Learned Limbo

brown wooden desk table

Photo: Stephen Paris on Pexels.com

 

It has long lain

In limbo,

All voices ebbed

Into dust.

As silent letters

On chalkboard,

Watch the desks

Left to rust.

At one time

Children chanted,

Poems rose

Learned by heart.

But they’d grown

And time hastened.

School-house days

Did not last.

Now it sits,

Heart quite emptied,

And still waits

For the past.

 

 

For the dVerse Challenge: Limbo

 

The Eyes Have It

Palawan Island CaneSugar Sweetie DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

There are stories,

In there,

Behind the dark irises’

Glare.

More than words,

Being said,

With her piercing eyes

Instead.

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

 

Its Own Reward

Its own reward NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

The sun’s reflection on the water.

Energy in small waves stored.

The light

The breath

The exhalation.

Life’s strumming flow

Its own reward.

 

 

 

For the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Less is more

 

Blessed Bus

modern bus SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Don’t be fooled,

It is in service

And it is blessed

By the Gods.

It will move

In a moment,

And carry all

In its hold.

In modern days

Muddy tires

Let legs be rested

Aboard.

No one here

Takes for granted

Improvement

Since days of old.

 

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Technology

 

Nimble Nelly

selective focus photography of tomatoes

Photo: Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

 

Nimble Nelly

Bought a deli

And made a menu

With mashed yam.

She wrote in cheese

Hot from the oven

And sculpted bread rolls

From cold ham.

 

 

For RDP Monday: Nimble

 

 

Tea For One

Reena Saxena

Photo Credit: Reena Saxena

 

It will be tea for one. Again.

She boiled the water in the pot they’d gotten on their honeymoon in Venice, and she spread the tablecloth he’d always said reminded him of his grandma’s parlor (and had always added “in the best way possible” when she’d frown).

She rearranged the mismatched chairs left from the two sets they’d combined when they moved in together, but then returned the plaid one so it rested half-turned to the table and half-facing the radio. Like old times. Like the many evenings when she’d mend some this or that or mark her students’ lessons, while he’d lean forward onto one palm and watch her from the corner of his eye even as his attention was on his favorite broadcast.

“I have eight favorites,” he’d often chuckle. “One for each day of the week and two on Sunday.”

“But none as favorite as you,” he’d always add, just because he knew it pleased her to be reminded that she mattered more …

 

She turned the burner off when the kettle wailed, a lone wolf in the night. She spooned some of the good tea into the teapot, and poured the water on the leaves to let it steep, then capped the pot and dressed it with the cozy she’d made from his favorite sweater when it had too many holes to patch and too much love to throw away.

“You don’t toss away much,” he’d tease her, and they both knew it was both compliment and understanding. They’d grown with little and later had even less, so she had learned to not let go of things too easily.

“I do keep you around, don’t I?” she’d tease back … some days only half in jest for how he’d manage to so exasperate her. Muddy shoes inside the house and socks that never quite made it into the hamper, and an infuriating tendency to not recall the milk or pay the mortgage. Never mind remembering her birthday or their anniversary.

Or the time he’d strayed from vows … and bore a hole into her heart that never fully mended.

She’d forgiven him for that. Of sort. Or as much as anyone can a betrayal. For she’d come to understand it was based less on his disrespect of her as it was on his embedded insecurities. He’d cried in shame when he’d confessed his indiscretion and she’d ended up comforting him, feeling both tender and resentful.

He’d bought her the tea caddie after that. The hand-carved thing of beauty had cost a ridiculous amount and did little to improve upon the one they’d had already … other than in how it served as a reminder for the cost of pain and of his commitment to penance.

 

She passed a finger over the caddie’s rounded top and felt each curve like a canyon of memories in her heart. When she’d fallen ill after their failed attempt at parenting, and the bills kept mounting, he’d almost sold his beloved radio to make payments. Yet he’d refused to discuss letting go of the caddie.

“It is worth a small fortune,” she had tried.

“And that is exactly why it is befitting of you that it stay,” he had replied.

 

She sighed and sat and poured the tea into her cup and watched the steam cloud the glass as the fluid rose like unabated sorrow.

It was their anniversary. The third since he’d left her, this time to where no tea caddie and no amount of tears could remedy.

“Do not hasten to follow,” he’d begged her promise when they both knew it was time. “Go on and live for me.”

Perhaps she wouldn’t have promised had she known quite how bereft she would be without him. Yet she had given him her word, and she was not about to introduce betrayal into the fabric they had so labored to repair.

It will be tea for one, again. Today.

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge

 

Towering Time

windows SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Windows blink

Sun and shade.

Emptied glass

Peers ahead.

While the dome,

Ivy wrought,

Towers time

Boggles thought.

 

 

 

For Travel with Intent’s One Word Sunday: Tower

 

Courageous Connections

PNG cross OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Like a rickety bridge

Over fast,

Troubled water,

Calm your heart

As you cross

To what awaits

Being told.

 

Trust connections

You fear but

Cannot test or

Strengthen,

With no promise

They won’t pull away,

Break,

Or fold.

 

Like a rickety bridge

Over fast,

Troubled water,

Take a chance,

Make a step,

And weave new paths

To your old.

 

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Connections

 

Vulnerable To Sputter

windbreak AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Freedom

Doesn’t require

You relinquish all

Protection,

For without it

Flames become

Vulnerable

To sputter,

Or go astray

In the

Wind.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Vulnerable in 21 words

 

Expert Explanation

folded newspapers

Photo: Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I’ve been expecting

The expert explication

And the

Expedient expelling

Of expired exploration

That often follows,

Quite expressively,

In the wake of expletives

And exposed exposition

By those wishing to expunge

Their exploits

From any experience

Of expiation.

 

For Linda’s SoCS prompt: xp