At night, her mother put her to bed by telling her stories of cotton candy clouds and a winged unicorn named Percival. She dreamed she was flying on Percival, occasionally trotting along various rainbows. Heaven couldn’t be that far away, she figured. She could sense her father waving to her.
Ran Walker is the author of 21 books, the most recent of which is CAN I KICK IT?: Sneaker Microfiction and Poetry. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.
Ensconced in a wheelchair, my mother holds up her feet and wiggles them, showing off new pale beige moccasins, fur-lined, soft and roomy for her swollen feet. “My sister got them for me,” she tells a nursing home attendant, gleeful. But really it was me, her daughter, become unimaginably old.
Jacqueline Doyle’s flash chapbook The Missing Girl is available from Black Lawrence Press. Find her online at jacquelinedoyle.com and on Twitter at @doylejacq.
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.
I didn’t cry
coming into this world,
in your womb!
crucible of life.
I nudged softly,
you felt me
under your bump—
Where else does plurality
dwell so harmoniously?
Like distinct chromosomes
in mothers’ wombs!
Mandira Pattnaik writes in India. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Times of India, Eclectica Magazine, Lunate Fiction, Microfiction Monday, Fiftywordstories, Paragraph Planet, FewerThan500 and (Mac) ro (mic).
The scruffy young panhandler sat on the busy sidewalk suckling a fractious infant. When I dropped a coin in her pot, the baby reached for my fingers. Distracted by the tiny hand and abandoned breast, I lingered for a moment too long.
“Alan?” she said as I tried to leave.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. See the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.
“You are your Momma’s sweetest girl,” Janeen cooed as she changed her baby’s diaper and pulled a soft yellow onesie over the child’s shoulders.
“It’s time for your lunch, Momma,” Nancy said, helping Janeen to her feet and gently placing her gnarled hands on the walker.
“Don’t forget your babydoll.”
Traci Mullins has more than three decades of experience in coaching, editing, and collaborating on hundreds of non-fiction books. She is currently working on unearthing the girl who used to love stories.
I remember what it was like to go to sleep and just luxuriate in it, swimming in the darkness of hours and hours.
Now you’re here, with your whimpers in the night and your chubby hands clutching me as you feed. You smell like warmth, and love has replaced sleep.
Victoria Davies is a freelance music teacher and writer from London, UK. She loves writing her thoughts and feelings about motherhood after the birth of her son in November 2016, an event more life-changing than she ever expected. You can read her blog at muminmakeup.wordpress.com.
The floor glistened with its fresh coat of lemon-scented mop water.
He entered by the kitchen, stumbling through the sliding glass door. Covered in mud and with grubby hands wrapped tightly around three grass stalks, he beamed.
And then her heart melted when he said, “Mommy, I picked you flowers!”
Jess works in fiscal, studies biology and English, and vanquishes Laundry Monsters on the weekends.
Mother wears her sorrow like a wet fur coat. As the days pass, every step she takes weighs her down. Each rancid choice she makes pushes us further apart.
She asks why I stay away from her.
I worry she’ll bequeath the coat to me and I’ll repeat the cycle.
Yong Takahashi won the Chattahoochee Valley Writers National Short Story Contest and the Writer’s Digest’s Write It Your Way Contest. She also was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and runner up in the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. Some of her works appear in Cactus Heart, Crab Fat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, Gemini Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Meat For Tea, River & South Review, Rusty Nail Magazine, Spilt Infinitive, and Twisted Vines.
Her tiny fingers, entwined in mine. Soft. Delicate.
Her nod, a whisper, “It’s time.”
A click as the switch is turned off. Then…?
Darkness. No light, no tunnel, no welcome home.
Terror envelops me; tears begin to fall.
Just a fading whisper: “They never would have believed you, anyway, Mommy.”
Anita Reynolds is a writer and artist, wife and mom in the rural reaches of Tennessee. Her work is inspired by the strangeness of life, from the mundane to the magical.