new prose published, Raven Hall Pool, published in Firefly!

new flash piece, Raven Hall Pool, Firefly Magazine

Raven Hall Pool

She tells me childhood stories as pool water laps our mouths. Her words grow flippers and soar to the steel beams above. A lifeguard duo with prismatic baby blues. Cerulean so clear, their angular faces disappear beneath water. Both brothers displaying the rock-hard swagger of overtaxed muscles. Gluteus sauntering along Raven Hall’s perimeter causes much chlorinated gulping. Mouth-to-mouth the prize.

I understand water is the best place for many reasons. Below the surface you imagine heaven. This pool is old. Its white edges gray. The ceiling is missing a few tiles where words can get trapped. If the roof spoke, it would have a lisp. Yet the water sparkles like her stories. Here all are weightless. I’m thankful the world is mostly water. In salt-aqua things older than the universe continue on. I’m sure she cherished Raven Hall Pool for the same reason. And those lifeguard brothers. She dated the younger and was infatuated with the older. Not difficult imagining two handsome lifeguards all the way down to their bulging confidence. And her first kiss.

The water temperature is perfect. Never over-chlorinated. I keep my eyes open while swimming beneath. No goggles or cap, not ready for those. When we lift our legs up the steel rungs, it’s with grateful exhaustion. Until the next time. And there will be more swimming sessions. Many more I pray. To hear stories and watch her words grow flippers. This pool is worn, but in the underwater silences a dream makes its best escape. The world is mostly water. Imagine, all those words swimming to the sky.

ghosted background photo you see is my gorgeous mother showing off that movie star smile of hers!❤️

 

Riding the Cyclone

cyclone milliethey say you can never go back
she did, at 79
the magic of optimism
in her breast
returning to Coney Island
for the ride of her life
a young man locked her in
brave nana, kneecaps knocking
beneath that padded bar
she didn’t look back
only forward
at the dropping parallel lines
stomach lifting steel
smiling, laughing, screaming
on this Halloween
she leaps another year to the right
considering each 365, a dazzling gift
nothing about her has changed much
her remarkable passion
her boundless spirit
why, in 80 years
the only thing that has changed
is the ticket price
her first ride cost twenty-five cents
last month, the Cyclone was twelve dollars

shy party doghappy birthday, mom
xoxo
millie at 79

maternal nightmares

scary baby masklittle witch babies and tormenting black skies
gusting wind
long dark dresses swinging like death bells

a frail newborn with antlers growing
crying out as it tries to lift its weak neck
ocean-deep in salted sweat
those early months

panicking…

a pink infant
without bony deciduous growth
or skull-sunken cheeks

seventeen Halloween moons gone by since,
those first seconds
one more fall harvest
until her
perfect little face departs

dreaming…

scary baby mask, mixed media rendered a few weeks back…
the first time I was pregnant: during the first trimester, I had many bizarre dreams–some were nightmarish, others surreal like Dali paintings…my oldest is now 17 and college planning is on, lots of positive dreaming 🙂

Smile Everlasting

illuminating the atmosphere
she leaves a room
her brightness remains
how blessed are those
sharing the light of her company
I’d love to believe
moments live on forever
I’d like to be remembered
for my mother’s breathtaking smile
millie's smileMay you dream of all selfless mothers everlasting…

Photos taken from two entertainment shows my mom’s community center put on. In both pics she (I think) lip syncing Peggy Lee. In real life my mom has lovely brown hair and doesn’t wear plastered makeup, but she gets a kick out of these pics. I hope you do too. In the top photo (most recent) she is 79 years old, photo below she is 78.
Below is one of my kooky graphics from a few months back. Done in Prisma pencil.

Aged Smile

Aged Smile

A Sexy Green Dragon and an Old Black and White

Dear Friends,
A bulletin board hangs in my kitchen. It supports a collection of photos spanning a few generations. This morning, while tidying up (I must speak with the house elf) my mom’s sorority picture caught my eye. What is is about old monochromatic images. I’ve never met an old black & white that didn’t jet my heart back into a romantic world – the classic dress, the heavy-lipsticked smile, the proper pose, and of course, the sophisticated hairstyle with curls and waves set in their geometric place.

soroityI was staring at this classic photo and thought it would serve as a perfect leveler for my ‘sexy’ dragon. Why did I draw a sexy dragon? You know, I don’t know. She just came to me, and like my other little creatures, I had to release her from my brain or she’d stay in there and get me into trouble. 🙂 I’m sorry for the brief nudity. Think of her as old-school voluptuous.
dragon

The lovely sorority lady below is my beautiful mother. I added the green tint because I think she’s still sexy.  🙂

green momThank you and when you dream this eve, let it be of gorgeous, gentle dragons in your choice of color. Love you mom.

Sorority Photo (sorry, don’t know photographer’s name, but it’s a lovely shot)
Sexy Dragon created with Prisma pencil, two days ago while drinking wine 🙂

Big Mike

Dear Friends,
As many of you know, I refer to my 6’7″ spouse as the giant husband. Now, one doesn’t go about meeting giant husbands without first palling-around with other large people. There was one such grand person who I affectionately called Big Mike. Big Mike was a six-foot-four, life-loving, grapefruit-muscled, enormous hearted Irishman. In short, Big Mike was the infectious laughter at the party. He was the one always wearing a perpetual smile. He was Big Mike.

June 5, 1993 was the night I met the giant husband for the very first time. I was hanging out with friends at a small town pub. I was with my dear lifelong friend Joe, and of course, Big Mike. Big Mike was – for lack of a better description – ‘busting up the joint!’ He was letting fly, joke after joke in his big booming voice. The giant husband’s roommate at the time happened to be laughing along with the rest of us. The roommate phoned the giant husband. He informed him of Big Mike’s antics and suggested he come to the pub.

Not too long after the roommate’s phone call, this giant of a man – bigger than Big Mike – was filling-up the small pub’s doorway. His dark hair touched the door frame above and his broad shoulders met either side. As the giant husband stood there, Big Mike, larger-than-life, announced to the room while pointing at the giant husband, “and there’s the biggest man I know!” And the rest they say, is history…

big mike

Big Mike left this world too soon. I find when there is a clear sky and the sun is out, I can almost hear Big Mike’s booming laughter. I painted this portrait of Big Mike for his mother.

Thank you and goodnight. May your dreams be filled with the booming-gentle laughter of sweet spirits…