Writing Practice

Prose, poems and raw ugly beginnings

The Bowler Hat Man

Beany never thought of herself as a rule breaker because she wasn’t a rule follower. A lot of rules were needed for someone to be a follower. Beany didn’t have rules in her life— maybe some, but they were more like expectations— so she abided by them. She ate what was...

Survivors

After the last melt of snow,Before the sprouts of spring,A cattail— parched and joint-lessStands like an elder;Its once flowering spike broken bypiggled tufts of pollen.  New shoots and leaves frothing from belowwill soon sack this ancient warriorunless hooves...

But Or And

The juicer and electric typewriter were no lossneither was the microwave impossible to program,But the bike with training wheels gave her pause,as did the brass bed that once caught the newborns.  Will those memories refresh the same way the glass dining table—...

Falwell’s Backyard

In the spring the magnolias are intoxicating. Their fragrance prompts deep breaths that release tension and you are— disarmed. The iced tea is sweet like the smiles because the rude and bitter meet with disapproval. Come closer. Step into the magnolia’s shade and...

22 Million Dollars and Nothing to Do

Pay off the house— the carsBuy a new carRemodel the houseMove  Fix Jason’s teethA wealthy lawyer with crooked teethturns people off  Save for the twins’ education— or notA degree doesn’t guarantee a job— not nowMy college years were wastedespecially after...

Ladyhouse Blues, 1943

Red dress—Rhythmic steamfanned by shade trees  White dress—Iced teamelting in the sun  Sighs of syncopated staticecho across townfusing Red and White  Doorway ladies on a summer mornsuffering Ladyhouse Blues.

Freeing Vesuvius

Movement was key, and the key was around my neck; that’s what extra shoestrings were for— skate keys. After eight hours at a desk, where the only activity was my pencil gliding haphazardly across the page to form letters and numbers I didn’t care about, I needed to...

Veteran’s Lament

Angular man with guitarNo longer gazes at the stars.  Fingers pluck with eyelids closedMuscles tense—               No chance for repose.  White hair like a mountaintopChanneling chords of...

The Beneficial Curse

My husband, Jack Wade, was raised by a brood of women made up of his mother and his father’s sisters: Agnes, Melva, Genevieve and Sandy— an outcome of his father’s death when Jack was three. Wade males died young; it was the family history. His mother constantly...