
Alone, finally, in the kitchen, she silences the kettle and settles in the chair. The children sleep. The darkened windows reverberate calm.
He will return soon. The gravel drive will first crinkle and then crunch. The car door will bang; his boots will stamp the porch.
But for now, peace.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches and writes in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has recently appeared in Windfall, Poeming Pigeon, and Mojave He[art]. She’s just learning to write 50-Word Stories and finding it therapeutic.
The Balloonman presents the poodle, smiles and begins another. The child lifts it overhead; refracted color splashes his face.
Autumn engulfs the horizon—the carnival sags. The Balloonman squints as summer burns itself out.
The swan completed, he bows to one last girl, sighs, and turns toward evening and home.
Melody Leming-Wilson lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon. She writes mostly poetry, but is afraid the 50 word story might get in the way of that.