The Vanishing Moon by Barbara Mulvey-Welsh

The Vanishing Moon

by

Barbara Mulvey-Welsh

Moon stands, hands on hips and head held high, astride the glittering evening sky

Shouting – cease your constant tugging – at the overbearing Earth;

Moon – my child, Earth replies – struggle not; I urge you look inside my tender heart

Do not mistake my embrace for restraint; I hold to you to keep you safe…

No! Moon shouts – as she pulls her hair – that cannot be

Your restraint is stifling; confining me

It’s killing me – Moon sags to her knees – nightly as I pull and tug

Ceaseless, trying to be free;

Moon – my child, Earth replies – you don’t understand the perils of the sky

Please! Moon shouts – as she stomps her feet – I understand that I must fly

Free and unfettered; I long to be me

Moon – my child, Earth replies – for you I shall grant your one demand

You may roam unfettered and free, when you finish your responsibilities

Speak! Moon shouts – as she cocks her head – I won’t be tricked or misled

Moon – my child, Earth replies – I have no tricks or treachery

At your wane, I will abide your wish to be unfettered; free to roam; free to fly

Heed my words – impetuous Moon – I demand of you a simple thing

What! Moon shouts – breathlessly, demandingly  – do you require of me

Moon – my child, Earth replies – you must be back again to rise

Why! Moon shouts – as she flops and pouts – you promised I could wander free

Moon – my child, Earth replies – free you shall be but not absolved

Of any and all responsibility

Bio: I started blogging as a hobby in November 2010. In January 2011, I joined Plymouth (MA) Patch as a paid columnist. In August 2014 I joined the Old Colony Memorial as a columnist and appear every other Wednesday in the print edition and on the wickedlocal.com websites. I try to write every day and have recently self-published a short-story and a book of poetry.

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Joined by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

Joined

by

Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

One  day it will be discovered. What will be found will be up for review. Nothing is gone for good. Nothing good is gone. Nothing gone is good. Good is gone. Gone is good. Good is nothing.  Nothing is good.

It took all of every minute up until now to get here, to get to this. Life’s been spent (waiting). Even when it wasn’t thought of as such.

* * *

Woke up, looked both ways before crossing the street. What could that mean? Don’t say there’s anything which can be called a reason or purpose as such. Jesus Christ. Some people.

* * *

Reality has no walls which can’t be broken. Voices explore places eyes don’t consider. The world we inhabit is a geode. Something hides on the inside. But what nobody knows up until now is that there are many kinds of geodes. Those inwardly bejeweled and those which are secretly rotting behind stone faces.

* * *

There was no place to put trust in you but that’s where it went when all the other hiding spots were already in use. Besides we all need a safe spot we want to rely on. Room has a way of being made when one is willing to take it.

Hearts have space for more chambers. Throats can squeeze in another stanza. Lungs have vacancies. Ribs were built to expand.

But it’s much too much to ask for eyes when they’re already being consumed facing consequences. Yet, for the rest, there’s a whole body formed just for hiding this corpse.

And when you left this was carried away too. In death we are, we were, we will be joined.

Bio: Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia is the author of Robot, This Sentimental Education and Yawning on the Sands. More work by Garcia can be found at kjpgarcia.wordpress.com.

Freedom by Hilary Spencer

Freedom 

by

Hilary Spencer

                Lunchtime. The best part of the day. The moment when the cruel hands of the clock line up in a rare harmony, temporarily freeing those who suffer inside the towering office blocks. The sweet air outside had tempted me all day, whispering through the windowscreen, and so I pulled open the office door, the scent of nearby flowers leading me to the city park. Gripping my lunch bag loosely in one hand, I headed for a nearby bench, settling at one end and observing the chipped paint adorned with layers of graffiti. Markings of the goings-on of the local teenagers; who blew, who was here, who loved who. Shrugging, I attended to my sandwich.

                The woman caught my eye as she slowly made her way down my path, and I watched. Her face was old, the last remains of what once must have been great beauty erased by the lines etched deep into her pale skin. Her blue eyes were dull, and I found myself wondering how she could see. A slight coolness on my leg alerted me to the mayonnaise dripping from my sandwich; by the time I wiped it with a napkin and looked back up, she had sat on the other end of the bench. Her head swiveled as she looked around with a sad smile on her face. I could see her shiver in the faint breeze, and wondered why she wasn’t wearing a warmer coat. Her silver hair cascaded down her shoulders, curling at the ends.

 “It’s always so beautiful here,” she said, noticing I was watching her. I blushed, looking back down to my sandwich.

                “I grew up in that house across the street,” she said, pointing to a low-rise apartment building. “Before they tore it down. All my children were born there.” She looked around the park, the same sad smile at the corner of her mouth. “My husband proposed to me right here in this park, fifty years ago,” she said quietly. She pointed to a spot a few feet from where we sat. Squinting, I saw nothing now but some yellow grass and a dead squirrel “That was long before the cancer. The doctors said I have to go to a treatment center in Boston, and I probably won’t come back.” Her hand slid inside the pocket of her light coat and rested there for a moment before emerging. I stood up quickly, recoiling from what I saw in her hand.

                The cold metal gleamed against the papery skin of her hand. There was the faintest clinking noise as the rings on her left hand pressed against the gun.

                 She pointed it, not at me, but at her own face.

                “I spent my entire life in this town,” her voice was still quiet, calm. “I’ll never leave it.” She smiled, glancing once more around at the faded grass. “Freedom,” she sighed. Her finger pressed down, and I screamed.

                The funeral was a week later. I don’t know why I went; call it closure. I met her husband, silenced by his grief. Her children couldn’t understand. It was as everyone was leaving when her oldest daughter beckoned me into the kitchen.

                “Did she say why?” She asked, the silent tears pouring down her face.

                 “She wanted to die in her hometown,” I explained. “She said she had to go to a treatment center in Boston, and the doctor said she wouldn’t come back.”

                The daughter’s breath caught, and her hand flew to her heart. She turned her back to me, searching for something on the spotless counter. Finally she located a plain white envelope, which she handed to me.

                “I insisted she get a second opinion when she got her diagnosis,” she said simply.

                 I opened it, scanning the first line of the paper inside, feeling my heart sink.

                 “Test results,” it said. “Negative.”

Bio: Future cat lady Hilary Spencer lives various parts of Maine. She can be found at http://nerdlylittlesecret.tumblr.com/

10-17-12 By Kathryn Peterson

10-17-12

(Hospice-one month after learning your toothache is a malignant tumor.)

By

Kathryn Peterson

(Hospice-one month after learning your toothache is a malignant tumor.)

We’re watching the Tigers blow a chance at the ‘Series when you say  my  name the way you say it.   Your voice  resonates and my  insides flutter I know what will  follow will not be  light  conversation.  You tell me you are going on a four day weekend  with Dan.  My  eyes fill with  tears and  I just  nod and start to pack the things you will need.   We sit in silence as you hold  my  hand and say  calming things (calming things to me!) about needing to go, that you will be  back on Monday, that the Tigers have one more shot tomorrow night and my heart begins to slow it’s pounding.  We watch  the game like it is church.  I  put  my head on your shoulder and we watch the rest of the game.  I  listen to you breathe.  I smell your neck. I  listen to your heart beat.  I  try not to cry. When I look into your giant, brown eyes I am  dumb-struck  by  my  love  for you. Do you see what you’ve done here?

The nurse packs your meds.  You ask for extra pain pills because four days is a long time and who knows?  She makes an aside to her co-worker, calls you “drug-seeking,” I’m not sure if you heard.  Fucking bitch,this is the same one that gives you dirty looks when you want another beer.

Four days pass as I obsess over your absence.  First I am happy you are with your brother,then I am anxious.  When he finally brings you back, you are smashed like a pumpkin.  Dan smiles and staggers you to the love seat.  It is three in the afternoon, your chin drops to your chest and you snore. My heart fills to overflowing, my face hurts from grinning.  Danny has your smile on his face.  You two are really something, God I love you guys.   Do you see what you’ve done here?

At 7 p.m.  I can’t wake you up. Your heads lolls to the side and green goo foams out of your mouth?  I scream and call for help but there is no real help.  You are put into a gown and into bed.   I watch you breath.  The snore is not a snore…four day weekend and  a month worth of oxy is missing.  I see what you’ve done here.  Oh my God.

I call Dan at 10.  He is drunk and silent and he knows when he gets to the door.  You die after breakfast on Tuesday.  Two years, it took me two years to see what you two did here.

It is series time and watching baseball makes me cry.  Fall leaves make me cry.  Dan’s smile makes me cry. I dream of thirty oxy’s and thirty beers.  But I don’t do it, I don’t come find you.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m living, but I do understand why you did what you did.