After touring Antietam’s hallowed battleground, where many thousands of Civil War soldiers were slain or wounded one fateful day, my twins sons and I came upon Private Soldier Monument, a towering marble statue of a federal army soldier affectionately dubbed “Old Simon.”
As we read Old Simon’s engraving: “Not for themselves but for their country September 17, 1862,” a tiny finch emerged out of nowhere and alighted upon the soldier’s cap. Before I could take a picture, the bird began to sing, its lyrical voice weaving together strands of sadness, gratitude and hope: a ballad from heaven, leaving me breathless.
“I write to unlock a bit of the hope and inspiration that resides within us during these difficult times.” – the writer
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. Somebody must. 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 :)”
The day has been long. I’m sick of the city, I tell myself. My weary body won’t hold me up forever. Soon I will look like one of those old ladies everyone pities, until they become one themselves: lonely, back permanently hunched from urban living, weighed down by grocery bags and regrets.
My footsteps echo in the freezing station. I approach the melancholy refrain of a lone saxophone, playing just for me. The old man’s eye is foggy with cataracts, but his melody sees deep into my soul. Transfixed, I can’t help but smile.
“I write because the mundane really is magical.” – the writer
The ferry arrived 20 minutes ago, but I still feel the swell of the ocean. How strange the way we can preserve sensations in our bodies.
It’s the same with you. I still feel you pressed against me, swaying during our first dance. I still feel the lace of your white dress. That was 20 years ago.
I look at the sky. The sunset’s red streaks are like the lipstick marks you found on my collar a couple of years later. I arrive alone at my rental and sit down, regret still pulsing through my body like a violent ocean.
Michael Degnan lives in Peaks Island, Maine. He writes because “it helps him think.”
She lies in bed, 3.30 in the afternoon, spots of sunshine creeping across the curtains, and she thinks about death. She’s not scared of being dead. To be dead is to not be. It’s the dying bit that’s a hassle. She’s not into pain, not into fear, not into leaving a mess behind for someone else to deal with. And besides, she hasn’t finished watching that TV series about the serial killer and the kinky cop. She gets out of bed, 4.10 in the afternoon, crisis averted, and smears herself in an overpriced anti-aging skin serum, from hairline to nipples.
“I write because my brain won’t shut up.” – the writer
I can’t remember when I first noticed the little bird, a wheatear. When the telephone rang it appeared at the window and when I hung up the handset, I would drop some seeds or crumbs outside.
A bond developed between us and mutual expectation. The bird became my companion, and I was its source of titbits. We were creatures of habit, and the little bird became a great comfort to me in my moments of deep anxiety.
The bird will migrate soon, what will I do? I wished the calls would stop, or at least whoever it was, would speak.
“I write to free the souls trapped in the cavity of my imagination.” – the writer