Square One

st-olaves-mill CrispinaKemp

 

“You’ll have to climb up there to fix it,” Shelly’s voice made clear he did not think the climbing or the fixing would do any good.

Bertie sighed. It was none of it ever simple. Not with Shelly. Not with him.

Mama prophesied it when his brother was born wrinkled, whimpering, and without a dad.

“You’ll have to watch out for him,” she’d announced to four-year-old Bertie. “You’re his older brother now.”

Then mama, too, was gone, and left them with their uncle and their scowling aunt, who did not need two more butts to wipe or wallop, and Bertie had his work cut out for him. Then, and now.

Shelly couldn’t help being pessimistic. At least Bertie had had some years of motherly love.

“It’ll work,” Bertie promised, climbed.

The windmill spun. Lights came on. Then the new cable caught and tore and they were back to square one.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Not Out Of Joint

LIght-it-Blue-NY-One-World-Trade-2-credit-One-World-Observatory-@OneWorldNYC

 

The farmer pruning rows of trees,

The seller in the market.

The hens that daily lay their eggs,

For tomorrow’s nest (or basket).

The driver navigating streets,

The postman carting packets.

The parent shepherding a child

In mask and zipped up jacket.

The nurses, doctors

Plumbers, pets,

Who have become our mascots.

The slower pace

The seeking gaze

In meetings held in tablet.

The smaller gifts

That bloom in hearts,

As parks in flowers blanket.

The ebb and flow of day to day

The births, the hope, the caskets.

The love that feeds

The good of deeds,

The evenings’ clapping racket.

For as so many things are stalled,

Kindness grows in ranking,

And we are really not at all

Out of joint in thanking.

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS writing prompt: joint

 

 

Uduru’s Sudan

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Sudan, Khartoum (Photo: Amma Hareib on Pixabay)

 

Uduro held her head high, the wrapped money tucked securely in a fold of her clothing. Only a small amount was in the beaded purse. No need to give pickpockets reason to try and outsmart her. She knew better than most.

The market’s alleys welcomed her, coolly shaded under the roof. The dimmer light was soothing. She inhaled, sated. Shoes. Spices. Food. Clothing. Utensils. Leather goods. Whatever she needed could be hers. She walked slowly as befitting her status, her back straight with pride.

She was back.

No longer the barefooted street urchin, begging for leftovers, scurrying from grabby hands while carrying favors for a scrap and a slap.

She was now the wife of a man who owned three stalls on the Souk’s main road. And a whole house. She was the mother of a boy who was never hungry. Umm Faheem, they called her now, in Uduro’s Sudan.

 

 

 

For the What Pegman Saw challenge: Sudan

 

The Biggest Yield

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Photo: João Silas on Unsplash

 

They never expected it to turn out as it had.

Sure, they hoped their hard work would bear fruit. Of course they put all they had into it. They needed sustenance, which — without gold or title or power or support or skill — meant they had to find a way to raise it.

Through thick and thin and cold and rain and mud and sun.

Some of it with bare hands. Some literally blindly, given their bad eyes.

They did what they felt they had to do. They just never expected to manage quite so well.

Not when all they’d ever been told was how unworthy and incompetent and incapable they were. A burden on others. Unproductive mouths to feed.

They’d soonest have believed they’d amount to nothing than that they’d amount to so much. Or have such plenty.

Enough to get through the winter and the early spring. Enough for next year’s planting. Enough even to give.

They had the biggest yield anyone had seen in years.

They never expected it to turn out as it had.

To have so much to eat, to be able to be those who feed.

It had to be the fairies, dusting magic onto their field.

 

 

 

For the Word of the Day Challenge: Yield

 

Overcome

butterfly2 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

As change and challenge come

And you are stretched

Beyond what seems possible

To overcome,

Recall

How transformation

Can become

Its own journey

To an unexpected

Outcome.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post