No Time For That

 

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There was never enough time.

For that.

No time for the things that mattered but were not deemed essential. 

No time for the space that was given no paths to traverse.

None for the slow breath that could have allowed a pause

In the constant

Race.

Because there was never time.

For that.

Too much buzzed already

From the break of dawn to the collapse of night.

No time for

Time.

And so, she stopped it.

 

Stopped time.

 

She let the hands rest.

Let the heart expand inside the fluttering confines of the

Chest.

She let the breeze

Set

The pace.

The leaves, believe.

The ground stretch long and wide beneath

The feet.

The skies expand across

The dawn.

To let

The space that had

Held on,

To finally

Allow itself to be

Redrawn.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Into The Void

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“What are you staring at?”

Tallulah did not move.

“Earth to Tallulah!” Maritza hissed. This professor had antennae in the back of his head, and she did not wish to flunk. Again. Also, if Tallulah had the audacity to skip class, and for vacation, no less, the least she could do is entertain her bored-to-death friend.

“It’s endless,” Tallulah whispered. Her eyes appeared locked onto the cafe’s table.

Maritza shuddered. “What exactly did you order?” Tallulah was so maddeningly naive that who knows what ‘house special’ she might agree to try.

“The universe,” Tallulah breathed. “The lights in the deep.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Fleur Lind

 

Her Independence Day

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(Photo: Luke Michael on Unsplash)

“I don’t know what to make of it anymore,” she said.

Here she was, a youth in a country she had been raised to believe others had looked up to – and perhaps many indeed had in the past – only to see how other modern countries now look upon it with a worry mixed with pity. For what her country is losing. For the progress it is undoing. For the backward path it has been put on through the religious fervor of the few.

A country where religion ought to be free, but where one religion’s dogma was to be forced on everyone, so that freedom was no more.

She hadn’t left her home, yet hers was no longer the land of the free. Did not even pretend to be.

Here she was, supposed to feel pride when what she felt was wariness. Aware that her very voice was threatened next. Her vote. Her right to medical treatment. Her right to family of her choice. Her right to marry.

Already she had lost her right to not be used, to not be abused, to not have her body kidnapped, her soul ignored, her choice made moot.

And so, on the day of hoped-for-glory, she worried.

And she grieved.

 

She grieved for the country she had believed herself a part of, yet now the few decided to make her a thing to be controlled. A being without choice. Less than a human. Less than a body. Much less than an embryo.

Certainly less than someone without a uterus.

Again.

 

“What is independence,” she asked, the red, white, and blue furling and unfurling in her hands, “if it can be stolen? How can there be independence if it is kept only for those who take away choice?”

Pensive in jeans, red top, and white sneakers, she arranged blueberries and raspberries on a bed of whipped cream.

Her favorite July 4th dessert.

It always used to make her so happy, to see the flag represented, to taste the sweetness, and remember the freedoms others had fought so hard to gain and to protect. It had filled her with respect to know the path her country had taken through many historical wrongs, the struggles it had undergone to gain understanding. To see how people that the Founding Fathers – in their era’s blind spots – did not know to accept as fully human, actually very much were.

She’d felt pride for how the constitution was amended to better reflect humanity, to represent those who pledged allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands. In pursuit of liberty. And justice. For all.

Oh, she knew it had never been perfect. Her country. But it had tried to move toward fairness, civil liberties, and understanding those it had wronged. It worked on freedoms, on justice, on choice.

That effort, that promise to do better, was what had made her so proud … and why the undoing of long-time liberties broke her heart.

 

“I have less freedoms than my mother had,” she cried. “How can I fly this flag if it no longer represents me?”

And yet, she fretted, could she allow the flag to be kidnapped by those who have no respect for her, for her body, for her rights, for her faith, her decisions, her choice? How could she let those who steal freedoms appropriate the flag? How could she let those who take away her choice, be the ones to exclusively own what is still also hers?

No, she could not let the flag be only for those who interpret freedom of religion as their freedom to force their own religion onto others. She would not abandon the flag to those who would gladly take away her vote, who already call her names, who would shackle her and vilify her most personal body functions all while they justify monitoring and hijacking her body to their purpose!

She could not let them own the flag. Her flag. She would not!

 

So even with the shattered glass that filled her heart, she flew the flag. The stars and stripes.

And alongside it she added a flag for choice, and a flag for freedom of religion, and a rainbow flag in solidarity with those whose very right to love was threatened. To let them know that she would also protect their voice, their freedoms, their choice.

And thus she celebrated the day of independence.

Not as confirmation of freedoms achieved, but as a sign of freedoms to believe in and to fight for. Not as an agreement with the current state of the union, but in determination to protect, speak for, and vote for independence. To protest the undoing of civil liberties by an imperious injustice, and to insist on one’s rights to one’s own body and their choices about it.

She flew the flags, to remind herself of what is possible, and of the work remaining. Her choice. Her voice. On Independence Day.

 

 

 

(Note: This piece was based on recent conversations with young women and the worries and feelings they’d shared. Wishing them – and all – a good and meaningful Fourth of July. May hope and choice come forth.)

The Tallest Tears

Flowers-NaamaYehuda 2022

(photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

The tallest flowers caught her eye, but it was the withered daffodils that caught her breath and pressed a fist into her heart.

His favorites.

The stalwart sentinels of spring.

Outnumbered now. Outshone. Outdone.

As was he.

After utterly too short a time.

Her throat constricted. A reflex of holding what she’d learned would be a solitary cry.

“Look, Mama!” a child trilled. “The daffodils are tired!”

“Yes, darling,” a woman’s voice returned. “They did excellent work and are resting now, sleeping till next spring.”

Tears slid. It was something he’d say.

She should have known he’d send a messenger.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Thank you, Rochelle, for using my photo for the prompt this week. And, for all who manage loss, especially of those taken too young in all manners of war – may you know that we remember, and we listen, and we will not forget.

Spring Unfolds

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(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

The sun shone

As spring gently yet

Resolutely strode

On.

The park evolved into

A luminous

Expanse

Of green

Shoots

And pink petals

Unfold.

A respite

From the winter’s

Cold.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt of: Luminous in 30 words.

 

Out-Strutted

 

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They knew they’d need some help. They knew where to find it.

They weren’t very good at building anything, even less at securing it to withstand the snow, the winds, the cops.

Or so they hoped.

It was better to make use of what was already present.

What others, who had better skill and quite possibly better sense, had built.

Sure, some called it squatting. Some found them vagabonds.

But why not when the struts provided good foundations?

It was a pity, really, that so many did not understand.

The cops raided one night. Tossed the tents.

Kept the struts.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

Herself

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(Photo: Lorenzo Fattò Offidani on Unsplash)

 

They told her to not

Make waves.

That to speak out is

Provocative

And that it is

Unladylike.

Unseemly.

And goes against the word of

God

As interpreted by

Themselves

Who see it as their duty

To

Control

Her.

They told her to be meek.

To atone

For the sins

Of

Eve.

She stood.

Unfurled.

Provocative.

As the Goddess made her.

Herself.

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Provocative in 62 words

 

A Matter of Faith

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(Photo: Bernard Hermant on Unsplash)

 

It mattered not how many times he’d pressed the issue, urged she ‘see the light.’

She would not deny her own reality for his. She could not worship his Gods. His requirement of absolute adherence to ideas over facts. Over reason. Over voice.

“It’s not about facts,” he insisted, annoyed by her refusal to acquiesce. “It’s about compliance. The lesson of faith.”

“That kind of faith isn’t in my lexicon,” she said.

“Then pray on it till it is,” he turned, locked the door, left.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Lexicon in 85 words

 

Season For Reason

Sunflowers InbarAsif

(Photo: Inbar Asif)

 

‘Tis the season for

Reason.

Time for soul to be

Bold.

Time to oust stale perceptions

And to justice

Uphold.

‘Tis the season for

Reason.

To let true heart

Take root

And dishonesty

Doom,

So the summers of

Tomorrow

May

Sing sunflowers to

Bloom.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: Season

 

 

Or So He Claims

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(Photo: Sandra Grünewald on Unsplash)

 

He would not ever harm

Another

Soul.

Or so he claims.

He says he doesn’t see the benefit

Of such a

Game.

His very words

Exclaim

Just how incapable he is of

Admitting blame

Or having even the

Appearance of

Shame.

It is clear to her that what

He purports

To be,

Makes him the very

Opposite of who

She will agree

to see.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Purport in 64 words