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Jake dropped the baby off at daycare early that morning and replaced three water heaters by lunch. There were two HVAC systems left to service, so he wolfed down a sandwich as he drove between jobs. When he got back to the shop that afternoon, his boss called him into his office.  

“Take a seat. “ The fluorescent ceiling lights made everything in the room a weird shade of green. Mr. Huffman closed the door and dropped into a rolling black leather chair behind his desk that had nothing on it except a paper calendar. He bent over the calendar, fiddled with the chewed tip of a ballpoint pen, and cleared his throat.

“Jake, we’re going have to let you go. I hate this, because you do good work, but when the paper mill shut down, we lost lots of business.”

Jake’s face burned, so he looked down at the empty lunch pail still in his hands. His fingernails were caked with black dirt he had scraped off one of the HVAC units that afternoon. A clock on the paneled wall ticked loudly.

“Mr. Huffman, I really need this job.” He glanced up at his boss, who was looking at the pen. This was shameful stuff, a man losing a job, and they both knew it.

“I know. But you’ll find something, you’ll do the right thing for Ashley and the baby.”

His throat thick, Jake walked out of the office and down the hall to his locker to change out of his work boots, heavy with dried mud. He pushed through the back door of the building, drove to the Quik Stop for a beer and ran into Wade Merrill, a guy from high school whose dad was president of the bank. Wade went on and on about a big catch Jake made their senior year to help them get to the state football championship, then asked what he was doing now. Jake told him he’d just quit his job, that he was sick of flooded basements. Wade laughed and said you’re a winner, man, you’ll find something.

Jake told Wade he had to get going and Wade said yeah, I guess you got a kid now. Jake throat tightened again and he didn’t say that he was going to see his buddy, Tommy, who lived down by the river.

The windows of Tommy’s little cinder block house were levered, and he kept them open most of the year to catch the sound of the water. There was a big wood-burning stove and the whole house smelled like ashes, even in the summer. Tommy had worked for a construction company for a couple of years, then one day a company truck rolled backwards over his foot, mashing most of the bones. Now he drew disability and cooked a little meth on the side.

When Jake got to Tommy’s, he found him stretched out on his sofa in a plaid robe.

“Shit, man, hate to hear that,” said Tommy, when Jake told him he’d been laid off. The room was lit by a rerun of the 2011 National Championship game on the television and Nick Saban’s unsmiling face filled the screen.

“Saban don’t never look happy. You’d think them four million dollars a year would wipe that pissy look off his face,” Jake said. He’d worked since he was twelve—cutting grass, framing up houses— and this was the best paying job he’d ever had. He liked it because every day was different, from installing a new water heater to dealing with a busted air conditioner. The beer sloshed around in his stomach as he thought about how he would tell his wife he’d lost his job. They’d been together since their senior year of high school when one day he sat behind her in history class, looked at her curly hair, and wondered how she was in bed. Two months later she was pregnant, and after they graduated they got married and moved into a trailer on her father’s property.

“Christmas is two weeks away and I have no idea where I’m going to get the money for it,” Jake said.

Tommy kept his eyes on the screen. “Dude, I’m telling you. You need to help me with my ice. It ain’t no big deal, you know.”
The beer in Jake’s stomach sloshed again. Moving meth would be quick and easy money, but he’d really never done anything illegal other than driving drunk and he figured that didn’t count because he’d never been caught.

He told Tommy about seeing Wade, and Tommy said wouldn’t it be nice to have a mommy and daddy who paid for everything. Jake’s parents had worked at the paper mill ever since they got out of high school. When the mill shut down, they said they had to go where there was opportunity, and  moved to the coast of Georgia to work in another mill. He got the occasional call from them—they were doing a lot of fishing and even thought they might buy a used boat,and it was like they’d started a new life. He had never been out of the county and they hadn’t either, so the whole move was a big surprise to him.

“Maybe we ran into each other for a reason,” Jake said. “Like, maybe, I should’ve asked if his dad had any openings at the bank.”

Tommy snorted and said, “Dude, let me tell you something about the fucking world. Wade’s daddy, he thinks of himself as a maker. The makers make all the money and pay for stuff like food stamps and welfare for the so-called lazy people, the takers. Wade’s daddy only takes care of folks like him, people who went to college, so good thing you didn’t waste your time asking.” He took a long swallow of beer. “You know, now that I think about it, all that’s left out here in the county are the makers and the takers—hardly nothing in between.”

Jake left Tommy’s to go to the Bi-Rite to pick up diapers and as he drove he thought about Wade calling him a winner and wondered whether he meant in football, or just in general. Back in high school Jake was a big shot, a football star, and all kinds of people wanted to be around him. Now it was just him and Ashley, and the baby, who cried all the time. The doctor said it was colic, something he’d never heard of.

Hardly anyone shopped at the Bi-Rite after Walmart moved in and many of the food racks had been removed, leaving long, black greasy streaks on the linoleum. The beer had gotten to him so he pushed through a swinging door by the meat department to get to the bathroom. He wove between rows of boxed food stacked on pallets, and as he reached for the bathroom door, he looked down to see a cellophane-wrapped bundle of cold medicine on top of one of the pallets. He remembered Tommy telling him the law was trying to put meth dealers out of business by keeping this kind of medicine out of people’s hands, that he had to pay bootleggers twenty-five dollars for a single box.

And here was a case of the stuff.

He looked around to make sure he was alone, paused for a long moment, then picked up the bundle and took it into the bathroom. After locking the door and relieving himself, he tore open the bundle and began loading boxes into his coveralls, flushing the cellophane down the toilet.

He quietly cracked the bathroom door open and saw a man walking toward him wearing a big white apron with red streaks on the front. The meat counter guy. Jake pulled the door shut and locked it, then pushed the toilet lid up and sat down loudly so the guy would hear it. Heat was coming up and out of the neck of his coveralls, and he could hear the guy playing a video game on his phone. Didn’t the dude have some meat to cut? After about five minutes the guy knocked quietly on the door.

“Coming!” Jake flushed, twice, and started to open the door but now the toilet was overflowing with shreds of cellophane. There was no plunger in sight, so he kicked the globs of cellophane under the sink. Once the toilet stopped gushing, he opened the door and pushed past the guy, avoiding eye contact. He passed an old woman who looked like she would fall if she didn’t have her shopping cart to hold onto. She stared at him blankly, and he guessed she was too deaf to hear the boxes clattering under his coveralls.

As the girl at the register rang up the diapers, he wondered how he would pay for things without a job and thought about the only time his father ever used food stamps. They’d picked up a rotisserie chicken from the deli and the clerk held the chicken up and loudly demanded that one of the bag boys return it, telling everyone who would listen that food stamps didn’t cover hot food. Back then food stamps were the paper kind, not credit card-type things like now, and he remembered how they shook in his father’s hand as he paid for the rest of the groceries.

He picked up the diapers, and as he did, a few of the boxes shifted inside his coveralls. The girl looked him over, then shrugged and picked up her phone.

His heart was still pounding when he got to Tommy’s.

“You’re back—what’s going on?” Tommy said.

“I found something.” Jake unzipped his coveralls and began flinging boxes at Tommy.

“Well, well, well… what have we here, my friend?”

“Took ‘em out of the back room at the Bi-Rite. It was like they were waiting for me.”

Tommy examined the boxes, then pulled a roll of bills out of a wall safe and tossed it to Jake. And just as Jake was feeling good for the first time in the day, thinking he’d have some money for Christmas, Tommy got a text from a buddy who told him a cop might be on his way over.

As they ran around hiding things, the blood in Jake’s temples started throbbing. It made him think about a water heater overheating when the water boiled inside the tank. If that happened, you had to act quick to flush it or else all hell would break loose.

Tommy’s forehead was shiny with sweat. “Dude, could you take some of this cash and keep it for me?” Jake noticed Tommy’s hands were shaking as he tried to hang a fake painting on a nail above the wall safe.

“Man, c’mon … no! This was just a one-time thing to get me through Christmas—I’ve got to get out of here,” Jake said, grabbing his phone. He jumped in his truck and as he pulled out of Tommy’s driveway, he saw a bright set of headlights about half a mile away. He hoped it wasn’t the cop but a few seconds later blue lights appeared in his rear view mirror so he gunned it, turning down a side street toward his daughter’s daycare. He pulled behind the dark building, turned off his truck, and as he listened to the engine tick, he pressed his fingers to his pulsing temples. When no one showed up, he figured the cop was probably at Tommy’s, and he hoped no one found the cold medicine he’d just stolen.

What a shit-show of a day—losing his job then stealing that medicine. And now he was hiding behind his little daughter’s daycare because he thought the police were after him. He imagined Wade finding all this out and a wave of embarrassment washed over him. Restarting his truck, he eased out from behind the building and instead of turning toward home, toward Ashley and the baby, he headed for the interstate. As he entered the highway, he slipped easily between two semi-trucks to join a long line of cars heading east, toward Birmingham and Atlanta.

A minivan passed him, full of suitcases and wrapped gifts. He could see a little car seat in the back and he thought about Ashley, fixing dinner with the baby on her hip. He pictured Tommy trying to hang the painting over the wall safe and he began shaking like Tommy had and then realized the truck had  drifted onto the rumble strips on the shoulder. He swung back onto the interstate and a late model SUV in the lane next to him veered away slightly, a woman in the passenger seat picking her head up off a white pillow to look at him. A little dog with a fancy collar was curled up in her lap.

She kept staring at him and after a few minutes he snapped, rolling down his window and yelling he’d been laid off, not fired. He wasn’t a thief. He wanted to work. But now he had to leave town to find a job. His hair was flying around in the wind and the cold air stung his eyes, blurring his vision.

The woman frantically motioned to the driver next to her to go faster, and the car bolted ahead. It was a BMW, a maker car. He thought about Mr. Huffman telling him he’d do the right thing for Ashley and the baby and as he rolled up his window and wiped his eyes, he hoped to hell he was.


BIO: Kim Bundy lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she works at an academic medical center. She has begun querying agents with a recently completed middle-grade novel set in the 1970s. One of her short stories was published last summer in the literary magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs, and another will appear later this year in The Louisville Review.

 


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Everyone wore a mask now, but why they did was no longer a question. Those who asked either disappeared or, after a suitable period of re-education, joined their faceless colleagues. The masks kept us free not just from airborne threats to health but from the complexities of signalling...

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Eagles’ Run

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Sarah Jensen works at the county morgue. It’s the only job available, her probation officer tells her. She’s a lousy thief, it seems. Gah, she hates scrubbing stainless steel. She’s the only one in the morgue because her shift is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. As she...

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How Horrible the Moon

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One Precious Day

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A Pot Full of Beans

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How You Can Go Wrong

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The Piano

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Makers and Takers

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Kim Bundy

Jake dropped the baby off at daycare early that morning and replaced three water heaters by lunch. There were two HVAC systems left to service, so he wolfed down a sandwich as he drove between jobs. When he got back to the shop that afternoon, his boss called...

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The “Ely Kay”

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What We Long For

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Cyril Dabydeen

Creating an imaginary garden
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Emerson

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Paul K. McWilliams

He hurts, body, mind, and soul. Death has made its introduction and he has given it a knowing nod. At this moment he’s in a hospice unit. The head of his bed is elevated and he’s in the consoling company of his dog, Emerson. The dog proved quickly...

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Blunt Trauma

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To all, excepting only Annie, Charles W. Durgin fell while fishing and drowned.  It has been nearly ten years since she struck him with his own club, the club he affectionately called “the priest.” Nightmares still waken her upright and screaming. Not the stifled screams into his calloused...

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Man in the Mirror

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Nitin Mishra

It may have been the sultriest day of the decade, who knows, maybe two or even three decades and the excessive humidity had invited swarms of insects. In such a sweltering afternoon people were destined to stay indoors, and if anyone ventured out, the insects would certainly torment...

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The Impostor

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Mick Clark

I was amazed by how many people were stuffed inside my uncle Henry’s corpse.

My aunt clung to me for the first time in her life, bird-bone brittle and ashen pale, while the mourners breathed crowds of ghosts into the icy morning air.

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21 Days of Lockdown

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Donna Abraham Tijo

Day 1:
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A five-year-old declares, 'I wish to always have my favourite pancake in my world.'

Day 2:
An E-mail of Hope
He sent the e-mail to the school reserving seats for his daughter for the fall session. It’s in the new city they...

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Sugar Daddy Dreams

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

Burnt toast, avocado, honey, two poached eggs laced with turmeric and garlic, and a new vitamin concoction that makes my stomach churn, and still, I guzzle half of it down with gusto, as if it’s our first Godfather Cocktail at Carlo’s Bar.

Why, you ask?

Because...

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The Visitor

by

Brigitte Whiting

Madeleine saw the visitor in her Sunday school class, a man her age, maybe fortyish —she considered herself a youthful fifty —with a deep dimple in the middle of his chin. He wore no wedding ring. He introduced himself as having just moved to Cannington, and was the...

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Chickens

by

Brigitte Whiting

First, there was dust everywhere, but now, far worse, there were chickens everywhere. They were pecking through the yard, leaving puffs of dust. They were roosting in the pine trees. And they clucked from morning to night. The five roosters vied for which was loudest and shrillest. Amanda...

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Desiree

by

Joe Cappello

I buried him in the backyard one night after a rainstorm. The soil I removed from the hole was thick and sticky and clung stubbornly to the surface of my shovel.

I connected the hose to the backyard spigot and used it to clean off the shovel. Then...

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The Anointing of Mary Ballard

by

Joe Cappello

The young lady entered the laboratory with her eyes cast down reverently, as though entering a church. When she reached the gurney, she pulled a chair close to it and placed the things she was carrying on a nearby table. She removed the sheet covering the body and...

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Beginning at the End

by

Joe Cappello

I am in a meeting at our England location in a typical rectangular conference room walled off from the real world of work taking place outside. Suddenly, I am a spirit floating above my colleagues, as though I had died only seconds earlier and am waiting to be...

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Hope Held My Heart

by

Chel Talleyrand

We were isolated that summer from the rest of the world. The excessive rains had pounded the fields into mosquito-infested pools, destroying our harvests of corn and beans. We heard it was worse in the cities. As food supplies depleted, guns decided distribution. Friends and families banded together...

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Bibliosmia

by

Penny Camp

My love for reading started early. I traveled the world and rode dragons, fought knights, stormed castles, stole treasure with pirates and rescued kidnapped princesses. I floated down rivers in the deepest regions of unexplored lands. I climbed trees and mountains and flew on clouds.

Mom read to...

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To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

by

Brigitte Whiting

A flock of wild turkeys has wandered in and out of my yard for years. I have a raised deck so my birdfeeders stand ten feet off the ground and the turkeys graze under them. They are timid birds, and typically when I step out onto the deck, ...

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The Style of No Style

by

Frank Richards

I must be the Charlie Brown of writers because I’ve never been able to figure out what “style” is all about. What does that word, ‘style,’ mean? I’ve always had a problem with it. If there were such a thing as “styleblindness,” a disease like colorblindness, I’d be...

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Corona Clean

by

Fran Schumer

The Corona virus presents new challenges. Stuck at home, and with more of us sleeping, eating and working here, and a dirtier house, I was finally going to have to figure out how to use my new vacuum cleaner. Ordered a year ago, it mostly sat in its...

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Occasional Neighbors

by

Brigitte Whiting

I understand a little bit about wild turkeys. They're on a constant hunt for food, drifting through the neighborhood scrounging what they can. But I don't know how it happens that a few will either be left behind by the flock or leave it. This past fall, I'd...

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Enjoy the Ride

by

Penny Camp

Get up early. You can’t ride all day if you sleep in. Braid your hair tight — you don’t want it flapping in the wind. Make sure you don’t wear the undies with the seams down the back because after a long day of riding they will make...

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Cocoa and Biscuits

by

Penny Camp

Saturday mornings were special occasions at our house when we were growing up. My friends begged to spend the night so they could be part of the Saturday morning ritual.

Mom would take out her green plastic bowl and splash in a little water, a little cocoa powder, ...

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Livin’ the Dream

by

Holly Miller

When I was a child, my mom and Aunt Leona would pack us six kids into our blue Chevy Belair and drive to a local mobile home dealer (they were known as trailers back then). We would walk through the new homes, just for something to do. How...

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Fall in Maine

by

Brigitte Whiting

Autumn is falling in Maine, harder this year than I remember over the last few falls. We've had two nights of close to freezing temperatures, not enough to ice over the birdfeeders or kill any of my plants yet, but cold enough to turn the furnace on. My...

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Best Laid Plans

by

Penny Devlin

Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100...

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One January Morning

by

Brigitte Whiting

Mornings, I like to have a Kindle eBook open on the dining room table so I can read and look out into the backyard to see what might be happening. 

I live in a raised ranch with an attached two-car garage. My deck, which is off the kitchen...

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The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

by

Sarah Yasin

A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruinsby Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group...

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A River of Words

by

Penny Devlin

Go to work every day. Do your job. Do it well. Always learning, getting better every day. Soaking in the letters that become words, that lead to success.

Meetings, instructions, to-do lists, directions — the words start to drown like a river of brown muddy water rushing through...

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Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

by

Jen Lowry

On our homeschool adventure today, we dreamed aloud of the places we would travel to if we could. My kids and I agree: Ireland and Scotland are our top two places to visit. We played music from Spotify and sang aloud to the merry tunes of the Irish.

...

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Monarch Butterflies

by

Brigitte Whiting

I had no idea what milkweed looked like because I'd never seen it, but I'd always wanted it to grow in my yard so I could see the monarch butterflies.


For the longest time, I've hoped the patch of wonderfully fragrant plants with pale purple flowers growing...

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A Monarch Chrysalis

by

Brigitte Whiting

The monarch caterpillar couldn't decide where to turn itself into a chrysalis. He wandered across my front stoop so many times I was afraid I'd step on it so I stopped using the front door. One time, he'd be crawling up a post of the front railing. Another...

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Truth

by

Angela Hess

I am twisted, bent, and deformed on every side. Everyone trying to use me to serve their own purposes, to justify their own beliefs and actions. Their eyes constantly sliding away from my pure, unaltered form, too brilliant and painful to behold without their chosen filters to dim...

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The Goldfinch

by

Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was...

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Of Heroes and Holiness

by

Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family...

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My Desk

by

Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” Butwe all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, ...

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My Mobile Space

by

Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic...

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A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by

Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born...

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Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by

Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flas...

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Reunion

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. ...

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A Fear of Broken Things

by

Angela Hess

“Does he look at you?”

 

My cousin’s innocent question triggers a flashing red warning light in my brain. My baby doesn’t look at me. I assumed he was too young still, but my cousin’s baby is only four days older than mine, and they are...

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Neighborhood Walk Meditation

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Vultures gather on the old man’s neighbor’s barn,
‘decorated with ravens and barren trees.
A small cottontail stirs...

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Dream Metaphor

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I shiver in the darkened room,
stretch, try to pull the covers higher,
suddenly I am floating near...

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A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

by

Phebe Beiser

So glad it rained last night. Now, late morning, sun shines,
an unexpectedly warm early March. What a...

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Solitary

by

Malkeet Kaur

For eons now, the very core of my being
has become inaccessible.

Solitary.

Once it used to be...

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The Blanket Hugs Me

by

Louise E. Sawyer

I’m grateful that I have a daybed
downstairs where I can rest during the day
with my Guinea...

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On Love and Dreams

by

Miriam Manglani

1.
Love is a beast and angel and dream on fire.

2.
Your soul wakes in your dreams.

...

Read more: On Love and Dreams

 

 

 

The Writer’s Breastplate

by

Louise E. Sawyer

…apologies to St. Patrick


Creative Spirit with me,
Creative Spirit before me,
Creative Spirit behind me,
Creative Spirit...

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The Sweater

by

Malkeet Kaur

As I rummage through the clothes,
I spot it, the well-worn white sweater
that now had aging spots...

Read more: The Sweater

 

 

 

The Holly Tree

by

Nolo Segundo

We have a large holly tree
in our backyard—
is it foolish to say
you love a tree?

...

Read more: The Holly Tree

 

 

 

waiting on an email

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

rain beats against the metal awning.
winds whipped up against two storms
racing each other over the Mississippi
...

Read more: waiting on an email

 

 

 

Looking for Weeds

by

Louise E. Sawyer

Pushing my walker with the purple
pet carrier propped up on the seat,
I walk down the driveway.
...

Read more: Looking for Weeds

 

 

 

Ocean Mood

by

Malkeet Kaur

The roaring, crashing surf summon us.
Soft and damp ecru sand lies beneath our bare soles.
The sun-baked...

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The Beetle in the Sink

by

Miriam Manglani

There is a beetle in the sink.  
A big fat one,
shiny and black
with sharp needle...

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Four Cats – Four Friends

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I
the painting of four cats
hangs on my living room wall


II
you can see
Glory Barrie...

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On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

by

Nolo Segundo

I miss the big navels, the big navels when they are not in season,
but almost any orange...

Read more: On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

 

 

 

Summer – A Pantoum

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I sit on my deck and enjoy summer sun.
Zephyrs caress my cheeks with soft kisses.
Bombay cat...

Read more: Summer – A Pantoum

 

 

 

Your Broken Heart

by

Miriam Manglani

I found your heart’s hinge —
I knew it could open!
Inside, I saw all of its broken...

Read more: Your Broken Heart

 

 

 

Who Is Margaret?

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I find the small black and white picture in a box
of old letters untouched for twenty years.
...

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Made Whole by Others

by

Miriam Manglani

Some people fill deep holes in us
the space that’s left when our loved ones leave
they plug...

Read more: Made Whole by Others

 

 

 

Autumn Villanelle

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

leaves don orange, crimson and yellow gowns
as they prepare for Cinderella’s autumn ball,
soon the leaves will...

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Sunny Day Epiphany

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Umberto, my Golden Retriever is sad,
Sparkie and Sal, his companions, have died

I wanted to adopt a...

Read more: Sunny Day Epiphany

 

 

 

Ocean City

by

Nolo Segundo

I saw it then as my own little Shangri-la,
for I was very small and knew nothing
of...

Read more: Ocean City

 

 

 

All The Dead I Know

by

Nolo Segundo

Let’s start with Eric—a nerdy-looking kid before
nerds were invented, and only 18 when he crashed
his funny...

Read more: All The Dead I Know

 

 

 

The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

by

Miriam Manglani

She talks of makeovers with friends,
using contour sticks and beauty blenders,
making “Tiktoks” with dance moves
called...

Read more: The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

 

 

 

Fireplace Camping

by

Louise E. Sawyer

After supper, my brother Frank and I beg Dad,
“Tell us a story in front of the fireplace.”
...

Read more: Fireplace Camping

 

 

 

My Love

by

Miriam Manglani

My love for you was tentative and tender
Now it blazes like wildfire through dry fields
Cuts through...

Read more: My Love

 

 

 

The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

by

Miriam Manglani

I never doubted that he loved me
even after he died from dementia —
There were tight hugs...

Read more: The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

 

 

 

Farley vs Apricot

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Apricot the Beanie cat
perches atop the bookcase,
guards the books,
taunts the ginger kitten down below

Farley’s...

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Define Self Truth

by

Gerardine Gail (Esterday) Baugh

How blind are we with
wishes that bite; with
memories that burn;
that we choose, to be
trapped, ...

Read more: Define Self Truth

 

 

 

Invisible Lines

by

Miriam Manglani

When I first saw their formless
bodies on screen,
worlds unfurled
in their grainy black and white images,
...

Read more: Invisible Lines

 

 

 

She Bikes for the First Time

by

Miriam Manglani

“Keep peddling!” I call.
Not prepared to watch her fall.
I hold the bike steady
and let it...

Read more: She Bikes for the First Time

 

 

 

The Stranger

by

Miriam Manglani

You were always quiet but
grew quieter.
Unable to retrieve basic words like “cat”.
There were other small...

Read more: The Stranger

 

 

 

A New Day Begins

by

Bob Hembree

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Angst

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Fly on the Wall

by

Bob Hembree

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Glancing Vulnerably

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Fowl Squabbling

by

Bob Hembree

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A Mid-Photo's Daydream

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Solar Reflection

by

Bob Hembree

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Being Held Up

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Reflections

by

Paula Parker

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Jack

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hollister

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Evelyn

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Curiosity

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Rebecca

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hazel

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Working Hands

by

Paula Parker

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Maya

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Birds in the Flower

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Pst... Hey

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The World in Her Hands

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Oak

by

Craig Gettman

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Flower

by

Craig Gettman

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Berries

by

Craig Gettman

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Winding Road

by

Craig Gettman

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Sunset - April 2020

by

Craig Gettman

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