honored to have my prose poem We’ll Always Have the High Chair
published in Free Lit Magazine
“Free Lit Magazine is free and published bi-monthly with a mandate to be committed
to the accessibility of literature for readers and the enrichment of writing for writers.” – Free Lit Magazine
We’ll Always Have the High Chair
We laughed. Chuckled while swimming in the YMCA pool. In my kitchen or yours. During our walks. Shopping and smiling. Over coffee.
Dad often asked, “How can you always have so much to talk about? What the hell is so funny all the time?”
Constant conversations. Endless phone calls when we lived only a few miles from one another. And now, I can’t remember much. What did we talk about, mom? What was always so funny all the time?
I’d give anything to hear you laugh again.
I remember when Caroline was five months old. You and I decided to try my first born in her new high chair. She was a tiny baby, and had what we called a minnow-head. We placed her in the chair. She tilted sideways and that bitty head slid to the far corner. There she sat grinning with those sweet bow lips. From that moment, whenever either of us said, Remember the high chair, we’d laugh.
This morning, you keep spitting out your meds. Don’t seem to remember why you need to swallow them. With a despondent voice I ask, Remember the high chair?
Your eyes crinkle as drool dribbles down your chin.
New flash “KINDER HOURS” and one of my illustration’s “UNIVERSAL WIZARD” together
Words and art keep each other company during this magical holiday season
Published in an excellent zine, FREELIT
Across the bridge where snow meets the sea, I comb my hair while wishing I were a swan.
His broad hands stroke my delicate neck, gentle and curving on the point of a star.
I wake. Those same comforting hands are strangling me in the emptiness of shadow. Moonlight gives him the power to see my neck breaking, my jugular turning deep violet like the purple bed sheets of his new lover.
There was a time I would have gladly fallen beyond salvation. I’d have welcomed the pain. A tailspin drop to his bed, his mouth, his body. He touched my flesh and treasure books lost their gilded words. Warm gold lines melted into my bones. His shield of dragon horn turned silk upon our pressed bodies. He was magnificent. Those beautiful lips once whispered, “I love you.”
The simple act of survival taught me to fight back. How many times must I do battle. I’ve grown weary. One weakness bests another. Pain rouses conviction, but I no longer possess the courage to face morning upright.
If my wand held an ounce of magic, I’d demand my mind dismiss its owner of memories. Dreams collect in a thick midnight veil, and waking hours are cloaked in cold light, light we once practiced magic in. A barred owl screeches as it lowers for a kill on the dark flattened tracks. The silver train streaks across the sky, but I’m not in a rail car. Trapped in a place that’s damning me, I will not adjust to the light. The sun is much too bright. It scorches earth and steals water. Charred holes open up into blackness and I watch all the white rabbits disappear.
In darkness, I might remember the moon in kinder hours. Gentle arms cross my body where we lay together. Gold melts into my skin. His hands caress my neck. I scratch at his eyes then fly away.
Universal Wizard illustration
created with prisma pencil
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!❤️