Appomattox

I’m in the midst of replacing the rotted stairs and railings that lead to my writing room. The treads sag, and yesterday when I grabbed the rickety banister, it broke off in my hand. Oops.

So, today I’m sharing a post from one my favorite authors Steven Baird. His writing is beautiful, evocative, deeply emotional, and he leaves me breathless every time I read his words. Enjoy.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Appomattox

by Steven Baird

Sarah, the sky that overlooks you and me, it opened up again today. The light that fills up the dogwoods is the same that curdles the cemetery gardenias. This has become summer once more, so you probably remember how things are colored, and then erased, without me telling you.

We have taken to planting crops again after last year’s calamitous conditions. Mostly it is cabbages, but also some acres of hay for the last two horses. You should see their shaggy stances, the hollowness of lean shoulders, the awful grief in their countenance. They will be confiscated by the army soon, Pa says, if we can keep them out of rifle range.

Lord, a soul can grow tired of salt pork and dooryard plantain, and sometimes you need to take a meal with neighbors (the Sowers, do you remember them and their dour Baptist leaflets?) to affirm you’re not being poor alone. The men will likely share homespun tobacco, the women will exchange recipes, the boys (and Alice) will tear up the yard grass with their raw feet, because that is the nature of this life.

We are each blessed in our own way…

(Continue Reading: Appomattox)

At the Mirror: Andalusian Resurrection

I was browsing the beautiful site Short-Prose-Fiction and stumbled upon this gorgeous poem (one of many). I hope you enjoy it.

Andalusian Resurrection

by Short Prose Fiction

In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.
Federico García Lorca

open your veins Andalusia
let him drink from your lynx blood
inject the rhythms of the flamenco
under the coldness of his eyes
tattoo his flesh with tiles of azurite
pour the sounds of castanets
into his arms
my fingers swirl
the flesh of ripened olives
covers the old shroud
the flow of blood from the white shirt…

(Continue Reading via Andalusian Resurrection)

At the Mirror: Foxtrot in the kitchen

I used to share some of my favorite posts from other bloggers. Then my speculative fiction prompt took over my blog! I’m taking advantage of my current travels to share some favorites.

My friend from Li’l Place posted this one almost a year ago and then took a blogging break for about 6 months. I hung onto it, and now that she’s returned, I finally get to share this beautiful piece of writing. Enjoy.

Foxtrot in the Kitchen

by L’il Place

It is the most wonderful thing when a memory catches up with one unexpectedly.  Maybe it’s the balmy summer night air or maybe it’s the sight of a box of waffle ice cream cones that sat unopened on my kitchen counter top.  But, I found myself pulled into a dance that took place half a lifetime ago.

When I just started working, I had rented a room from a landlady.  To keep her privacy, I will call her Mrs. C.  There was no a/c in her old but cozy house and it was a particularly humid and hot summer.   We would open up the windows and run the fans to their max to try dispel the heat.  My favorite place in that house was her kitchen.  I would watch her cook many hearty, delicious Italian meals which she shared with me most generously.  In fact,  she was the one who introduced me to white clam linguine.  Before that, I had foolishly thought that all pasta dishes were doused in tomato sauce.  She called the white clam linguine the easiest pasta dish to prepare and thanks to her, I have prepared it many times for my own family.  Dinners with her and her husband, Mr. C, were always followed by ice cream cones…

(Continue reading: Foxtrot in the kitchen)

At the Mirror: Missed Perception

I read this post on Pam’s Roughwriting blog almost a year ago and saved it for the return of the Halloween. It’s THAT GOOD, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Pay attention to the costumes in the short video. It will fill up your heart. Happy Halloween.

Missed Perception

by Pamela Wright

On one of my hold-my-breath-until-we-land flights a few months ago, I was the last passenger to enter the plane (my normal routine) and sat next to a nice-looking man who barely looked up.

But I looked him up and down, gauging how well the flight would go. Not garrulous, check. Not nervous, check. Not a drinker, check. All good to go.

But as I placed my purse under my seat and opened my book, I took offense. Perhaps this man – mid-30s – dismissed me already for being one of those things: a talker or a nervous flier or worse, just an “older woman” who was – dismissible. 

I shrugged my shoulders and sank into my book. Almost two hours into the flight, after I’d been reading without a stop and my seatmate had been clicking on his laptop nonstop (yup, harried businessman, I told myself), the flight attendant made an announcement that caused me to laugh out loud and the businessman laughed too and then…we looked at each other.

Has that happened to you before? You think you know someone from their outside appearance (old, young, teenager, academic, businessperson, clergy, European, African, mid-Western, male, female) and then suddenly, eyes focus on each other, and you think: ohhhhhhhh….

(Continue Reading: Missed Perception)

At the Mirror: Entreaty to the Sea

I’m traveling again, so I leave you with an exquisite poem by Lana. I can always count on her to mesmerize me with her offerings. Enjoy.

Entreaty to the Sea

by LT Garvin

When your grandmother

decided for care and comfort

and laid a string of pearls

across an ocean

it’s open depths

yawning the unknown

a depth you could not follow

So you said your prayers

beneath cerulean heavens

and bribed the Norse god of independence

to gather the shards

of your broken soul…

 

(continue reading: Entreaty to the Sea)

At the Mirror: like hell

Tanya, from the incurable dreamer, doesn’t post often, but each time she does I sit down for an amazing read. I laugh or cry or I feel understood or inspired. This is a moving piece about uncovering the beauty of the journey, even when there is pain. I hope you enjoy the read.

like hell

by Tanya

‘Hello.’

*taps mic*

‘Is this thing on?  HELLO.  Can you guys hear me in the back?’  Whispers softly,  ‘Shit, is there even anyone in the back?’

*squinting to see*

‘Okay, well, here it goes.  For anyone who might still be here, this is what I have come to say.’

Out of nowhere, he appears, like a breath of air.  He is poised, pressing a small dark cloth bag firmly against his chest.  Without invitation, he begins to explain that inside the bag, are hundreds of tiny balls.  They are highly sought-after, mystical balls.  Gifts and riches – bountiful, beyond my wildest imagination – are mine, and eternal if my destiny is to pull one from the bag. Destined, he explains, because amongst them is one ball, which if picked, will bring forth afflictions of grand proportions.  He steels himself, then thrusts the bag towards me.  Gesturing at my arm, he demands, stick your hand inside and choose one.  I tell him I don’t want to.  He says the decision is not mine.  I do not understand. Before me, he continues to stand, unmoving, unwavering in his request.  I look around.  There is no one and nothing.  Only me, and only him.

The odds are in my favour, I think to myself, this is not a big deal.  There are so many.  What are the chances?  I mean, surely.  His stare is unrelenting, escape futile.  It’s obvious.  I must choose.  Hesitantly, I reach my hand up high and place it inside the bag.  My hand, now submerged in chance, begins to sift through an endless sea of balls.  Fate tempts and rolls and slips between my fingers.  Just one, I think, just one.

There is no distinction; only smooth similarity.  Panicked, I begin to wonder how I will know. I grab hold, then just as quickly release ball after ball, convinced the right one still awaits.  My eyes lock with his.  Resolute and hopeful, I continue to sift.  My fingers then rest on one.  He senses my choice when my fingers cease to move and I grow still…

(Continue reading: like hell)

 

At the Mirror: Out in the Cold

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Eli Kyoko and I began following each other this spring. I’m so pleased to share a poet of immense talent with anyone who hasn’t discovered MoonLit Pieces.

Out in the Cold

by Eli Kyoko

I wore your hat to protect my head
from the debris falling from our family tree
but the spilling blues and red,
lumps the purple on my skin
The invisible scars, the indelible tints
Throbs and thumps within
‘Cause father, when you left
I saw how mother went out in the cold
gasping for life, bereft
She wore my hug to warm her skin, to endure your sin
I caught the cerulean falling stars from her cheeks
and wished for …

 

(Continue Reading: Out in the Cold)

At the Mirror: Stranger in a Strange Land

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Marietta Rodgers has a funny, quirky, oft times political blog:
The Mordant Scribe.
This piece of writing is plain and simple fun, and not what you think.
If you need a laugh, read on.
Comments are closed here. Click on over and enjoy.

Stranger in a Strange Land

by Marietta Rodgers

“You’re here,” I say, a bit frazzled because I had not finished dusting my collection of  Gothic ashtrays.

“Yes, I realize I’m a bit early,” the stranger says uneasily. “I’m a little nervous; I haven’t done this in a long time.

“Well, I’ve never done this before. Do you want to do it right here on the table,” I ask, pointing to my kitchen table with a rotting fruit bowl as its centerpiece.

“Anywhere is fine,” he says, looking down at his feet embarrassed.

I nod and make my way to the hall closet. Immediately when I open the door, a broom falls out and the handle hits me square in the forehead with an audible, whack.  I shove the broom into the very back of the closet so it won’t assault me the next time I open it. A lone Members Only Jacket is hanging up, just hoping and waiting for the day that epaulets are in vogue again. My eyes scan the contents on the shelf. I see the box that I want underneath an old blanket. As I make my way back to the table, with the box in hand, I hear my tea kettle singing.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I was going to make myself a cup of tea.”

“I’ll have one as well.” I sit the box on the table and empty the contents of the fruit bowl, where I notice several fruit flies had died.

The stranger adds a little milk to his tea. The milk was already expired by at least three days; I had forgotten to dump it out. I debate on whether I should tell him or not. I finally decide that I will not.

Mom always said to check the date on the milkShe probably meant before you buy it though, not if you’re at a random stranger’s house.  

I pour my tea and politely refuse the three-day-old milk, when the stranger offers it. Instead, I open my cookie jar and take out a flask containing whiskey and pour a little into my cup.  I don’t like how the stranger is judging me with his eyes…

(continue reading: Stranger in a Strange Land)

At The Mirror: Their Whiteness

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At the Mirror today: an exquisite piece of flash fiction by Kelvin Knight.

Please click through to comment ❤

Their Whiteness

by Kelvin M. Knight

He pirouetted through oceanic whiteness, leaving ripples of himself. Drifting through these, she gasped at the softness of his touch. A touch bursting with promise: that dance he’d promised her but she’d always been too busy to accept. Back then. Back there. Where cares were weighty. Where duty outweighed sin. Where their love went unrecognised. Because of him. Because…

Continue Reading: Their Whiteness