Reliable Mary provides a seat at the table for every voice in her midst
Through her unlatched door, they march in full of mercurial and eclectic notions
And they settle for ease in cushioned seats to fill her wallpapered room
With tales of great love and exotic pleasures discovered in moonlit tropical atolls
Her visitors regale our dear Mary with movement and light
And expound upon complex worlds lived far beyond this ‘quaint’ lane.
Mary’s eyes glisten and brim as requests pour in to remain in the comfort of her familiarity
And she doesn’t protest when they placate her with faux aspirations of similar constant form
She nods and smiles and she ushers them through to calm respite from their whirlwinds
And she tucks these strangers into the crisp corners of her white world, covering each with a lofty duvet
She creaks the doors shut for privacy sake and moves down the hall for the same
Then silence ensues as she turns down the lamps, to the lowest possible hum.
And then pale, dark Mary makes her way to the only room she really knows
It’s dusty and tattered, unkempt and ecru, full of things without any purpose
And she sits cross-legged, and brushes her hair, overwrought on her wrought iron bed
In the mirror she can almost see the person she is, or could be if given a chance
Fear and longing seem to her to capture the same heartbeat that pounds
So she practices answers to questions unasked, before planning the menu for tea.
Written for this week’s dVerse Poets challenge which was put as: “Today I am going to ask you to think, reflect, and then write about invisibility.” This is my first time participating.
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Hidden within my lot in life, a nickel bag of dreams keeps me trying.
They’re tattered, sure, fragments of fuck this and damn that.
Come closer and I’ll show you.
Not that close.
That wasn’t what I meant.
written for this week’s Trifecta challenge where we were asked to precede the line “That wasn’t what I meant” with 33 words.
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Jerry buys an offering of candy this overcast Tuesday. Then he shuffles along with faint hope and chocolate buttons to wait on a bench in Stanley Park.
Location is everything when it comes to wooing; Jerry knows this from limited experience and overwhelming defeat. He’s not sure of the route she’ll take to walk her yappy dog (Chihuahuas aren’t his favourite), but he’s hedged his bets and chosen the symbolic: a bench where two popular paths intersect.
What’s this? Beautiful Hazel waves as she approaches sans Nestor the pester.
“Hi Jerry. So glad to see you!”
“Well, hi. I was just- Er… pardon?”
“I asked Lidia to take Nestor for the day. I hoped we could go for our own walk. Such a dreary afternoon but the view is always pretty.”
Jerry discards the chocolates but returns her gift: “Hazel, when you’re near, the view is always pretty as a picture.”
Written for dear Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Every week, Angela posts a photo/picture and challenges readers to write 150 words or less based on it. I haven’t joined in the challenge for a long time but I’ve missed it, and it was an opportunity to write something a bit brighter than I usually do. 150 words doesn’t give much leeway (I’m no Hemingway) but it was a good challenge and I wanted to try using ‘offerings’ and ‘devotion’ in a non-secular way.
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Rose petals lie scattered over the dining table, once luscious blossoms now crumbling to bug-filled dust. Tally reminds herself to clear away the brittle stems and wash the lace cloth. But then, she forgets. There are so many other tasks to occupy her days and mind.
Eating an orange and making coffee is her morning. The fridge long since unusable and the hallway quite impassable, she boils a kettle in the bathroom to make her Folgers instant. She eats her orange as she watches television. She’s careful to place the peel on top of the holiday decoration boxes stacked beside her bed. Martha Stewart made potpourri on the Today Show yesterday. Tally’s determined to begin her project right after Jeopardy, or perhaps tomorrow if she has time.
She wonders if craft supplies are still in the hall closet. It’s a mystery but items in her house move on their own. Tally actually hears things moving at night. It’s a cacophony of strange noises in the dark: scratchy footsteps on wood and linoleum floors, high-pitched squeaking in walls, newspapers being shredded under her bed.
Tally is brought out of her ponderings by muffled ringing. If she could, she’d find a telephone under pillows she purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond last spring. But she doesn’t search for the phone. She knows the caller won’t be her son. Ultimatums about the dire state of her house led to him being banned in 1997. Tally certainly didn’t need anyone telling her what to do and what not to do in her very own home. She readily accepts her housekeeping has been in a funk for several weeks, though she’s less clear that a few weeks rolled into many months, and passed by into years.
It’s not her fault, she’d be quick to explain. How could she be expected to discern the passing of time? The Price is Right has been on television since 1956, and she can’t get into the kitchen to see the clock.
333 words in response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge.
We were asked to the third definition of ‘FUNK‘: slump.
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Myra’s pensioner discount comes in handy for her Tuesday journey to visit Gloria, and this gives her a sigh of relief, and a slight air of satisfaction.
Thanks be to God that wrinkles and gray hair account for something in life, Myra thinks as she rests her purse on her ample lap, and reaches inside for a hankie to dab her eyes.
When they rode transit together, Gloria brought scotch mints, in a little yellow bag she always carried with her, just in case either of them needed to calm an upset from their early-bird Tuesday, ‘two for one’ breakfasts; now that she’s ‘one for one’, Myra never goes into the diner.
Through the streaky window, she watches the traffic and pedestrians as the streetcar slowly snakes its way through downtown out to the most eastern neighbourhood. And as the stop beside the memorial chapel nears, Myra feels a jarring, an unsettling flutter, and she reaches for her hankie again when she realizes she’s forgotten to bring her own supply of Tuesday peppermints.
Old Days by John Suarez
It’s been quite a long time since I joined in with Lillie McFerrin’s 5 sentence fiction writing challenge so I’m out of practice. The prompt word for this week, as you will have guessed, is ‘ache’.
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Two in the morning, I can’t sleep so I wander into the front room and take your favourite book from the shelf, a garish, broken-spine paperback, not to read but just to hold, because there must be some molecules of you still attached to its tattered pages. I smooth the front cover, perhaps hoping the book will act as a talisman and that my actions might affect time and ignore the laws of physics and recreate you, and perhaps hoping that God or whoever can hear my thoughts will bring you back to me.
I’m dizzy with loneliness and I understand now why we humans think the heart is where love resides for it is there I feel empty and yet full of pain at the same time. I ache for the impossible. I need to see you.
When I was at the grocery store yesterday, I stood at the cash register lineup and I remembered you, three months ago, so tired and weak but still insistent on helping with household chores, leaning on me for strength and resting your chin on my shoulder. You only did that once. I didn’t want to move. I wanted to share that moment of peace forever. And, I wanted you to know you were safe.
It’s silly sometimes. I remember exactly how high I reached when I straightened your shirt collar and how you would lean down a little bit to make it easier for me to tie your tie, even though you made a much better job of it than I ever did. I remember the comfort of your arms wrapping around me. I remember the warmth as you slept beside me.
So tonight, I take your book, and my memories and strange notions back to a too-empty bed. And I pull the blankets up around me for warmth, and I cradle your pillow in my arms for comfort, and I close my eyes so I can see you, and be with you, again.