By E. L. Blizzard
This splinter makes my finger ache, sending me to Arkansas. Running round a pond, screaming, after a sliver jams in my pipsqueak palm so deep only a speck is seen. Mama wants to pull it. Grandpa saves me. “She’ll survive. Leave her be,” he mumbles, pulling me onto his thin lap, letting me slurp coffee from his saucer and wolf Grandma’s coconut cake. My rescuer would soon depart. What’s left is a shadow by my life line, a redolent nostalgia of sweat from his long-lost cap, and my affection for saucer coffee.
for the hearth
ancient summers gone
E. L. Blizzard writes for self-care and connection.
By Jim Bates
Growing up, my brother and I spent as much time as we could walking those rolling fields and hardwood forests, like our hero. We learned to identify wildflowers by their color and birds by their song. I’ll never forget squishing through springtime bogs listening for spring peepers and wandering fragrant summertime meadows happy among the butterflies and bees. We had our own Walden, a magical pond over the hill, hidden from the progress of man. I scattered his ashes there last week, watching as they drifted away becoming one with nature, and maybe, if he was lucky, finally finding Thoreau.
“I hope my stories bring people a little pleasure and make them smile.” – the writer
By John L. Malone
I’ve been clearing up the house
sweeping up the crumbs.
It’s a monthly ritual.
Am I mad? Or just dumb?
I clear away the cobwebs
sweep up the dust
collect and bin the rubbish.
They won’t wash themselves,
mum used to say.
The sink’s full of them
so I put them away.
Make the place spotless
so it shines & it hums.
& I better get a move on
before the cleaner comes.
John L. Malone wrote this piece “… because you don’t come across many funny flash fiction poems :)”
By Ruth Polk
What my family called “reactivity” was really training in social distancing. Someone’s coming? Turn around, walk away, down a driveway, or up the steps. Would they’ve figured out these tricks? Of course not!
They respond effectively because I’ve been patiently training, day-by-day, year-by-year.
We’ve practiced all types of scenarios: There’s a mail carrier, quick, what will you do?
If they got us away, I rewarded them with good behavior. If they were daydreaming, I barked and pulled hard on the leash. It takes a lot of reinforcement for them to learn new behaviors.
Good thing we started preparing years ago.
“Seeing the changes brought on by the pandemic through Pettigrew’s eyes has helped me keep it in perspective.” – the writer
By Evan Anders
eliciting you from sleep
would stifle the moment
no longer yielding
to previous follies
i spread out
in gilded rays
to craft her
Evan Anders brews coffee for mass consumption in Philadelphia. He is a retired stay-at-home dad who doesn’t know why he writes. It’s something nice to do when he can’t sleep and doesn’t feel like washing dishes.
By Josiah Robb
You never kept a journal so it makes no sense to be rummaging through your old books and things for clues. We all talked. Yeah, we all knew you’d been through many a rough time but you were through it now. Great new job, kids back in your life. Healed, smiling, out running with your dog every morning. Looking through the window, I would smile and say hey. Good on ya.
You shall be remembered running free, ethereal cape of joy glimmering in the wind behind you. Is that what you wanted us all to see?
“I write because it’s who I am.” – the writer
If my son is the apple of my eye, what kind of genus Malus have I progenerated? The other day he actually set down his new PS5 to ask, “where do white supremacists go for seafood? To no response he answered, “The Ku Klux Klam House.” He was definitely giggling too hard too hard to hear my silence; certainly too focused on his joy to see wheels turning as I wondered if I have (so far) raised my teen to be a racist bastard or comedy genius. The only settled answer is that whatever I conclude, his mother will disagree.
“I write to discover which side of the Manichaean battle I fight against.” – the writer
By Aida Bode
I’m but an ant looking for crumbs. I smell and see yellow, but it’s dry, stuck on something like a rock. I feel and touch red, but that too, is abstract and without taste. The universe seems to be laughing with my perceptions and deceives my senses. While standing on an endless rock marked with pretense, I notice a big vast sky covered in clouds. Is the end coming? Is the final judgement on my search for crumbs closer than I can hope? What is there to believe in?
Ah – I see a hole! Perhaps, I’ll find crumbs after all.
“I write to expose what the senses hide, to discover what’s kept secret, and to rejoice in the meaning of what the search for knowledge brings. I write to obey to the calling of our DNA.” – the writer
By J.M. Faulkner
The dim, canopied trail unfolds ahead. I park, and the blonde hops into the back. Pretty? I don’t know. She’s faceless in the rear-view mirror.
“Going far,” I ask?
A hitchhiker, then. Just as well—seems my wallet has a hole in it. “Little late for a read?”
“I like books,” she says, and I’m starting to think this one is a touch simple. I pull into the car park and kill the engine. The library is dark inside, and my hitchhiker remains put. Silent. Turning now, I tell her, “This is your stop—”
The backseat is vacant.
“I write because it stitches the different chapters of my life together and helped me overcome learning difficulties as child.” – the writer
By Robin Wright
Granddaughter and I walk six blocks, perusing sweaters and shoes, paintings someone’s brush stroked on Memory Lane. She plunks down a dollar for a purse, gets headbands thrown in from a man who praises her politeness. At our last stop, we ask questions of a lady who looks away, checks under a chair, wanders around, yells at a man across the street. Do you have my cigar box? He jogs to her. No. She sobs. Someone stole my money. The man wraps an arm around her. Granddaughter and I again search her wares, determined to buy from this woman.
“I write because I can’t imagine not writing.” – the writer