An absurdist thriller about an unhappy man who attends a retreat offering adults a second chance at a happy childhood.
Cynthia Atkins: Hairbrush
He’d fall asleep on my chest, breath light as a falling leaf.
Now, he glides the bristles down my neck— He gently fluffs
the tufts, like airing the pillows.
David Hassler: Intensive Care
Children under the age of fourteen weren’t allowed in the ICU. I was eleven, and my brother was thirteen, but no nurse or doctor was going to stop us from seeing our mother.
Valerie Bacharach: Chaos
There is no word for parents who have lost a child. Our language is chaotic. We are not widowed or orphaned. We are without, we are incomplete.
Kate Daniels: The Poem
Niobe had just lost her son.
To help herself, she read a poem
to those assembled in the funeral home
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer: An Open Thank You Letter to Kristen Who Works at the Cemetery
There are moments so flooded with tenderness
every wall around our heart collapses
from the beauty of it
Neil Shepard: Local Freeze
Flat lines of black clouds
rolled over the Everglades, pelting the land with cold rain,
then, briefly, almost impossibly, hail, over the wetlands and dredged
fields, reminding us how fragile the grapefruits and oranges.
Toi Derricotte: In Knowledge of Young Boys
i knew you when your connections
belonged only to yourself,
when you had no history
to hook on to
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer: Embracing the Mess
I like it best when the memories are everywhere—
and I stumble over the ghosts of wooden train tracks,
trip on the spot where you used to do push-ups
Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum: A Good Man
To this day, my sister and I wonder if Dad
Got it right. “Fear,” he explained years later,
“Is sometimes the only tool.”
Carol Frost: Now Soon
Father and mother time to rise up put away the dark
give back to him more than he can ever use give what is
not his to have what he never knew he knows and all he feels
Dawn Potter: About Mothers
How can I judge the worth of a brooding life?
In a busy restaurant my giant son leans his head on my shoulder,
and I am his mother again, lifting his memory into my arms.
Lisa Fay Coutley: Duplex
your son is a homeless drug addict your son is
your son is a homeless drug addict your son
until it becomes real