Lessons

Posted: March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

Oh, they call it the Luck o’ the Irish
But they know not what they’re sayin
for it’s the strength of we beansídhe,
our intertwined arms and legs
and songs sung when the boyos
are gone to fields
of war
and testosterone
that keeps our world in balance

Skirts gathered above the muck
we tend our family fields
Plant potatoes while
rearing children
hoping they turn out
far better than their elders

We teach daughters to
tend sheep
card wool
and knit sweaters
that announce our clan
with pride
And show them how to say
No!
That is not for me

The boys?
We do our best to
make them brave
and smarter than their fathers
None of us wants to lose
another
husband, father, son
to war

In the end,
the lot of us
help our boys gather
the strength
to avoid anger
And offer nothing less than peace

 

 

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Game?

Posted: March 2, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , ,

Today Pegman and k. rawson took us to a beautiful place, Portmeirion Village, Wales. Another place for the bucket list.

Note: Meet at the blue bench in front of Mary’s statue.
I look from the paper to the benches, there are three.
Note: Sit on the correct one or your daughter will vanish forever.
How does one choose?
Note: Be there by 4 p.m.

3:45: Mary seems to be laughing, mocking, as my heels click-clack across the cement.
My husband is playing our game which has morphed from
Hide-the-Lipstick to today’s installment – Find-Your-Daughter.
Each time he presents the game the reward or punishment runs the gamut from
diamonds or pearls to a night in a cellar filled with spiders.

Before today, the anticipation thrilled me,
never knowing when he would offer a new riddle or what the outcome would be.
Not now. The stakes are too high.
Bench #1 – gum stuck to the seat
Bench #2 – too cold
Bench #3 – last choice
I wait, shivering, while wind rattles oak branches like bones.

(147-words)

 

 

Today’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt was submitted by J Hardy Carroll and posted by our fairy blog mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I’m deep in the throes of editing my novel so have been absent for a while. But, because we have been snowed in for about a week, I thought I’d poke my head out of a drift and give a stab at a little flash fiction.

In my eyes, your reflection shows nothing more than violence and greed.
What did you say? These are not entities that reflect?
You are wrong. Your violence reflects in the bruise on my cheek, shattered dishes, holes punched in walls.

Stolen hearts prove your greed. Look at your children.
Their sparkling eyes should reflect love given freely, yet, they cower in corners when you walk in the room.

Your heart is colder than stone. Your criss-cross love-hate attitude creates heartache and pain.
Leave us. Leave us now. Before this woman who once loved you, stings you with much more than words.

 

Sometimes Daddy resembled a ghost, slotting in and out the door.
Not wanting to be seen.
Other times he was all noise and hustle, bragging about being a man.
Thumping his chest.
Worst times he was a thick-bladed knife, slicing Momma and me with hateful words
until we were ten different kinds of shredded.
Most times he was more snap and shine than sharpness.

Finally, Momma went all crazy. Drew a blade of her own.
Sold Daddy’s car. Changed the locks
and threw his ratty old shoes out the door.
Set em on fire.

Now we got nothing but peaceful times.

 

 

Paper Dreams

Posted: January 9, 2019 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday/Friday is here again. Thanks, Rochelle, for posting such a pretty picture provided by Priya Bajpal. My stab at writing a 100-word story follows.

photo by Priya Bajpal

They suggested Anya write wishes on paper and put them in a jar
saying this small action would provide hope.
Selecting the color and texture of the paper
was more difficult than knowing her wishes.
Food. Water. Freedom from pain.
Small comforts. Clean sheets. Crisp gowns.

Every day Anya slipped a wish into her crystalline jar
then nestled a polished shell on top
because Father told her shells carried
luck within their curls and swales.

Skeleton thin, and calling
for water, water, water,
Mother died writhing in pain.
Anya dropped a match in the center of her wishes.

 

Today Pegman took us to Harare, Zimbabwe. Another fascinating place. Thanks, Karen and Josh, for providing prompts to stimulate our minds.

Sitting as silent as Praying Mantis, Oupa waits for me to speak.
At first, I can’t find words.
Then think, Go slowly, be steady, like Snail. No losing your temper.
“Oupa, I do not want to marry.”
“Ah, you wish to be like Anteater.”
My heart soars. “Yes! That is right. Like you, who digs deep for truth . . .”
“And prefers to be alone. Anodiwa, you have no choice. You must marry.”
“Oupa, please …” He shows me his palm. I swallow the rest of my sentence.
“Anodiwa, you do have another choice. Be Lizard who is weak or become Crocodile who has great strength.”
My copper and brass Idzila rings jangle like discordant music when I thrust my arms toward Oupa. I need say nothing,  he can read the pleading in my eyes.
“Go!”
Slowly I back out the door, feeling like Turtle, carrying her own coffin.

(Idzila are copper and brass rings worn by the bride around her arms, legs, and neck. These rings were believed to have strong powers and the wife would wear them to symbolize her bond and faithfulness to her husband once her home was built. The husband will provide this rings to the wife to show a sign of wealth. I took the liberty of placing them on Anodiwa’s arms the day of her wedding.)

 

I figured Bernard had nothing to do in this run-down out-of-sorts neighborhood
but sit on the wall, head down, fingers tapping.
Probably sex messaging.
Ruining his life one blip at a time.
Sad, he was a good-looking boy
but I had no time for a fellow digging his own grave.
I had plans.

2008 Bernard disappeared.
Likely ran away or was stabbed in a fight.
I no longer have the energy to wonder.
Too busy fending off my husband’s fists,
scrapping with my kids.

Still, there’s time to read this morning’s headline.
“Bernard Phillips Named New School Principal”

Well, I’ll be damned.