OLWG#148- Sunday Moanin’

This piece was written for OLWG#148

“My lands,” Gramma Tamsin spat, “I could live to be a hunnert and never see that agin till my dying day.” She sat back and smiled to herself.

“What’s that Momma? Whadcha see?”

“It’s that no good dawg o’ yourn. He just pooped in your girl’s Buster Browns.”

“Which one?”

“Not too shore. Mighta been the left one, I think.”

“Not which shoe, Momma.”

“Sorry,’ twas the brown one without a tail.”

“No, not which dog, neither. Which girl?”

“Y’all need to be a bit more clearer when yore axeing questions, Tammy. It’s that redheaded girl. The one what doesn’t look like neither you nor Buck. The one what all-ays looks like a little ragamuffin. The one out here playin’ in the front yard. The bottom of the porch steps.”

“Damnit! Savannah Mae. Fetch yore shoes and hose the poop outen ‘em right now. Lawd ‘a Mercy girl, I don’t know what y’all gonna wear to church this moning.”

Gramma Tamsin jist kep rockin’, smilin’ ‘n watchin’ the kids.
There shore were a passel of ‘em.

The prompts were:

  1. What happened to my coffee?
  2. Buster Browns
  3. till my dying day

OLWG#148- Cheatin’ Men

This piece was written for OLWG#148

Mary Lou topped off her cup, turned, and headed back to her seat across the table from Lucille. She looked at her friend and scowled.

“So, what are you going to do about it, Luce?” she sipped her coffee and grimaced; looked in the cup and stuck out her tongue.

“I don’t know what to do, Mary Lou. I just wish he hadn’t left his email open. I wish I’d never found out.”

“No, you don’t. Ignorance is seldom bliss! Do you know what her name is? Anything about her?” she took a sip of water and swished it around in her mouth.

Lucille nodded, “Her name is Lola, believe it or not, I don’t know her last name though.”

“But, you have her email address, right?” Mary Lou looked into her cup. “Damn this tastes like shit. What did I pour in this cup?”

Lucy looked up at the counter, “You mighta snagged the decaf pot. Hang on; I’ve got some breath mints. Get that nasty taste out of your mouth.”

The prompts were:

  1. What happened to my coffee?
  2. Buster Browns
  3. till my dying day

Eerie Micro Poetry in Seventeen Syllables

This piece was written for The Word of the Day Challenge

Entering the silent room, all eyes turned and it was eerie, and chill..

An eerie yellow glow fell to the floor from the guttering candles.

The unsaid lingers, and reddens her angry words with an eerie hue.

The virus fell like an eerie stillness across the Italian countryside

Or because the Italian language is so musical, I could ignore the syllable count and sing:

Il virus cadde come un silenzio inquietante sulla campagna italiana.

I can’t help thinking of the Valle d’Aosta in these times.

OLWG#147- Sophie, Seen Home by a Band of Coyotes

This piece was written for OLWG#147

The moon and the Milky Way provided a lot of light, more than she thought there would be. Sophie continued moving along the rutted fire road. She talked to herself and kept putting one foot in front of the other.

“This would be easier if the sun was out,” she announced to a large Cholla that she passed.

The jumping cactus did not respond. Sophie plodded ahead, snubbing the antisocial Cylindropuntia fulgida.

Soon a dark form rose alongside the road not too far ahead. “Hey,” Sophie hailed the newcomer, “Do you know how a cactus laughs?”

The large Yucca that was emerging as she drew nearer laughed out loud, “OMG, Sophie,” the plant spoke with only a mild accent, “I know this one. He escuchado esto antes. You can do better than that.”

At the edge of the road, Sophie spotted a wide round cactus with long heavy spines shaped like fishhooks. “Hey you,” Sophie addressed the Ferocactus wislizeni, “Do you know why life is like a cactus?”

“I’ll bite, why?” the stranger replied.

“Because around every corner, there’s another prick!” Sophie snorted when she laughed at her joke.

“I guess, I should have known that one,” the cactus grinned. “You’re a long way from home Sophie, it’s nighttime and you’re barefooted. What’s going on?”

Sophie smiled and knelt next to the barrel cactus, only then did she notice that he was surrounded by family. Including, she assumed, his wife and children. “I could tell you but I don’t want to frighten your kids.”

“Don’t worry about the kids, Sophie. Most of them are sleeping anyway.”

“I ate some of your kind today.”

“Ahh,” said the barrel, “You’ve been playing with my cousins, the Peyotes”

“I have indeed.”

“Are you going home now?” he asked her. “Let me arrange an escort for you.” He stretched upwards as far as he could and howled.”

The prompts were:

  1. I don’t mean to laugh out loud
  2. deep down, I guess I knew
  3. thirty miles of bad road

OLWG#146- Abril’s Gone

This piece was written for OLWG#146

Miriam swung by the house to find me on the front porch. I had most of a twelve-pack of Coronas on the floor next to my chair and about half of a bottle of “Fidencio” Mezcal held between my knees.

“Hey, TN,” she said.

“Hey,” I reached into the box of beer and fished out a longneck for her. “They’re not cold.”

“Don’t care,” she used her yellow BIC lighter to pop the top and took a long drink of beer. When she lowered the bottle it was almost half empty. Wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her jacket Miriam asked, “You doing alright?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” I handed her the Mezcal and watched as she pulled the cork and tipped the bottle.

She followed the drink with a long intake of air and then slapped the cork back in. “Damn, that’s good.” The bottle came back and I followed suit with another long draught of my own. “Well, you know; since Abril left…” she shrugged her shoulders and left the thought hanging.

“Oh, that,” I responded, “You had to bring that up, Miriam? Really? As you can see, I’ve invested in plenty of alcohol in the hope that I would forget that.”

“So, you doing alright?” she asked again.

“I will be, soon enough, once I’ve figured it out. Abril was always there, you know. I hardly remember a time in my life without her. I’ve never been alone before.”

Miriam reached her hand out and I put the bottle back in it. She held it up to the light and squinted through the brown liquid in the bottle. She took another long drink and handed it back. “You don’t have to be alone you know.”

Neither of us spoke for a while. I gazed at the colours the sun was painting on the clouds in the east, while keeping Miriam in my periphery. She watched me, then reached out to dig into the beer box for another Corona.

The prompts were:

  1. I’ve never been alone before
  2. Dipping my toe into the bright colours of the sunrise
  3. Miriam Ortiz Uribe

OLWG#145- Green Penny Stamp

This piece was written for OLWG#145

“My father was a big man, a burly man, covered with soft dark hair. No hair on his face though, he was always clean-shaven. He would labour with his straight razor every morning. He left the impression of being powerful. He was powerful and round; with a large round head and broad strong shoulders.  He was barrel-chested, with big round hams for hands. He travelled for a living. He was gone a lot but he would send postcards back for me and my sisters. Thick envelopes would arrive for Ma and she would retire to her bedroom, clutching her letters, when they arrived. Sometimes we wouldn’t see her again for days.

Cara, Lucy, and I would marvel over the postcards.  There were intricate photographs on the front; and always, a brief scribbled note from Pa on the back. A green penny stamp with a picture of a dead president assured timely delivery.

“I remember once when Pa went to Fort Smith to officiate at a mass execution. Arkansas was beginning their transition from hanging to the electric chair. They didn’t have enough chairs to get rid of the whole gang at once, so the judge sentenced them all to hang. I got a postcard with the picture on it. It’s over there in the top drawer if you want to take a look. You’ll see my father in the picture. He’s the big guy in the dark suit, standing off to the side.”

The prompts were:

  1. smoky stage lights
  2. postcards from the execution
  3. it’s got nothing to do with me

OLWG#144- Posole

This is “yet another take” that was written for OLWG#144

At dance class the next week Lupe was again paired with Atilio. She complimented him on his dancing and he confessed to having practised during the week.
“I pretended that I held you in my arms and we danced in my kitchen. You were, erm, you are a wonderful dancer, Lupe. Perhaps we should get together during the week to study. To practice, you know. How would you feel about tomorrow night? We could dance in my kitchen and I could cook posole. I use only Guajillos in my posole. They give it just the right amount of heat, I think. Plus I am from Zacatecas, where Guajillos come from, but I’m sure you know that.”
Lupe shook her head, “Oh Atilio, that would be wonderful, but mi esposo would probably not approve.”
“Is that a no, then?” He laughed, “If that is the case, we should enjoy this time we have together right now.”
Lupe blushed just as she had in her car the other day.

The prompts were:

  1. is that a no, then?
  2. staring out the window
  3. numbers and charts