By Polly Mayforth Krause
I’m starting to piece my past together
And at this point
If my past should have been left in pieces
When I open up the wounds of my past
I suffer again
Having gained an understanding of why I suffered
But worth the pain
Understanding leads to forgiveness and healing
Healing is about wholeness
It’s about picking up the pieces
And putting them back together
One shard at a time
Fashioning something new
When the light hits the jagged edges
By Jonny Booker
She looked like she’d been a prized greyhound in another life. She used the word “need” when ordering food at a restaurant. She’d married someone who was afraid no one would marry him; who was brilliant and shy and not even homely, and who blossomed with age. Together, they wrinkled, and the cashier was perplexed whenever she saw them come in—whenever she endured the woman ordering for herself and for her husband, and whenever she received a kind smile from the man, who never finished his drink.
By Captain 575
First love. High school sweethearts. The whole bit. Sometimes joked they shared a brain: Even bought each other the same Christmas gift—three times! One year it was tennis rackets. Ha! That was a laugh. They were still having sex then. Then it was iPads, which were cool. But! She left hers at the beach, he lost his charging cord thingy. Didn’t bother looking for it. Last year it was a book. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
By Swatilekha Roy
Summer holidays meant wagon rides and a delicious break from school.
On the run for letting the poultry loose, my brother and I were making a hidden treehouse.
Later, we would have gone to the bank, devoured stolen nuts, nailed floorboards, as punishment. Together, we would have made jokes. Of weak spots on the fence and Granddad!
However, the treehouse being too feeble, our hands slippery from juice, hearts too unwilling, he fell to death.
Standing on the desolate bank, I glance at the familiar walnut blooms at Johnson’s. I wonder how we never discovered the weak spot in life.
By Jeffrey H. Toney
My little pet is beguiling. I love it. I hate it. I fear and respect it. It drew me in at first, sweet, beautiful, but could bite if I didn’t meet its increasingly unreasonable demands. One night, as it lay next to me, it knew that I decided that it had to go. It began to pulsate, first very slowly, then picking up strength. I thought I was going to faint. My heart and pet began a terminal tango, each pumping wildly, pausing, undulating. Silence. My heart flat lined. Peace wafted over me as a cold breeze. My pet beamed.
By Ian Fletcher
House plants are odd
for though some thrive
others will not survive
despite the attention
administered to them.
Who’d have thought
for that matter
the one we bought
to adorn our balcony
whose flowers faded
according to the season
but whose leaves then
withered without reason
to languish out there
with stems so bare
winter through spring
despite our tender care
would prove to be the latter?
So it is with our love, my dear,
which like the plant outside
howsoever it is now tended
can never be revived.
Ian Fletcher’s work has appeared in Tuck Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Spillwords Press, Dead Snakes, Literary Yard, Your One Phone Call, Schlock! Webzine, Short-story.me, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, and various anthologies.
By Jenn Benningfield
A bone-dry Monday. Ten into twenty into thirty. A full month of dots. A month full of dots.
Her body greeted each introduction (and farewell) with pique. She wanted to scream. What would she need to invent, ingest or incinerate in order to return to the start?
A shut mouth, a level head.
Oh the lesson was well-learned.
When the psychiatrist asked her to draw a picture, she simply pressed the nub of the pen to the paper three times.