I Was, I Am

She stood outside the car, the driver impatiently snacking on pistachio nuts inside. The waiting seemed interminable. She’d come so far for this moment. Found the certificate stuffed in her mother’s journal. Attended the funeral, dry-eyed, in shock. This was her destiny. Would he recognize it as his?

How could a name inscribed on a document, assume fatherhood after a lifetime in absentia? She held the document in shaking hands, ready to show him the proof. She could see the trail of dust far down the road, kicked up by the approaching vehicle. A new reality was about to materialize.

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Written for Friday Fictioneers where the talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields poses a photo prompt each week. Classified by some as “flash fiction” we are to limit our text to 100 words or less. Word Count here = 100  Photo Credit: Kent Bonham

 

Perpetuity

Come roundabout with me.
Twelve months
January then January,
again and again.
Hours one to twelve repeat
add A to M or change to P.
Teeter up must teeter down
hinged to teeter up again.
Perennials are as annuals will.
Your hands are theirs and ours
to fold, to point, to plant and pray.
Stones cast upon the waters
ripple out toward the morrow.
Time copulates where we are
and when we’re not.
I am. You are. We are will be
small arcs within the world
go roundabout with thee.

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My Dad

My dad was a quiet man. He wasn’t an exuberant fan of any pro or local sports teams. But I do remember him sitting on our fake leather hide-a-bed couch, watching Cubs games on our blonde console TV. Televisions in those days were cumbersome pieces of furniture. My mother stacked Readers Digests on top of ours.

I never saw my dad swing a baseball bat, but he wielded a mean croquet mallet. It sent many a competitor’s wooden ball sailing into our neighbor’s yard. And rather than joining the popular winter bowling leagues, he stayed late after work, one night a week, competing in a checkers club. He also loved pinochle and rummy. He taught me all these games, using very few words. And he never let me win — until I really did. I never participated in sports. But I did become a high school and college debater. I wonder how much the man of few words had to do with that?

tall oak canopy
acorn roots itself below
reaches for new heights

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Haibun written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Bjorn asks us to write about sport. A haibun is a piece of prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku. Generally, the haiku must be about nature.

 

The Bed

We fancied ourselves antiquers in those days. In reality, we bought used furniture at farm auctions, garage sales, and dusty second hand stores.

In its day, it was called a sleigh bed. We spied the slightly warped high headboard and frame propped up against a wall, and bargained for a price we could afford. Back home, our daughter was fast approaching the age to move out of her crib into a “big girl bed” and my parents were with us for a visit. We enlisted my father’s help. He sanded then painted the headboard white and stenciled it with blue tulips and red hearts. Our daughter slept with that design above her head long after my father died. Until she left the nest and began her college years.

robin gathers twigs
nesting haven grows crowded
wind tussles emptiness

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Grace is hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Haibun: one or two paragraphs of prose (not fiction) followed by a haiku. She introduces the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, asking us to write about finding beauty in broken pieces or imperfections. Photo: headboard from the side. This is my daughter, many years ago, being awakened by a surprise birthday party from her friends.

Backyard Wonders

Introduction first : this poem is written by my 10 year old granddaughter, Stella Hallberg. She and I are sharing monthly prompts – for April, I sent her the word “glisten.” She could use any variation on the word. There are no edits here. This is what she wrote.

Backyard Wonders

I slip outdoors
left foot, right
sounds, sensations, engulfing me,
taking me far from my bustling home
into the undergrowth and brush.

The birds make thousands of different peeps
in a language not known among men.

The sunlight filters in through the trees
glistening like magic everywhere I look.

Gazing up I see the butterflies
seizing their chance in the spot light
forever free
to be stars in their hearts.

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Solitude

My lineage lies in bleached bones,
ash commingled with soil and sea.

I am the living
happily paired,
wed forty-seven years
progressing still.

Mother of two
grandmother of five.
Eleven total
in raucous revelry.

This crowded world
my species’ millions
and millions more,
multiplied by the unknown.

In the midst of all,
I savor oneness.
Scraps of solitude
contemplative discovery,

and recovery.
Sips of silence
to be and to know
who and what is me.


Posted from Bermuda. We are in midst of TransAtlantic crossing and will not have access to Internet for five days. I shall post again from Lisbon.

Helen Cecile

Discombobulized,
she was like that.

Wound up tight tremors,
taut sprockets of the mind.

Spring-like nerves compressed
temper flares spewed.

Church hands folded, twitched, 
flailed by noon.

Even keel sailing
turned runaway train.

Expect the unexpected,
she was like that.


Kim is hosting today’s quadrille ( a poem of exactly 44 words, not including the title) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and asks us to use the word “spring.” Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! 

This I’ve Learned

When two become one, the base remains two.
When two multiplies to four, the base remains two.

Time invested.
Birthing and unconditional love.
Your child’s everything
until independence blooms.

Time apart increases.
They see more, learn more.
And you step in and out,
never fully immersed again.

And they leave.
You are the beginning two again.

Memories, age spots,
and more love.
Knowing as they become two and multiply,
it is a cycle born to repeat itself.

And the most important arc is the base of two.
That is the constant.

Sharing with Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today there is no prompt. We’re free to post one poem of our choosing, Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! 

Cherished Memory

He was a quiet man. I don’t remember playing with my father or hearing words of praise or love. I don’t remember hugs. But I do remember a few summer mornings each year when I was young. A silent drive to the lake. A long walk out the pier. He’d take a wriggly worm from an old tin can and put it on the end of my bamboo pole. And we’d sit. Just sit. A skinny little girl with giraffe-knobby knees and her whiskered dad, under the rising sun and ever bluing sky. No need for words. No need to catch a thing.

Steadfast sky and sun,
their promise always fulfilled.
Light shall break through clouds.

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Toni asks us to write a haibun about the day sky. Thanks Toni. Your prompt brought back this cherished memory.

Baby Album

I still look at it.
On birthdays and occasional winter days,
when the snow swirls
and makes the windows glazed.
I wanted to keep moments of you
for you to meet, much later in life.
Lock of hair, corn silk fine.
Stick figures with circle knees
drawn by pudgy hands.
First this and first that.
A young mother’s notes.
Faded ink and colors smudged,
spine too thin for all within.
I wanted to keep moments of you
for you to meet, much later in life.

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Written for a June challenge from Holly Wren Spaulding’s class: write about something you saved for someone else.