The Present

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(Photo: Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash)

 

She was shaking when I entered the room. Hands wringing, lips trembling, her eyes a shade of numb I had rarely seen.

Mary had called me. She had come to check on her and bring a midday repast. Mother being too proud to ask for help, even though her legs no longer held her sturdily or long enough to cook herself a decent meal.

Appearance and stoicism were Mother’s barometers of standing.

Socially and otherwise.

Not that you’d know it from her mascaraed cheeks.

She pointed to the antique book I had gifted her the previous evening. 

I understand, therefore I’ll live,” was scribbled in the cover. “R.B. 1941

Mother pressed a notepad on me. Scribbled on it were the same words. Same letters. An older hand.

“I forgot,” she whispered, caressing her initials. “But reading what I have just written, I now believe.”

 

 

Prompt quote: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” (Afterward by Louise Gluck)

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Simple Pleasures

cherrypicking SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Epshtein

 

“What does happiness mean,” she asked,

Her eyes round with the query

Of the lost

Awaiting to be

Found.

“It is the sun warming your skin,” he said,

His own eyes taking on the mist.

“And the unexpected sweetness

Of cherries on your

Tongue.”

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Happiness

 

 

Outed

folly- CrispinaKemp

 

“What is this place?”

“An outhouse?” Marti sniffed, perhaps for clues.

Barbara wrinkled her nose. Marti always did have a potty brain. “It would not make sense without a door, now, would it?”

“Ventilation?” Marti doubled down. “And anyway, a door could be removed.”

“No hole in the ground,” Barbara pointed out.

“Could have been filled in or covered.”

Barbara shook her head. Even covered in leaves and mud, the floor of the small structure looked too evenly tiled for that.

“So, if you such a genius,” Marti sneered at his know-it-all cousin, “what do you think it is?”

Barbara inspected the arched entrance, the partially enclosed back wall, the proximity to the ancient manor’s fence. A guard post, she thought, but did not say. There would be no fun in that.

“A portal to Avalon,” she stated loftily.

“Ah,” Marti retorted. “As I said, it is an outhouse, then.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Tucked In

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Photo: Peter Oslanec on Unsplash

 

The voice of song

Lulled her to sleep

As wind whispered

Leaves into heaps.

Her mind soared on

A night’s journey’s sweep

As breathing slowed

And memories steeped.

Her body warm neath

Blankets soft and deep,

She sighed and found

A dream to keep.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: blanket

 

 

Skyward

(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

They rose in steady hum of

Motors aiming to break

Clouds

And dispersed the waves upon the

Sand as life skittered

Aground.

They pointed nose into the

Sky with souls holding on well

And fast

As engines revved anew

And headed home

At last.

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: sky

 

A Silver Light

(Photo: Sue Vincent)
 

A silver light,

In blue

It was.

A glimmer on

Still

Water.

A place of dream

Of home

It was.

A hope for

Time’s lost

Daughter.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

Not Just Anywhere

Photo prompt: © Ted Strutz

 

They found the photo in his wallet. No address on its back. No date.

“This could be anywhere,” Deena said.

Neal sighed. He hadn’t seen Dad for years. The reclusive elder had been an aloof parent, and while Neal had yearned for more connection, it always took so much work … with scarce actual return.

“I know where it is.” Aunt Leah fingered the yellowed photograph. “It’s the Mendelsons’ house. I always suspected he and Meir had a thing. Such secret it had to be.”

She sighed and shook her head. “Such a shame. To have to hide love this way.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Garden Muse

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Photo by Stella de Smit on Unsplash

 

She walked along the beds,

Hands trailing over stakes

Heavy with vines

And sugar snaps.

Orange peeked

From underneath green hats

Far too wild for small heads.

Blushing tomatoes danced

Cheek to cheek

With peppers.

She smiled.

The garden will make

Good salad

Tonight.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge

 

 

By Design

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Photo by Aditya Wardhana on Unsplash

 

Perhaps it is, really,

By design

Where we are born

And how we live

And how and when and why

We die.

 

Perhaps it is

By fate,

That we can love

And we can laugh

And dream

And struggle to let go

Of hate.

 

Perhaps we’re each

A stitch

In the tapestry

Of an overarching

Plan,

(That we do

Or do not

Understand).

 

Yet still the truth

Remains,

That our strength is

Bound to fail at

The weakest

Thread.

And that we each have a

Part in

Whether we

Mend

Or shred

The possibilities

Ahead.

 

 

 

For RDP Sunday: Design

And just for fun, also for Terri’s Sunday Stills: Yellow

 

Revisiting

Revisiting NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

She could still hear

The sound of children.

The thunk of balls

Against the chain link fence

Where the big kids

Played.

The smell of dust

From the yard

By the old concrete

Stage.

See the tiny kiosk

Near the gate,

And the ancient seller

Who was always

There.

Feel the coolness of

The main building

As you walked in from

The bottom of the outside

Stairs.

The smell of paint

And cardboard.

The metal-legged

Chairs.

And the hopeful

Cacophony

Of children on recorders

In the music room

Elsewhere.

 

Oh, she knew that

The yard was empty.

No hubbub actually

Filled the evening

Air.

Still the decades tumbled

As memory bloomed,

Transporting

Now to then

With an unexpected

Flare.

So much has

Stayed

The same,

Even as so much has

Changed

In her.

 

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge

Note: This photo was taken last year in my elementary school, which I had occasion to visit one early evening after not seeing the place for decades. It was a magical, if complicated, revisiting.