First winter after Mother leaves, sister Nancy and I shovel snow, hands weighed down. Flakes fly, whirling seductresses. We clear faster. Flakes cover clearness. Nature takes. Gives people wanderlust, reveals darkness beneath starched smiles. We try to make everything perfect. Keep clearing. We trip. Keep trying. Keep tripping. Don’t surrender.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work is forthcoming or has been published in journals such as 50 Word Stories, Silent Auctions, City. River. Tree., and Ariel Chart.
I kiss my daughter; she twists away. “No,” she says.
“Don’t you hate that?” Margie sighs. “We do enough. We deserve kisses.”
I remember uncomfortable playground embraces. Unwanted subway pawing. Nights reluctantly spent.
“No,” I say. The word is whiskey. Dark, strong, medicinal. I smile and watch the girls play.
Ashley Scott lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing that packs a lot into a little. You can find her short stories and flash fiction in online literary publications, including On the Premises.
She pulls the Depends down and helps the shaking frame settle on the raised toilet.
Gently, she rubs a hand, skin like crumpled tissue paper. That hand once cared for her. Things change.
The report is folded in her purse, but she decides right then: family is more than blood.
Carol Scheina writes and edits as a freelancer. In free moments, she dreams up stories while trying to keep the cat from jumping on the keyboard and messing everything up. You can find some of her writing at carolscheina.wordpress.com.
Dad makes every shot. Nothing fazes him, not the windmill blades, the narrow bridge, the ripped carpet on Hole 7.
“They should fix that,” he notes, then drains the tricky putt.
My own ball rims out. Again. I curse it.
“Relax,” Dad tells me, as if he ever could have.
Jim Anderson is a retired college lecturer who lives in Michigan where he reads a lot and writes a little. More of his micro-fiction can be found at JimTheWriter.net.
“When will I see mommy?” Clare would ask everyday.
“Before you head to bed, honey” Auntie would reply.
Those words echoed in her ear as her eyes pleaded to be closed.
This time,her mother made it. Just before the monitor flat-lined.
Melancholy spread as Clare finally slept with a smile.
This poem was selected as the runner up of the Commaful.com 50WS Contest! Read the original post here.
Giggly, smiling, innocent seductress peering out from the pages of school yearbooks. One foot on the hockey field, one in the library. The world spread out before her.
Years, babies, miscarriages, surgeries, illnesses, and life. My Mom. All grown up.
If only I had known the girl of the giggles.
Eileen Mardres is a retired teacher / social worker and sometimes writer of manuals and English test questions. She is now writing her way through her senior years with micro-fiction, poetry, and memoirs of life adventures.
An awkward, stilted embrace. A clumsy patting of the back. A final sticky handshake.
I stood and watched him depart into the throngs of people, then boarded.
I sat at the window smiling, thoughts centered on the complimentary drink. My pre-flight numbness faded, enabling me to savour his unspoken love.
Raymond has pieces published in 101 words and 101 fiction. He lives in Ireland.
He had so many abilities to bestow, my dad. He could tie shoes, tell time, build tables, fix carburetors, throw, catch, hit. But for all his superhuman powers, he contained almost nothing else, and he withheld most of it.
And stoicism, I’ve since learned, is far less heroic than advertised.
Robert Hoekman Jr. is a writer and editor, and part of the Litmus Collective. His nonfiction work has been featured by Fast Company, WIRED, Huckberry, and many others.
“Daddy loves you,” I say, placing my daughter in her crib with a fresh diaper.
I notice the crease in each elbow as she shakes her toy at me and laughs.
If I don’t survive the surgery tomorrow, I pray that I can take this memory with me.
Seth Pilevsky lives in New York with his wife and five kids, trying to tuck away those precious moments for a rainy day. His work has been published in the Long Island Literary Journal, Literally Stories, Memoir Magazine, Stinkwave’s Magazine and in the YA anthology What Doesn’t Kill You. Sign up for blog updates at spilevsky.com.
As an adventurous toddler, I was a little unsteady. Dad held my hand, guided me, protected me from falling.
Fifty years later, he’s a little unsteady. I hold his hand, guide him, protect him from falling.
He smiles at me, a grown woman to others, but always his little girl.
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who always enjoys a good story.