Hello all... I am very proud indeed to be one of the contributors to this beautiful book that's due for release in late January! Thank you, Gabriela, for your gracious acceptance. I look forward to reading it! https://shortprose.blog/2023/01/09/hidden-in-childhood-full-cover-reveal-and-preface/
She is disappearing, your Mom, said the Dad to his son. And all of your anger with her- arisen out of fear, sadness, and helplessness, is not wrong, though it hurts. She is consumed with another realm, and you speak only to a placeholder who grows more listless with time.
Night splints hold teeth in position, I believe. There is a baseless fear of dismemberment, of awakening without the sum of one’s parts, like the cave of a missing tooth. I lie in bed running, and too fast. Of what do predators dream?
The maple creaks under the weight of the sparrow. The devious cat thinks to corner a drifting leaf, while the squirrel remonstrates. My wheel chair does not do well on stairs. You come. Not afraid anymore, I tell you things.
A dream of Sally Field before her habit. Of goods unsold and their crestfallen man. Of footsteps lost in slow meander, and a threading of fumbled beads that will bring you back- No, never.
Limestone country, where the quarry growls in heat thunder over the fields: we’re driving to find the place Dad wanted his ashes interred. Tonight Mark and I bring the boys to a cabin so quiet we can hear the electric lines of the high pylons hum through the easement.
We take a creekbed for our evening walk. Limestone bears fossils and slips of gray clay, mayapples, mint and touch-me-nots alive with damselflies. I know them like old friends – comfortable even decades later because they represent the nothing-times, those stick-digging days when little needed to be said.
At nightfall, we walk back to the cabin along an access road white with crushed gravel. The kids rush through puddles made by over-payload dump trucks. Frogs hop out ahead, unafraid. None of us are afraid, somehow, out here. Quarry light brings a lingering, thick sunset and I realize how much beauty there…
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Boxes sit moldering in the basement: things we thought we needed, in impulsive increments, but never touch now and can't get rid of. Effigies of missed moments; gargoyles that laugh at lost love. Image: Effigy urn- San Francisco Museum of fine arts
~One can't speak the things that are told to the mind at night; can't sing the paths of private melodies that dwell in the antipodes of what is. But, thread you those footsteps, stay to the true, and know what is coming is living in you.~ Art: The Virgin, by Gustav Klimt
I have no story. No masterpiece, no grand release, no claim to glory. I live inside the artist’s brush, the cooling night, the river’s rush, the knocking of the woodland Thrush; in Plato’s Allegory. *** Art by Remedios Varo
How straight the young oakthat dreams of sky-rise. How turtled- the hot houses, brow-beaten in the heartbeat of the heat. How contrived- the perfect lawns like dime store pictures. How bobbing- the tiny birds that speak in peeps. How serene the cat- curled in woolen sleep.