Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective

Excuse (ik-koos) Defined

Something my girl uses to explain away—
Abandoned dirty dishes dripping in goo,
Forgotten homework completed but not turned in,
Shoes cast off in haste where everyone walks.

Excuse (ik-kooz) Defined

Grace given to cover— Continue reading “Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective”

An Argument for Early Mornings—From a Committed Night Owl

It’s 5:30 am, and it’s still dark when I click on the lamp. The children are still all nestled in bed. No one needs snack or a drink or another kiss on the head. Not even the birds are awake—just me and my thoughts and the steady click of the clock.

Oh, I’d forgotten how much I need this time all alone. There’s just something about silence.

You see, silence breathes peace to my soul.

Continue reading “An Argument for Early Mornings—From a Committed Night Owl”

The Face of the Homeless — Overwhelmed for Leo


His name is Leo, or at least that’s what he told me. He leans over the table across from me, and in mere minutes draws out a perfect manga character.

“What color should I make the shirt?” He asks me.

I hesitate, not quite knowing how to answer him. I’m careful in this world. I’m a visitor to this haven for the homeless and don’t know the rules yet. But his smooth ebony cheeks tell me he’s young, and barely a legal adult…if he’s even that old. Continue reading “The Face of the Homeless — Overwhelmed for Leo”

Discover: The Key to Life

 

 

 

 

I want to feel myself part of things, of the great drift and swirl: not cut off, missing things, like being sent to bed early as a child, the blinds being drawn while the sun and cheerful voices came through the chink from the garden. ~Sylvia Plath

This weekend my daughter and I went exploring. Not in the woods as we normally would, but dumpster diving in a car repair shop, my mom’s wood shop, and my clock repair man’s trash bin.

We were on a mission, looking for things that are one thing, but look like another—funky car parts that look like elkhorn coral, cogs that look like eyes, injector pieces that look like the mouth of a butterfly fish. She’s working on an art piece for a competition where “weird wins.”

And going out to play and discover felt oh so good.

Since April, my family’s been a little closed-in, trying to survive. Continue reading “Discover: The Key to Life”

Not so Inviting Invititation: A Short Story

This short story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Invite. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all.). I’ll see you on the other side. Hope you enjoy it.


 

Charlotte Anne knew the exact right thing to do…she always did. But just because a body knew what to do didn’t mean she could make herself do it. Continue reading “Not so Inviting Invititation: A Short Story”

A Short Story About Story

This short story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Story. There’s some irony in this, but I won’t go there…at least not today. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all…and this one actually took me longer than 5 minutes. There are bossy characters involved. You’ll see.). I’ll see you on the other side. Hope you enjoy it.


Last night Mama cried out again in her sleep. The moans grinding deep into the floorboards until rising into a holler so sharp, it nearly raised the dead.

In the past, I might’ve gone to comfort her. Asking about her dream, smoothing back her damp hair. But she never did answer, the glass-eyed look never wavering until the rhythm of my hand on her head soothed her back to sleep.

I was eight the one and only time I asked her about the dream in the morning. The slap following convinced me to never ask again. Continue reading “A Short Story About Story”

The Story of Hope: A Short Story

This short story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Work. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). I’ll see you on the other side. Hope you enjoy it.


Her name is Hope, and she sits bowed in the corner, pouring herself into a painting. A cord sprouts from the base of her enormous earphones and tethers her still…at least for the moment.

Voices leak through the music, and she swats them away.

Not real. Right? They’re not real.

She glances from the angel emerging from her canvas to the community room, expecting it to be empty. Instead, a woman glances up from her sketchpad, breaks in a sunrise smile, and then returns to her sketch.

Hope knows what most everyone sees when they look at her—crooked glasses, hair so bleached it’s broken uneven, sharp uncontrollable movements that make even the most compassionate volunteer nervous.

But this woman smiled. Continue reading “The Story of Hope: A Short Story”

Support: A Moment to Say Thank You

Support:
A beam, a girder, something that holds something else up. It’s underneath, hidden, not always noticed, but beautiful in its own right.

Without it, the whole structure would fall—a pile of random pieces with nothing to hold it together. Continue reading “Support: A Moment to Say Thank You”

Work: A Short Story

Sam climbed the ladder, his sore back muscles protesting each hand hold. It was the last tree to trim out and he’d be done. Well, at least for this season.

Down the hill, he could hear Marie calling the cow in for the night and groaned at the gathering darkness as if he were Moses and the Almighty himself might just stop the sun in the sky.

Farm chores couldn’t compare to conquering an entire Philistine army. But they were as necessary as drawing breath…least that’s what Ma always said.

Sam hacked at an overlapping limb and corrected himself—would have always said. It’s something Ma would have said. Continue reading “Work: A Short Story”

The Water Droplet: A Poem

I hang suspended
.          Stretching away from my design
.          Wrapped tight within myself—my natural tendency
.          Clear shimmering, promising help
.          But void.

Until
.          My neighbor slips down
.          Bumping my tight skin, breaking the meniscus,
.          Binding with me, pulling, stretching

And we dance to the ground.
Splash, jumping with the others
Filter through the dirt
Nourishing, becoming.

 

_________________________

This poem is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Neighbor. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). And yes, I know it isn’t Friday anymore. I was up enjoying Lake Michigan and my family and purposefully left my laptop at home. But I did take pics. If you’d like to see some, head over to my Instagram account.

Like the little water droplet in the poem, I so often fight joining with other folks. But when I do allow myself, I find a whole new purpose.

So this fall I’m back to leading a neighborhood study and hanging with my writer’s group. But I’m also presenting at two writer’s conferences and volunteering downtown at a fabulous outreach that uses art to reach the homeless population. I’m nervous and excited as I dance into this new season. Hoping to be nourishment to my fellow neighbors.

How about you? What are you tackling this season?

 

The post pic is mine.