A Visit From Paul

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Milford, Delaware (Photo: Ray Hennessy on Unsplash)

 

“He comes to visit,” a man’s voice jarred her out of her reverie.

She’s been watching a waterfowl in the sparkling water. It’s been staring back, she felt.

“The bird?” she turned. The speaker was a frail-looking man who still managed a bearing that stated “military.”

“If it is that.”

She glanced at the crane. The oldster sounded neither confused nor joking.

“Tell me,” she rose to make room on the bench.

The man extended a hand to shake. “Smith. US Navy.”

“Marcia,” she returned.

They used to build ships in Milford, he told her. Built the four-masted Albert F. Paul, too. Launched it from the Abbot shipyard in 1917.

“174 footer, she was,” Smith sighed. “I would’ve been onboard, you see, if I hadn’t been injured. Would’ve gone down with my mates when the Germans torpedoed her in 1942.”

“The fallen seamen,” he lifted his chin toward the bird, “they visit me.”

 

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Delaware

 

The Great Loss

 

“Did Great-Grandpa really fight in the Great War?”

“He did.”

“What made it great, Mama?”

She sighed. This place’s heaviness only settled thicker during the holidays. She’d come every year on Christmas as a child. Too infrequently since. The ocean’s breeze whipped hair into the boy’s eyes and she tucked a lock behind his ear. He so reminded her of herself.

“Grandma Rose said it was because the Heavens everywhere lit with the great number of souls and broken hearts. The Great Loss, she called it.”

“A lot of Christmas angels, Mama?”

“Perhaps so.”

“I think Great-Grandpa is one, though.”

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all who are missing loved ones during the holidays, to all who are no longer with us for they’d given their lives (or parts of their souls) for others, in search of peace, in hope of no more war or hate or greed. May we do better, as a species. Let there be true peace on Earth.

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

(Thank you Sandra Cook for the evocative photo prompt!)

 

 

Gone Today

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Photo: Keith Channing

 

They came for the car today.

It’s just a car, she tried to tell herself. It would not make sense to keep it. Not with the fees and with the debt on it only increasing. Oh, she tried, but there was no way around the loss of it.

No way around loss. In general.

She couldn’t bear to go outside to see it off. She stayed indoors, her nose glued to the window, her sweaty palms pressing life-lines into the glass, her heart in shreds.

It’s been his car.

And he would not be coming home to drive it.

 

 

 

 

Note: Dedicated on this Veterans Day (US) and Remembrance Day (The Commonwealth), to all who fought and won and lost and left and returned, or left and did not return, or not in the same way they’d left. And to the many who still are away in uniform. You are seen. You are known. May all come home whole. And may humanity one day learn peace and no more war.

For Keith’s Kreative Kue #237

 

 

Pink Ribbon

Pink dawn1 KarenForte

Photo: Karen Forte

 

If I could have a pink

Ribbon

Large enough to show my love

Of you

Who fought

And lived

And fought

And passed

And fight on

Still,

I would need the whole breadth

Of sky

To mark

It’s size

And enlist the heavens

As both paint

And quill.

 

 

(Photo by my amazingly talented and generous friend Karen Forte, who fills my heart and soul with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.)

For SundayStills: Pink

 

Read To Remember

Photo prompt © CEAyr

 

“I read to remember,” she said, her voice steel and quiver. “I read because he no longer can and because I know he was, most very likely, reading at the very moment his life stopped, evaporated, in mid-word. I read because mine almost stopped in the loss of him and in the enormity of the awfulness that took him and so many.

“I read to not forget. Because there is a bigger spark in life than in sorrow, and because he never would have left us, and certainly not this way. If it weren’t for the planes.

That September day.”

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all the lost, and to all those who lost so much, and to all that has been changed — insidiously and indelibly for so many — on September 11, 2001. I was here. I remember and I understand why we remember and what we must remember about ourselves and about who we can be. May we hold truth. May we be the better, kinder, more humane version of ourselves.

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Never Again

Never Again OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

May never again slogans of harm,

tattoo death on hearts, souls, and arms.

 

 

 

Note: On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we mourn so many lost to deliberate ugliness that nurtured systemic cruelty and harm … and when some try to deepen horrors by claiming the suffering hadn’t even happened … May we find a path out of hate and violence, and away from whatever catchy slogans used to justify a pseudo-superiority. For in reality, we are all one, and the terror of racism leaves none of us unharmed.

For Linda’s One Liner Wednesday

 

The Vanishing Point

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Photo: Ofir Asif

 

 

At the vanishing point

They have passed

To be gassed,

Leaving us

To a world

That forever now must,

Not forget

How the place

Of no return

Has been crossed,

And we none are

The same

For hate’s shadow’s

Been cast.

In the name of those

Vanished

Who shall not be forgot,

We can vow to hold hope,

And let compassion

Outlast.

 

 

 

For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Vanishing Point

 

Heart Memories

Kathtyn and Carol Jan08

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Good friends to me,

To each other,

Their hearts and souls

Brimming love.

A decade passed

Since this photo,

And both had grown

Angel wings.

Sweet moments

Of memories

That won’t ever

Depart.

 

 

Dedicated to Kathryn and Carol, forever thankful to have known you. You are forever in my heart.

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Memories

 

Good Enough

PHOTO PROMPT © J.S. Brand

 

“Do you really think you can do it?”

I nodded into my coffee but my heart fluttered an I-don’t-know.

“You’ll ruin the whole thing.” Stacey stuffed the last bite of bagel in her mouth and grabbed her bag, leaving me the clean up. How symbolic.

I rinsed the pot and the grounds swirled like time into the sink.

My eyes gazed out the window. We hadn’t touched Dad’s stuff. The almost-finished totem. His tools.

“You’re good at this,” he’d once said.

His praise had sustained me, but was I good enough to complete the carving that now he never would?

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Remembrance Rose

Rose AvivRozenZvi

Photo: Aviv Rozen-Zvi

 

Reaching high to the heavens

Rising up

To the sky

A single rose of remembrance

Captured by a

Child’s eye.

So we pause for the many

Hate had barreled

To die,

And remember the courage

Of all who

Violence defy.

 

 

 

For Cee’s Flower of the Day