Never Closed

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Photo: Lynn Jordan on Unsplash

 

Shuttered windows did not

Matter,

For all who lacked knew that

The door remained unlatched

The rusty locks, unfastened,

To let the needy enter

And rest their weary heads

Within,

Their huddled warmth

Steadfast in lieu of

Hearth,

Never closed from

The ancient inn.

 

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: close

 

 

Tomorrow’s Orb

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

” … And that is when the sun became the liquid gold …” Marianna tucked the blanket tighter around the child and bent to kiss the flaxen head. The short soft hairs tickled her lips. She hadn’t yet gotten used to the severe buzz cut. She resisted touching her own head.

“…and in the morning?” the little one murmured, half-asleep.

“It will turn itself back into an orb and rise into the dawn …”

The almost translucent eyelids fluttered open once to rest on the flaming horizon, before closing, heavy, onto the small cheeks. The girl’s breathing deepened and slowed in time with the surf, arms secured around a well-loved doll.

Marianna stared at the reflection of molten lava on the water, listened to the murmured rush of the waves, rocked on her heels, and hugged herself.

At least the weather’s holding.

The child turned. An arm slipped out of the protection of the blanket and Marianna tucked the slim limb back under the covers, securing the doll where it could not be seen. It was a forbidden toy, yet Marianna could not bring herself to discard it. Not when so much had already been lost. She swallowed, and her hand rose of its own accord to feel the expanse of her head, the hair no longer there.

It was the least of it. Better they be seen as male, anyway.

The sun sank, gold, into the sea. She thought of the bedtime story and of the simple acceptance of young minds. Of the trust, the effervescent hope. Her own breath deepened as her daughter’s face at rest loosened a coil of tension in her chest into tendrils of comfort.

They’d made it this far. The beach was secluded. The trees and darkness offered their own respite. She, too, needed sleep.

May morning come, she thought. She lay her head on their pack of belongings and spooned the child against her heart. The last of the light licked the dampness from her cheek. May we safely see tomorrow’s orb rebirthed.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo prompt

 

 

The Hidden

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Photo: Crispina Kemp

 

It had been their favorite place to play as children. Filled with old tools and lopsided shelves. A leaky roof that hindered the rain from soaking them when the weather turned and they had misjudged the time.

She never would have thought that the shed would become a shelter from a lot worse than the rain. And without end. For there was no place to return.

There will be no welcome in the farmstead. Not anymore.

No warm soup waiting. No blanket. No fire to steam wet clothes as fingers thawed. Instead of comfort, they’d likely send the dogs.

She still could not quite understand how quickly times had changed. How she’d gone from part-of to pariah.

Was she the same? How could she be, when the patch she was made to wear now defined her?

A jew, she was their plague. How long would the shed conceal her?

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Go Deep

 

down you go AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Go deep into the space within

Where sorrow holds to joy,

And find the light that shadow

Serenades

In times

Without employ.

Go deep into the burrowed

Land

Where memory resides,

And seek the song that

Dances,

Stubborn,

In your mind.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS writing prompt: Deep

Note: Dedicated to all who are struggling during these uncertain times. May you find all that you need, in health, in life, in light.

 

The Now And There

Distant Stairs NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

In the distance between

The now and

There,

Rises the stair

We all must

Share,

Step by step to

Anywhere

Before the future days

Declare,

The distance we

May finally

Repair.

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: distance

 

 

I Believe

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Photo: Charlie Hammond on Unsplash

 

I believe the magic

That is people,

And the unremitting wonder

That is found

Undaunted

In their hearts.

I believe the small,

Persistent,

Staunch soul rumble

That continues

Shaken but unfailing

To grow

Through the hardship,

Making handholds of the worry

All the while.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: magic

 

 

Color Me Home

 

It would be the last place anyone would look, and the first thing everyone would see.

It made it perfect.

She always gravitated toward hiding in plain sight. There was equity in the blinding effect of what people learned to not see or did not know could be there in the first place.

How long would it take, she wondered, for her cover to be blown?

The longest had been almost four weeks. The closest call had her discovered before the first patch of paint dried. She’d almost lost everything that day, and the consequences were brutal, but she’d learned from it. As she had from every challenge and obstacle. Even those that were not meant to be instructive.

That was how she rolled. How she wrest back some control.

For now, this box of aqua perched on sand, seasonally emptied of its contents, was home.

The surf a lullaby.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Underneath

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Photo: Morgan Petroski on Unsplash

 

 

She peeled away the stale layers

Of sorrow,

The sheets that wrapped around the core

Of what had once held

Grins.

And underneath the soot of tears

And grit

And grief

She found the gold that had been

Hidden

Soft against reality’s biting teeth.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Peel

 

 

A Slowly Fraying Memory

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Photo: Free-to-use-sounds, on Unsplash

 

 

From the hollows of despair, they fled.

The shirts on their backs and the children

In their arms, all they could manage to

Take.

Even the abysmal shelters they had recently

Been made to call

Home,

No longer gave any protection or

A chance at repair or

Reform.

They left, dodging death and finding

Further fright to

Flee,

And in their hearts they held on

Tightly

To the slowly fraying

Memory,

Of days when life was softer

And beds were warm,

And babies slept

Well kept

Safe from war and hate and

Harm.

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Abysmal in 93 words

Note: Dedicated to all displaced, terrorized, pressed, oppressed, persecuted persons everywhere, and to the many millions who had, throughout history and in recent memory and in today’s times, been forced to further risk their lives by leaving what had once been home and safety behind, for the unknown.

 

Shattered

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Photo: Jamie Street on Unsplash

 

 

The hammer rose, the gavel dropped

As justice found no peace.

Corruption forced doors closed

And barred.

The records sealed.

The future scarred.

And through the shards

Of looking-glass

Died efforts made for

Governance.

The People found

Their oaths destroyed

By those fawning

Over naked

Emperors.

The tatters of longstanding laws

Reduced to rags under the feet

That now dance

Only to

Heil deceit.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Looking-Glass in 64 words