Dear Me

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By Anonymous

(Originally published 12.22.16)

You will fall in love with words and writing, and in the process, you’ll hear this a lot: “Don’t write like a victim.”

Don’t listen! Don’t let anyone else tell you how to express your truth.

Someday soon you will come to realize that things will happen that are outside of your control, and some of those things will be painful. Yet, somehow you will make it through, I promise.

I’ve written this because I love you so much, and I don’t want you to ever forget that.

Love,

Your future self

How It Should Be

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By Anonymous

(Originally published on 10.5.2015)

Have you noticed how I linger now when we embrace?
How I press my face into your blouse and inhale,
fight the urge to take a chunk of your flesh between my teeth,
let it dissolve on my tongue?

Because you are where I
should be.

You are what I
should be, and

We is how it
should be.

When I leave,
[perhaps you notice this, too]
I don’t look back—
Won’t.
I set my jaw, pocket my fists, and march,
eyes always forward.

Is that what you do, too?

Inspiration

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By D.A. Donaldson

(Originally published July 12, 2018)

“It’s called The Drabble,” she said. “One hundred-word limit.”

He sneered, “And you call that being published?”

“It’s something. It’s a start. It’s better than your Letters to the Editor.”

“At least people read those!”

“Do they? When’s the last time you heard from a reader?”

“Gimme a break,” he swigged his beer, “I don’t see any book deals coming out of your online dribbles.”

“Drabbles,” she corrected. “And my last post got 147 likes. At least I know that someone is reading and enjoying what I write. And you know what else? You just inspired my next submission!”

Learning to Write Poetry Late in Life

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By stevieslaw

Of course it’s magic,
the way the teacher coaxed
me off my easy chair,
where briared and booked,
I planned
to snooze away my twilight.

I find I’m curious again—
that odd peering into things,
I thought I’d
left behind.

Remember
that first poem?
Like a first solo flight—
ground dropping
like Newton’s apples,
the catch of thin breath,
and the wonder
of words.

           
“Sometimes I find the right word. And then I soar.” – the writer

A Lie for My Boy

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By Roy Gomez

(Originally published March 23, 2019.)

I would’ve bet a heart couldn’t ache any more. But I was wrong. There my boy sat, alone, waiting in that silent chapel for someone, anyone, to show up for his dad. Danny gripped flowers. Even wore my favorite tie. The knot was tight, off-center. That too was my fault. I wished I could cry. I was grateful to Bud, though. He was late – almost missed it all – but he came. As shovels of dirt thumped on my coffin, my old cellmate consoled him. Telling whoppers. That hurt worst … my boy feeling proud of his old man and all.

             
R. Gomez has been kicking words around for a while. He lives with his wife and pets on a hillside overlooking Medina Lake directly in the center of the Milky Way.

Unconditional

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By Toni G.

(Originally published November 16, 2019.)

He wrapped his arms around me then
his cheek resting heavy on the top of my head
as he hugged me in a kind of embrace
that were he to let me go
my entire being would spill out onto the floor
like rice grains falling from a ripped plastic bag
That was when
I knew
that I
his sinful son
was loved unconditionally
no matter what the vice president thought
about boys like me.

         
Toni G. writes because there’s just so much that needs to be said.

The Heartbeat is Not Earned

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By Michelle Kinder

(Originally published April 4, 2019)

Stop. Be still. There is nothing for you to do.

The heartbeat is not earned

You are here. They are not.
It’s only right to bear the fruit of their lives and yours.
Be deserving of your unfailing heart

But the heartbeat is not earned

Strive. Achieve. Strive. Achieve.
A carousel of contribution
Persistent drumbeat you didn’t even know was there –
prove.your.worth. prove.your.worth.

Child, rest, the heartbeat is not earned

Feel the sunshine – the breeze dancing on your face
Believe the bird songs – This is enough.

You are enough.

           
Michelle Kinder is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Public Voices Fellow, her writing has appeared in multiple outlets including TIME, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Vita Brevis, and The Huffington Post. She grew up in Guatemala and lives in Dallas with her husband, daughters and dogs.

The Waterfall

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By Bibiana Krall

(Originally published 07.11.20)

“I have never danced in the rain,” she said.

Her words transported me back in time to my childhood.

Woods protected our farm, a fragrant mystery of spruce, maple and oak.

The rain gutter on the barn perched so high, hawks nested there.

Providence was a hole in the eavestrough the size of a man’s fist.

Orange-clove shampoo with my sister in tow made for summer adventure.

Gravity created a waterfall, mischievous hands deflected its force.

Washing our hair in freezing-cold rain, we became land-locked mermaids.

Lightning eventually forced us indoors.

Boldly embracing life, we never stopped yearning for more.

              
“I write because I have something to say. I write because for years I was told my voice didn’t matter. I write for freedom and I write for hope. I am a late bloomer and went back to school a few years ago. I studied hard and read more books than I ever had in my life.” – the writer

Lost Dog

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By Holly Day
(Originally published November 21, 2017)

The parts of my childhood I can remember
are disjointed, unsuited for a house
or a school or a world
made of the stable things I read about
all the time in good books.

I got lost. I am, even now, certain that each new home
won’t be comfortable for long,
clinging to the hope
that we are suitable hosts for each other’s misery. I tell you
home is more than the back seat of a car.
Even leaves separate from trees

before curling up to die.

           
Holly Day’s poetry has appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.