Not You. Not Here.

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Photo: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

You are not welcome.

Here.

Or anyplace that we hold

Dear.

You are unwelcome

Here.

Because you lack

The right color

Or veneer

Or gender

Or conviction,

And because you have far too much

Proclivity toward

Fear.

You are not welcome.

Here.

Though if you come,

Subservient,

Kowtowing

To us

Year by lingering

Year,

We might allow you

To remain

As long as you

Humbly

Adhere,

To our need to aggrandize

Our wrongs,

And as long as you

Declare you will

Never rise

Above a state that

Holds us as

Premier.

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all who fight ingrained injustice, racism, hate, brutality, and the historical realities of too many who bolster themselves by believing they are somehow ‘premier.’ For the record, there is nothing ‘supreme’ about anyone who claims ‘supremacy.’ There never was.

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Unwelcome in 91 words

 

 

If Tied

gatepost CrispinaKemp

 

“If tied,” she said, “come by.”

“If not…?” he asked.

Her shake of head stilled any of the questions he had swirling inside his. It cooled his urge to argue. He knew it wouldn’t help. He knew it would only make what was already unlikely, impossible.

In the days that followed he found every reason to visit the gatepost. He wasn’t meant to come too close, but the nearby field offered cloves that his mare suddenly required, and there were numerous trips to town that merited taking exactly the dirt road that hugged parts of the property.

He drooped with every thread-less passing.

He couldn’t sleep.

He felt angry, worried, sick.

Till one day, as he rode by on an errand for a parcel, he saw it. A pink thread. Tied.

Her parents relenting.

They’d let him court her. Even though his father, in his drunkenness, had killed their son.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Her Reflection

silver-1 SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She walks along the dunes. There had been very little time away from others. So very few opportunities to be alone. She needs this more than air.

Morris agreed to keep an eye on the children. They were not enthused.

“He’s boring, Mama!” Ethan complained.

“Yeah, and his breath smells!” Lilly pouted.

“You don’t have to kiss him,” she replied. “And if you are bored, I can leave you some chores.”

They skulked away, displeased, but there was nothing for it, grumpy neighbor-as-babysitter or not. She knew she was becoming increasingly impatient. She did not want to cross the line into unkind.

It wasn’t their fault that Paul left. It wasn’t their doing that their dad did not see fit to shoulder any responsibility. She knew they missed him. He didn’t even think of calling on their birthdays. She knew Ethan cried for his dad in his sleep.

She almost took them with her to the dunes. Almost made it a family outing. Lilly loved running in the sand. Ethan’s eyes always lit up at the space. Like her, he loved the breeze and silence.

But she could not. Not this time.

This time she needed to replenish. For herself. For them. They needed a sane mother. She was running low on how.

 

She walks and breathes and ruminates and lets the worries and the sorrows stream out and flow down her cheeks and neck and chest till they evaporate.

There was a time she had hoped to have a house on the dunes. There was a time she had a dream of living in the solitary calm of gulls and tides and estuaries.

It wasn’t that she regretted having the children (marriage was a whole other story, given what non-partner Paul turned to be). She did not. Not once. She couldn’t imagine her life without them. Just for this morning, though … she needed to let be a part of herself that did not have them in its center.

She walks as if in daydream. The light shimmers and the estuary glints silver in the shrinking distance. It gives her peace. A reminder of how every stagnant-looking pool may in fact be only a pause in flow.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge

 

 

Small Fry

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Photo prompt: Todd Foltz

 

“Are you sure it will work?”

Tim’s chin bobbed up and down enthusiastically.

A bit too enthusiastically. It looked suspiciously like an I’m-clueless-but-want-to-pretend-I’m-not kind of nod.

Benny frowned. He had a bad feeling about the whole plan. “I still think we should have brought a proper pan.”

“Nah,” Tim waved his hand and pointed to the ball of molten orange glaring at them from the horizon. The light shimmered. “They said it was going to be hot enough to fry eggs.”

“In the carton? Don’t you need to crack them first?”

Tim shrugged. “We can always make hard boiled ones.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

In Their Skin

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Photo: Keith Luke on Unsplash

 

Eons had passed

Since when they had

Their skins

Stolen

By man.

 

They learned to love

The life they had

Yet dreams

Cried hope

Aground.

 

Till secrets told

By men at night

Got heard

And sang

Around.

 

And off they went

The selkie all

Safe in

Their skin,

Unbound.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge: Selkie

 

 

Gallivanting Gary

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Photo: Noah Austin on Unsplash

 

Gallivanting Gary liked to roam about

In town.

He refused to let a passing hardship weigh

Him down.

He took his time to get things done.

He rambled on and on.

But once the dinner bell at home was rang

He’d lift his feet

And run.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Gallivant in 46 words

 

 

River Run

 

She could not sleep for the excitement.

A dream come true. A lifelong prayer answered.

She lost count of the times they’d gone without, made do with little. They saved. They scrounged. They worked. They sought. They searched. They found.

Only to be turned down. Back onto the merry-go-round.

It was not for sale. It was too old. It was rotten. It was tied up in legal battles. It was too large. Too steeply priced. Too small.

She almost lost hope.

Then this. Beat up and needing some work. Their Goldilocks perfection.

He didn’t want to sell. His late wife’s boat. Her family’s name. Nope.

They begged. They pleaded. They tried to explain.

Finally … he relented. Perhaps they wore him down.

They drew the contract. Argued. Fretted. Signed.

The boat was theirs.

“You must rename her,” he stressed, pen in hand.

Of course.

Tomorrow it will become her River Run.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Eventually

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

He spent the day lying in the field. Waiting.

Eventually someone would miss him, or wonder about how come he is so late.

Eventually they will think of sending someone to check.

For the moment, all he could do was gaze up at the skies, his leg in an angle that no leg should be in, and his breath curtailed to the smallest gasps as to limit the stabbing pain that traveled through him – like a snake’s bite and a red-hot poker combined – if his lungs filled up enough to move the lower part of his torso. He’d never been more acutely aware of how all joints connect.

A marvel, really.

And a pain.

He almost laughed at his own joke only to remember the infinite well of torture that he’s been finding over the hours he’d been this way. There was no bottom. Only crests of agony he could know and not know of, ride and fall off of, let be and let go.

In the first hour after it happened he’d been angry at himself for the stupidity of attempting to leverage boulders that should not be attempted solo. The stick, not sturdy as he’d hoped, snapped in half, sending him to the ground in an way he could not reconstruct for the blinding nausea of torment that had ensued. He didn’t know what part of his leg it was that broke, or not exactly. Raising his head even just a little led to the world spinning and a blackness closing in, and not only from the clouds that seemed to gather.

He wasn’t angry anymore. There was nothing left in him to spare on blame.

The grayness above grew heavy. It would not be long before the rain.

He’d be miserable in the muddy wet.

It would also bring people faster. They would not expect him to misread the weather. They’ll question. They’ll come.

A drop tickled his nose and he suppressed a sneeze, almost crying with desperation to avoid more pain.

A call sounded, and for a fraction of a second his heart soared. But in the next, awareness filled in: it was not a human’s.

He opened his eyes to a quartet of geese flying overhead. Wings flapping asynchronously against a rising wind.

“Fly safe,” he mouthed, eyes overflowing with misery in spite of himself. They could move. He was jealous. He was helplessly alone.

More drops fell. Tears or rain, it did not matter.

He held on to the imprint of the silhouettes against the spitting heavens.

Soon, his family will realize he hadn’t come home. Soon they’ll wonder about it enough to worry where he was. They’ll send someone.

For the moment, all he could do was breathe, and hold in all the sobs, and let the pain wash over him like rainfall.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Top Dweller

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

She peered anxiously through the glass. He should have called someone. Who climbs up metal ladders in this frost? What if he falls? Breaks something? Who would care for him? Care for her?

She pressed a knuckle to her mouth, too afraid to call out lest her voice startled him.

“Aha!”

The sound came with a ladder-wobble and she almost screamed. How can he do this to her? He knows she cannot stand to be stressed!

A moment later his foot descended.

Wobble.

Stop.

Wobble.

Next.

Then his elbow.

With a miserable-looking kitten cradled in the crook of his arm.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

 

Hearts’ Hum

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Photo: Koshu Kunii on unsplash

 

No humdrum moment.

No silent pause

Or rest.

The tempo of the chanting

Rises

As crowds flow

And crest.

 

They march to call

The winds

Of change

To come,

And heed the soul

As hearts’ pain

Hums

And drums

The need for

Better times.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: drum