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Day 1:
When Coronavirus Comes Calling
A five-year-old declares, 'I wish to always have my favourite pancake in my world.'

Day 2:
An E-mail of Hope
He sent the e-mail to the school reserving seats for his daughter for the fall session. It’s in the new city they are relocating to. On the checklist, he ticks off School. House on Rent and Work Permit had been marked complete two weeks ago.

On the laptop screen, the ticker of the News channel scrolls, screaming in capital letters, ‘RESTRICTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL. COUNTRY IN LOCKDOWN.’

Day 3:
An Apology
A minister in Germany commits suicide.

A prime minister apologizes. A genocide had gone amok under his leadership once and yet he rose oblivious to regret. I write and rewrite the previous sentence because I desperately want to blame the abstract noun, genocide. Why is it an abstract noun, anyway, when there are tangible bodies that give it a name? And what about a pogrom? The homeless from which can be touched and tossed with bamboo canes in shelters and hospitals to this day. Aren’t those the qualities of a concrete noun?

Well, the premier had expressed no guilt for turning away towards another spotlight then. And now, a virus has taken both over.

Suddenly, I think about the minister in Germany who felt deeply worried about his country before his final step and then I feel the severity of what we have in our hands, the virus obviously.

Day 4:
A Love Story    
Most stories have a beginning, a climax, and a resolution that leads to an end. In the 80’s, I saw on screen many a dying lover confess to a not dying lover the reason behind their pretentious hate towards the undying lover. The dying lover often had cancer, thereby, saving the not dying lover the pain of separation.

Here’s a corollary. If a dying lover were to decide to clarify a doubt of a not dying lover, 'Why is it that you never loved me?' And the not dying lover in one final act of extended benevolence reassures the dying lover, 'But, I’ve always loved you.' Should the dying lover believe the not dying lover or should the dying lover die a less-than-satisfactory death?

Day 5:
Suitably Macabre
Someone said that thoughts of love from a dying person are not suitably macabre.

‘Does it need more horror?’ I ask.

Thoughts of dying love by a heart beating alive and thoughts of a Living God by a heart dying, it seems, make the cut.

Day 6:
An Unforgiving Mother
Over breakfast, she recounted the trick she played last year on April Fools’ Day. Then, she described the trick her friend played on her mother. Biting into an apple, she unfolded the prank her classmates pulled on their teacher. While setting up the table for lunch, she recounted how she fooled her School Van’s driver. Over lunch, she retold one she pulled on her grandmother many years back. Later, she revealed how she had played one on her little brother. Then, with tea, she relayed how her gang of friends had pranked another gang of girls in class. Over dinner, she cried that she could not fool her mother because the sun had set on the day.

That night, her mother cried because she felt she lacked humour.

Day 7:
The Porn Scam
Rose received an e-mail with her password mentioned in the Subject line, the message claiming to possess a recording of her enjoying porn, ‘pay up or see yourself,’ its words threatening. Another friend received an e-mail too.

A quick search on the Internet revealed the scam to have run its course four years back.

‘Desperation for livelihood during a lockdown—recycled scams,’ my friend declared on the phone, sighed, and then managed to change the password that she had put-off tinkering for a decade, in memory of a deep, abandoned love affair, guns@Rose123.

Day 8:
The Cycle of Craving
My husband ventured out for groceries yesterday. It seems our stock, which was meant to last the lockdown period, hadn’t been enough. Either our estimates were wrong or our culinary experiments had taken flamboyant flight. The latter could be due to companionship he and I had discovered after over a decade or due to the humble reason of a lack of alternative entertainment.

But, here’s the cycle of fat that followed. It resulted in working out to deplete the reserves we seemed to be building up which then led to feeding calories into what was lost. There was also, lest I forget, the cycle of munching on snacks because they were wrapped in colourful packets at home unlike at the office. Although, that cycle of snacks also circled around the snacks at the store yesterday, simply because they caught his eye. My husband clearly had to consider exigencies and supplies running out during this period of lockdown, and what if the children craved snacks? Worse still, what if we ran out of staples? A packet of fries wouldn’t offset the diet of a diabetic trying to keep away from a virus that although posed most danger to people with underlying medical problems, would not dare harm someone who owned a gym, now would it?

Day 9:
Ageing
Today we received a picture of my husband’s father. His hair had greyed. He had let go of colouring them during the lockdown. Maybe, he could not get his hands on a pack of hair colour.

He looked old, and although we knew his age and were aware of the details of his debilitating health, we were taken aback.

I had seen my father’s grey hair a couple of years ago. It had taken my breath away and so I understood what my husband felt when he saw his symbol of strength, weakened.

My husband closed the picture as quickly as he had opened it. The screen of his mobile phone reflected his face and then he touched the crow’s feet at the corner of his right eye.

Day 10:
Ageing a Little
My husband was prescribed spectacles. He purchased a pair the day before the lockdown. He looked old in them and I rued over his declining youth and over forthcoming inabilities.

‘Uncle Scrooge specs,’ I said.

His mother made a video call that night.

She interpreted my laugh as indifference, not as strength. For if she’d seen my heart beat or the memories of a healthy past that had flashed by, the ones I had seen shrivelled with my mind’s eye, she would not have blamed me for my husband’s fated ill-health.

Perhaps mental strength at ageing was appreciated less than mental weakness while ageing. Or maybe because it was as frivolous a thing as weak eyesight. Or was it the expectations from a woman?

Day 11:
Fear of Stepping Out
The lockdown has put in me a fear of stepping out. My family tells me its laziness. 'I should learn from the birds and wild animals who’ve reclaimed the streets after years,' they say. I agree. Perhaps, I should wait for years to pass.

Day 12:
Fashion Rehearsals
The younger one tries out the older one’s clothes. They fit. The girls walk an imaginary ramp down the hall. They celebrate. They prepare for a party, even though,  I scroll through news on the TV that the lockdown might get extended.

Day 13:
The Joy of Makeup
I woke up, brushed my teeth and decided to wash my face with a gently exfoliating scrub. I combed my hair and rubbed in some lotion. Then I lined my eyes with kohl and thickened those lashes with mascara. With lip gloss, I painted the lips and there shone on them a tint of pink. In flamboyant strokes, I grazed those cheekbones with a bronzer.

Through the camera of my laptop, I saw a person I had not seen for the past thirteen days of the lockdown. It seems she was happy to meet people at an online conference.

Day 14:
She Grew Up During the Lockdown
She had twenty teeth before the lockdown. ‘Mumma, I’m big,’ she said.

Today, she has nineteen. ‘Mumma, am I bigger?’

‘Yes, my dear, you grew up during the lockdown.’

Day 15:
A Lockdown Celebration
My birthday was a celebration. The family baked a cake, garnished a biryani with caramelized onions and sweetened the kheer with raisins and cashew nuts. I cut the cake with my parents and sister’s family who were present over a video call. Being miles away, they had stopped attending my birthday celebrations since I had become an adult. Wishes poured in through the day: online messages, phone calls, social media posts. My children gifted me a card with a flower drawn in yellow pencil in the morning, some hot chocolate fudge scooped into a bowl an hour later, a handmade book of assistance coupons made of sheets of paper stapled together with coupons that I could use for free tasks they would perform through the year, a treasure hunt in the evening, a kiss, a hug. Locked indoors, it was a birthday to remember much like the hundred-people party I had with friends at a nightclub last year.

Day 16:
A New Talent
In the mornings, he peeled, he chopped, then grated some and poached others. He also clicked through his e-mails and, after noon, he boiled juicy meats and blanched tough vegetables to go along with the protein. He felt with his fingers stars, ribbed pods, and barks, pure spices that he had lugged for me from his homeland late last year, after which he dunked the chicken breasts and thighs in the fragrant curry those virgin spices had made. The livers, he fried, and the fish he folded in chili paste which he then placed on a rack and grilled.

He ran through Excel spreadsheets and wound up marketing calls. Afterwards, he baked sweets, and those he sprinkled to a decadent finish, like the chef on YouTube had taught, with the tiniest pinch of chocolate powder dotted over white foamy coffee.

He spent his evenings learning new techniques and the weeks acquiring new skills. The lockdown, he spent discovering a new self.

When the locks open, I wonder who he will be?

Day 17:
The Deprived
We have ideals of giving to the deprived during this time of concern and there is kindness in our hearts to respond to a call for charity.

But then we see the people who advise us to give to others splurge on splendor and we are unkind, for we don’t want to be called gullible or foolish. Now depravity writhes within our souls.

The people who called for help seem to have made their contributions through their cries.

Day 18:
Hopelessness
    There is a sense of hopelessness in not knowing what lies beyond this period.

Day 19:
Hope
Hopelessness is followed by days of hope, in vaccines, in trials, in promises, which are, but, followed by failure.

I look for hope rising up on a wave again.

Day 20:
Disbelief
Contagion, E.T., come to pass.

Bruce Almighty—I now believe.

Day 21:
21 Days of Writing
I slip off this undertaking of recording the lockdown. Is it that I have skidded off a wagon which I had assumed would pass swiftly?

‘The lockdown has been extended by 21 days.’

I write, I miss, I twist on my berth in languid curls. I decide to enjoy the esse of this halt.


Bio: It was while working on the corporate ladder that Donna Abraham Tijo’s first short story won a contest and was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Indian College Students (Westland Ltd, 2011). She then went on to publish her first novella Or Forever Hold Your Peace (AuthorsUpfront, 2014) on a whim. With learnings gathered over the following years, she contributed a short story ‘My Mama’s Girl’ to Escape Velocity (Write&Beyond, 2018). These days she’s adding final truths to her second novel, The Pheeki Lives of Geetanjali and Maryann.


Safe

by

Brian Hunt

Everyone wore a mask now, but why they did was no longer a question. Those who asked either disappeared or, after a suitable period of re-education, joined their faceless colleagues. The masks kept us free not just from airborne threats to health but from the complexities of signalling...

Read more: Safe

 

 

 

Eagles’ Run

by

Sandra Niedzialek

Sarah Jensen works at the county morgue. It’s the only job available, her probation officer tells her. She’s a lousy thief, it seems. Gah, she hates scrubbing stainless steel. She’s the only one in the morgue because her shift is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. As she...

Read more: Eagles’ Run

 

 

 

How Horrible the Moon

by

Brian Hunt

How horrible the moon. How horrible the pale light it cast upon my grave as it called me to my duty.

In a few short hours I would leave the comfort of my grave to walk among the living. I scared most of them, but now after over...

Read more: How Horrible the Moon

 

 

 

The Woman in the Mirror

by

Miriam Manglani

Jack pulled the comforter over his head and clamped his hands over his ears, but it did
little to block out his parents’ screaming. If it got any worse, he would hide in his closet.

“I told you I wanted shrimp for dinner,” Amit, Jack’s father, scowled and...

Read more: The Woman in the Mirror

 

 

 

To the Moon

by

Brigitte Whiting

"How terrible the moon," Mr. Abrams said each time there was a full moon. "There's sadness with beauty."

At first, when the future Mrs. Abrams met him, she thought it was odd. When he was young, he'd wanted to ride on the back of his older brother's motorcycle...

Read more: To the Moon

 

 

 

One Precious Day

by

Paul K. McWilliams

“We love those who know the worst of us and don’t turn their faces away.”
                                                                                                                     -Walker Percy

                                                                   

Mike Hanlon, an old childhood friend of mine, had cultivated the pot, not for kicks or profit, but expressly for relief.  He was a poor and suffering soul growing...

Read more: One Precious Day

 

 

 

SkippyGraycoat

by

Peter Mancusi

Skippy Graycoat woke up early to the chirping of birds. It had been a long night for the young squirrel. He spent hours fixing up his new apartment, a fancy little hollow inside of an old, maple tree, and he was happy to finally have some privacy. No...

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A Pot Full of Beans

by

Brigitte Whiting

Clara Beth didn't remember that she'd promised to fill the cast iron bean pot for the Smithville Annual Bean Hole Bean Pot supper until late Friday afternoon when she received the call that the bean hole was prepared, the embers hot and ready. "Almost ready," she lied. What...

Read more: A Pot Full of Beans

 

 

 

How You Can Go Wrong

by

Lisa Benwitz

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Angelina scoffed at Sam, her husband of sixty years. “You’re not leaving. You won’t last a day without me.”

“I can’t deal with you anymore,” he said as he walked out the door. As if she’d been the one to disappoint, to betray.

Angelina’s sagging...

Read more: How You Can Go Wrong

 

 

 

The Piano

by

Nitin Mishra

The old grand piano sat in lonely corner of the room. Dust covered the piano body, and insects crept in through the keys. For the house’s inhabitants, the grand piano was merely a dead wooden sound-making device mechanically operated. No one ever tried to infuse life into the...

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Makers and Takers

by

Kim Bundy

Jake dropped the baby off at daycare early that morning and replaced three water heaters by lunch. There were two HVAC systems left to service, so he wolfed down a sandwich as he drove between jobs. When he got back to the shop that afternoon, his boss called...

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The “Ely Kay”

by

Paul K. McWilliams

It’s my boat yard, and I don’t much care for the look of her. It’s a point of pride. You should be able to take a level to a boat up on lumber. Every day with her list, she stares me down. She looks guilty and sad with...

Read more: The “Ely Kay”

 

 

 

What We Long For

by

Cyril Dabydeen

Creating an imaginary garden
                            with real toads in it.
                                    --Marianne Moore


Frogs circle the yellow-and-black snake in the trout stream by instinct, no less. Mr. Yorick, tall, but roundish, ...

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Emerson

by

Paul K. McWilliams

He hurts, body, mind, and soul. Death has made its introduction and he has given it a knowing nod. At this moment he’s in a hospice unit. The head of his bed is elevated and he’s in the consoling company of his dog, Emerson. The dog proved quickly...

Read more: Emerson

 

 

 

Blunt Trauma

by

Paul K. McWilliams

To all, excepting only Annie, Charles W. Durgin fell while fishing and drowned.  It has been nearly ten years since she struck him with his own club, the club he affectionately called “the priest.” Nightmares still waken her upright and screaming. Not the stifled screams into his calloused...

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Man in the Mirror

by

Nitin Mishra

It may have been the sultriest day of the decade, who knows, maybe two or even three decades and the excessive humidity had invited swarms of insects. In such a sweltering afternoon people were destined to stay indoors, and if anyone ventured out, the insects would certainly torment...

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The Impostor

by

Mick Clark

I was amazed by how many people were stuffed inside my uncle Henry’s corpse.

My aunt clung to me for the first time in her life, bird-bone brittle and ashen pale, while the mourners breathed crowds of ghosts into the icy morning air.

The coffin swayed...

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21 Days of Lockdown

by

Donna Abraham Tijo

Day 1:
When Coronavirus Comes Calling
A five-year-old declares, 'I wish to always have my favourite pancake in my world.'

Day 2:
An E-mail of Hope
He sent the e-mail to the school reserving seats for his daughter for the fall session. It’s in the new city they...

Read more: 21 Days of Lockdown

 

 

 

Sugar Daddy Dreams

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

Burnt toast, avocado, honey, two poached eggs laced with turmeric and garlic, and a new vitamin concoction that makes my stomach churn, and still, I guzzle half of it down with gusto, as if it’s our first Godfather Cocktail at Carlo’s Bar.

Why, you ask?

Because...

Read more: Sugar Daddy Dreams

 

 

 

The Visitor

by

Brigitte Whiting

Madeleine saw the visitor in her Sunday school class, a man her age, maybe fortyish —she considered herself a youthful fifty —with a deep dimple in the middle of his chin. He wore no wedding ring. He introduced himself as having just moved to Cannington, and was the...

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Chickens

by

Brigitte Whiting

First, there was dust everywhere, but now, far worse, there were chickens everywhere. They were pecking through the yard, leaving puffs of dust. They were roosting in the pine trees. And they clucked from morning to night. The five roosters vied for which was loudest and shrillest. Amanda...

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Desiree

by

Joe Cappello

I buried him in the backyard one night after a rainstorm. The soil I removed from the hole was thick and sticky and clung stubbornly to the surface of my shovel.

I connected the hose to the backyard spigot and used it to clean off the shovel. Then...

Read more: Desiree

 

 

 

The Anointing of Mary Ballard

by

Joe Cappello

The young lady entered the laboratory with her eyes cast down reverently, as though entering a church. When she reached the gurney, she pulled a chair close to it and placed the things she was carrying on a nearby table. She removed the sheet covering the body and...

Read more: The Anointing of Mary Ballard

 

 

 

Beginning at the End

by

Joe Cappello

I am in a meeting at our England location in a typical rectangular conference room walled off from the real world of work taking place outside. Suddenly, I am a spirit floating above my colleagues, as though I had died only seconds earlier and am waiting to be...

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Hope Held My Heart

by

Chel Talleyrand

We were isolated that summer from the rest of the world. The excessive rains had pounded the fields into mosquito-infested pools, destroying our harvests of corn and beans. We heard it was worse in the cities. As food supplies depleted, guns decided distribution. Friends and families banded together...

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Bibliosmia

by

Penny Camp

My love for reading started early. I traveled the world and rode dragons, fought knights, stormed castles, stole treasure with pirates and rescued kidnapped princesses. I floated down rivers in the deepest regions of unexplored lands. I climbed trees and mountains and flew on clouds.

Mom read to...

Read more: Bibliosmia

 

 

 

To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

by

Brigitte Whiting

A flock of wild turkeys has wandered in and out of my yard for years. I have a raised deck so my birdfeeders stand ten feet off the ground and the turkeys graze under them. They are timid birds, and typically when I step out onto the deck, ...

Read more: To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

 

 

 

The Style of No Style

by

Frank Richards

I must be the Charlie Brown of writers because I’ve never been able to figure out what “style” is all about. What does that word, ‘style,’ mean? I’ve always had a problem with it. If there were such a thing as “styleblindness,” a disease like colorblindness, I’d be...

Read more: The Style of No Style

 

 

 

Corona Clean

by

Fran Schumer

The Corona virus presents new challenges. Stuck at home, and with more of us sleeping, eating and working here, and a dirtier house, I was finally going to have to figure out how to use my new vacuum cleaner. Ordered a year ago, it mostly sat in its...

Read more: Corona Clean

 

 

 

Occasional Neighbors

by

Brigitte Whiting

I understand a little bit about wild turkeys. They're on a constant hunt for food, drifting through the neighborhood scrounging what they can. But I don't know how it happens that a few will either be left behind by the flock or leave it. This past fall, I'd...

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Enjoy the Ride

by

Penny Camp

Get up early. You can’t ride all day if you sleep in. Braid your hair tight — you don’t want it flapping in the wind. Make sure you don’t wear the undies with the seams down the back because after a long day of riding they will make...

Read more: Enjoy the Ride

 

 

 

Cocoa and Biscuits

by

Penny Camp

Saturday mornings were special occasions at our house when we were growing up. My friends begged to spend the night so they could be part of the Saturday morning ritual.

Mom would take out her green plastic bowl and splash in a little water, a little cocoa powder, ...

Read more: Cocoa and Biscuits

 

 

 

Livin’ the Dream

by

Holly Miller

When I was a child, my mom and Aunt Leona would pack us six kids into our blue Chevy Belair and drive to a local mobile home dealer (they were known as trailers back then). We would walk through the new homes, just for something to do. How...

Read more: Livin’ the Dream

 

 

 

Fall in Maine

by

Brigitte Whiting

Autumn is falling in Maine, harder this year than I remember over the last few falls. We've had two nights of close to freezing temperatures, not enough to ice over the birdfeeders or kill any of my plants yet, but cold enough to turn the furnace on. My...

Read more: Fall in Maine

 

 

 

Best Laid Plans

by

Penny Devlin

Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100...

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One January Morning

by

Brigitte Whiting

Mornings, I like to have a Kindle eBook open on the dining room table so I can read and look out into the backyard to see what might be happening. 

I live in a raised ranch with an attached two-car garage. My deck, which is off the kitchen...

Read more: One January Morning

 

 

 

The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

by

Sarah Yasin

A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruinsby Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group...

Read more: The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

 

 

 

A River of Words

by

Penny Devlin

Go to work every day. Do your job. Do it well. Always learning, getting better every day. Soaking in the letters that become words, that lead to success.

Meetings, instructions, to-do lists, directions — the words start to drown like a river of brown muddy water rushing through...

Read more: A River of Words

 

 

 

Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

by

Jen Lowry

On our homeschool adventure today, we dreamed aloud of the places we would travel to if we could. My kids and I agree: Ireland and Scotland are our top two places to visit. We played music from Spotify and sang aloud to the merry tunes of the Irish.

...

Read more: Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

 

 

 

Monarch Butterflies

by

Brigitte Whiting

I had no idea what milkweed looked like because I'd never seen it, but I'd always wanted it to grow in my yard so I could see the monarch butterflies.


For the longest time, I've hoped the patch of wonderfully fragrant plants with pale purple flowers growing...

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A Monarch Chrysalis

by

Brigitte Whiting

The monarch caterpillar couldn't decide where to turn itself into a chrysalis. He wandered across my front stoop so many times I was afraid I'd step on it so I stopped using the front door. One time, he'd be crawling up a post of the front railing. Another...

Read more: A Monarch Chrysalis

 

 

 

Truth

by

Angela Hess

I am twisted, bent, and deformed on every side. Everyone trying to use me to serve their own purposes, to justify their own beliefs and actions. Their eyes constantly sliding away from my pure, unaltered form, too brilliant and painful to behold without their chosen filters to dim...

Read more: Truth

 

 

 

The Goldfinch

by

Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was...

Read more: The Goldfinch

 

 

 

Of Heroes and Holiness

by

Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family...

Read more: Of Heroes and Holiness

 

 

 

My Desk

by

Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” Butwe all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, ...

Read more: My Desk

 

 

 

My Mobile Space

by

Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic...

Read more: My Mobile Space

 

 

 

A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by

Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born...

Read more: A Red Squirrel's Narrative

 

 

 

Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by

Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flas...

Read more: Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

 

 

 

Reunion

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. ...

Read more: Reunion

 

 

 

A Fear of Broken Things

by

Angela Hess

“Does he look at you?”

 

My cousin’s innocent question triggers a flashing red warning light in my brain. My baby doesn’t look at me. I assumed he was too young still, but my cousin’s baby is only four days older than mine, and they are...

Read more: A Fear of Broken Things

 

 

 

Neighborhood Walk Meditation

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Vultures gather on the old man’s neighbor’s barn,
‘decorated with ravens and barren trees.
A small cottontail stirs...

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Dream Metaphor

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I shiver in the darkened room,
stretch, try to pull the covers higher,
suddenly I am floating near...

Read more: Dream Metaphor

 

 

 

A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

by

Phebe Beiser

So glad it rained last night. Now, late morning, sun shines,
an unexpectedly warm early March. What a...

Read more: A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

 

 

 

Solitary

by

Malkeet Kaur

For eons now, the very core of my being
has become inaccessible.

Solitary.

Once it used to be...

Read more: Solitary

 

 

 

The Blanket Hugs Me

by

Louise E. Sawyer

I’m grateful that I have a daybed
downstairs where I can rest during the day
with my Guinea...

Read more: The Blanket Hugs Me

 

 

 

On Love and Dreams

by

Miriam Manglani

1.
Love is a beast and angel and dream on fire.

2.
Your soul wakes in your dreams.

...

Read more: On Love and Dreams

 

 

 

The Writer’s Breastplate

by

Louise E. Sawyer

…apologies to St. Patrick


Creative Spirit with me,
Creative Spirit before me,
Creative Spirit behind me,
Creative Spirit...

Read more: The Writer’s Breastplate

 

 

 

The Sweater

by

Malkeet Kaur

As I rummage through the clothes,
I spot it, the well-worn white sweater
that now had aging spots...

Read more: The Sweater

 

 

 

The Holly Tree

by

Nolo Segundo

We have a large holly tree
in our backyard—
is it foolish to say
you love a tree?

...

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waiting on an email

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

rain beats against the metal awning.
winds whipped up against two storms
racing each other over the Mississippi
...

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Looking for Weeds

by

Louise E. Sawyer

Pushing my walker with the purple
pet carrier propped up on the seat,
I walk down the driveway.
...

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Ocean Mood

by

Malkeet Kaur

The roaring, crashing surf summon us.
Soft and damp ecru sand lies beneath our bare soles.
The sun-baked...

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The Beetle in the Sink

by

Miriam Manglani

There is a beetle in the sink.  
A big fat one,
shiny and black
with sharp needle...

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Four Cats – Four Friends

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I
the painting of four cats
hangs on my living room wall


II
you can see
Glory Barrie...

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On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

by

Nolo Segundo

I miss the big navels, the big navels when they are not in season,
but almost any orange...

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Summer – A Pantoum

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I sit on my deck and enjoy summer sun.
Zephyrs caress my cheeks with soft kisses.
Bombay cat...

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Your Broken Heart

by

Miriam Manglani

I found your heart’s hinge —
I knew it could open!
Inside, I saw all of its broken...

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Who Is Margaret?

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I find the small black and white picture in a box
of old letters untouched for twenty years.
...

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Made Whole by Others

by

Miriam Manglani

Some people fill deep holes in us
the space that’s left when our loved ones leave
they plug...

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Autumn Villanelle

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

leaves don orange, crimson and yellow gowns
as they prepare for Cinderella’s autumn ball,
soon the leaves will...

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Sunny Day Epiphany

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Umberto, my Golden Retriever is sad,
Sparkie and Sal, his companions, have died

I wanted to adopt a...

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Ocean City

by

Nolo Segundo

I saw it then as my own little Shangri-la,
for I was very small and knew nothing
of...

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All The Dead I Know

by

Nolo Segundo

Let’s start with Eric—a nerdy-looking kid before
nerds were invented, and only 18 when he crashed
his funny...

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The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

by

Miriam Manglani

She talks of makeovers with friends,
using contour sticks and beauty blenders,
making “Tiktoks” with dance moves
called...

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Fireplace Camping

by

Louise E. Sawyer

After supper, my brother Frank and I beg Dad,
“Tell us a story in front of the fireplace.”
...

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My Love

by

Miriam Manglani

My love for you was tentative and tender
Now it blazes like wildfire through dry fields
Cuts through...

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The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

by

Miriam Manglani

I never doubted that he loved me
even after he died from dementia —
There were tight hugs...

Read more: The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

 

 

 

Farley vs Apricot

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Apricot the Beanie cat
perches atop the bookcase,
guards the books,
taunts the ginger kitten down below

Farley’s...

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Define Self Truth

by

Gerardine Gail (Esterday) Baugh

How blind are we with
wishes that bite; with
memories that burn;
that we choose, to be
trapped, ...

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Invisible Lines

by

Miriam Manglani

When I first saw their formless
bodies on screen,
worlds unfurled
in their grainy black and white images,
...

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She Bikes for the First Time

by

Miriam Manglani

“Keep peddling!” I call.
Not prepared to watch her fall.
I hold the bike steady
and let it...

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The Stranger

by

Miriam Manglani

You were always quiet but
grew quieter.
Unable to retrieve basic words like “cat”.
There were other small...

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A New Day Begins

by

Bob Hembree

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Angst

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Fly on the Wall

by

Bob Hembree

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Glancing Vulnerably

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Fowl Squabbling

by

Bob Hembree

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A Mid-Photo's Daydream

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Solar Reflection

by

Bob Hembree

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Being Held Up

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Reflections

by

Paula Parker

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Jack

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hollister

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Evelyn

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Curiosity

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Rebecca

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hazel

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Working Hands

by

Paula Parker

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Maya

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Birds in the Flower

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Pst... Hey

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The World in Her Hands

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Oak

by

Craig Gettman

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Flower

by

Craig Gettman

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Berries

by

Craig Gettman

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Winding Road

by

Craig Gettman

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Sunset - April 2020

by

Craig Gettman

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