Captive

Sep 17, 2017

There you sit, captive

If only you had looked around

Before plunging along

Headfirst into your own peril

You call out for help

Hoping someone, anyone, will hear you

Come to your aid

But to no avail 

So there you sit

Alone

The last shreds of hope clinging to the roll

No more toilet paper

Appaloosa Way

Sep 16, 2017

The house was white with blue shutters. Both the front and back lawns were always smartly mowed, the bushes neatly kept. Beside the house was a pretty white farm fence and a great sweeping pasture for the neighbor’s horses, which they went out to greet almost daily with a bit of fresh carrot and a soft pet of the nose. The horses were beautiful, gentle creatures and it was a joy to know them. Behind the house was a little vegetable garden with lettuce and tomatoes and peppers and potatoes and squash. The garage on the far side was white with blue paint outlining the squares on the garage door and all the garden tools neatly organized and hung inside along the south wall. And between the house and the pasture fence stood a beloved old maple with a single swing hanging from its strong and steady branches. 

Market on Main St. 

Sep 15, 2017

The little neighborhood grocery store on the bottom floor opened right onto the sidewalk, flanked on either side by wooden crates of fresh fruits and vegetables. Above the door and the crates was a red and white striped awning with a single sign hanging from it which read “market.” The upstairs was accessible through a narrow staircase at the back of the shop and this was where the family lived. The upstairs apartment had three front windows, semetrical along the front of the building and each with a crisp white linen curtain. Delivery trucks blocked off the street to deliver orders throughout the day, leaving the private patio in back free for hopscotch and weekend hamburgers and escaping to read books in the slender maple tree. 

Laurel Lane

Sep 14, 2017

It was blue with white trim. There was a front door with stone front steps which were used only by visitors who didn’t know the family well and a side door that they called the back door which had two window panes with glass and one bottom window pane with plexiglass because it had accidentally been kicked in too many times. This was the door where everyone came and went. Years later a new garage was built close to the house and years after that the new garage was turned into a little cottage, but when the kids were growing up it was all just a big circular gravel driveway with one square of concrete sidewalk hidden underneath, near the grass in the middle. There was a big maple tree out back with a wrap-around tree house, complete with a diving board for jumping like a dive bomber onto the circle swing, back and forth in a wide and wild pendulum. In the side yard stood the enormous pine with a make-shift treehouse of its own made up of two boards wedged between some branches high above. The kids and their friends knew just which branches to step on to make it up to the tree house where they’d sit and feel far and away above the world. In back, behind the gravel driveway was the great old barn, mostly empty except for some old tools and and rakes and cobwebs. Behind that stood the orchard with about a dozen fruit trees–apples, cherries, plums, pears, one pie cherry tree that baited the children by making its fruit bright red and teasing them with a taste bitter tart–and a handful of bountiful and much-beloved blueberry bushes that bore enough fruit to eat some in the sun and keep the rest in the freezer for blueberry pankcakes all winter long. Out front there was a pale pink rose bush with a soft, sweet fragrance and, on the far side of the house where no one ever went, a weeping willow. For some years there were tall, proud shasta daisies lining the front yard along the road, but in time they were trodden down by the teenage friends who parked out front. The face of the house was simple. There was the front door with stone steps, a large window in the living room, a small one looking out from the stairs, two regular-sized ones looking out over the front porch from the front bedroom. But the thing they always made sure to draw when they sketched the house was the little half-circle window in the attic, which, if it was dark outside and the attic light was on, glowed like it was smiling a secret. 

Her House

Sep 13, 2017

Years later it would be known as the place where she wrote several of her great works, but in its heyday it was simply home. It was where she got up tired and dressed without a shower because there wasn’t time before the kids got off to school. Where she did laundry and dishes and made unimpressive meals that fed the family; she loved to eat food and was okay at preparing it, but it certainly wasn’t her gift, not what rambled on through her thoughts between cereal bowls and diaper changes and backpacks. For that was something else all together, something passersby or even neighbors wouldn’t have gotten from the daily snapshot of her. It’s hard to tell, after all, that under regular clothes and a regular face lies a mind that is always writing. 

Knit House

Sep 12, 2017

It was pink with white shutters and daisies planted out along the front walk. The front porch had double porch swings and potted cherry tomato plants that were warm and crisp as you popped them in your mouth on summer nights. Inside was a large and cozy sitting room with several rather comfortable love seats and floral arm chairs. This was where the women of the neighborhood gathered to knit together on the first and third Wednesdays of every month. They’d bring potluck treats and whatever they had going on their needles and come to chat for a few hours time. And when the young mother who’d just moved in down the street confessed to the welcoming committee that she’d no idea how to knit they told her that was alright and to be sure to come anyway, no excuses. And so she came and they taught her patiently like a room full of aunts as they all got to know each other better. That was the way it was there. Knit together. 

Bristle Bush

Sep 11, 2017

The sunrise on that front porch was, more often than not, greeted with a bowl of fresh-made oatmeal with brown sugar and an old favorite pair of rubber-bottomed slippers. The old man read the morning paper in his rocking chair out there and greeted all the spandexed runners with a hearty “Good morning!” which they returned with a smile and a wave and plates of fudge and cookies left on his doorstep at Christmas time. The house itself was gray stone half way up, then switched to wood slat siding painted a deep forest green, all of which made the stained wood porch stand out that much more beautifully in the morning sun. There was a brick chimney at the back, repaired and serviced well throughout the years so that it still stood tall, wood smoke from the fireplace below cozily drifting off into the awakening twilight sky. And when the teenage boy across the street came out, bleary-eyed, to take out yesterday’s trash, the old man gave him a wink and a wave and the boy chuckled and waved good morning too. 

Ferry Swallow

Sep 10, 2017

Through the great bay window was a perfect view of the boats as they sailed in and out of the harbor. Just under the window sat a cushioned bench that curved to create a rather cheerful little breakfast nook, a round whitewashed table at its center. Fresh orange juice and toasted rolls with butter accompanied by bright cloth napkins from around the same year the house was built made the mornings there watching all the goings on down in the water that much better. On one side of the breakfast nook stood the kitchen with the usual pots and pans hanging from hooks and the collection of dishes sitting on open shelves along the wall. And beside the great bay window stood the prized collection of spoons from all over the world, given by visitors as a token of their appreciation for a beautiful view and delicious meals made from scratch.