Member Monday: I Saw My Mom Today by Patsy Parker

Welcome back to Member Monday.  Today we welcome first time poster, Patsy Parker.  Grab a cup of something warm and a tissue and enjoy Patsy’s poignant essay.

I Saw My Mom Today

by Patsy Parker

 

I saw my mom today, even though she’s been dead for eight years, two months, and nine days.  She rose from her bed in the late morning.  The aroma of fresh coffee tickled her nose.  The sounds of creaking and crackling filled her ears as she walked down the hall.  They weren’t coming from the floor.

When she reached the kitchen, she pulled her favorite coffee mug down from the cabinet.  It was the only one she used; it read simply “Mom.”  Her daughter had given it to her one year for her birthday.

I saw my mom today.  On summer days such as this she stayed in her loose-fitting clothes all day since she didn’t have to drive kids to school for three months.  She liked to read in the mornings while she sipped her coffee. Then she did some chores here and there – laundry mostly since her teenage daughter did the dishes for her every day.  Her son took out the trash.

Occasionally, she sat in the backyard to listen to the morning birds.  Then she walked around the lawn looking for a few weeds to pull.  If her neighbor was out, she waved hello.  She used to have a favorite neighbor many years ago.  Slowly the neighborhood became filled with younger women who had jobs and children in school.  It changed too quickly she thought.

I saw my mom today.  She went back to her bedroom to read which she often did in the afternoons before it was time for dinner.   She read mostly novels, but sometimes non-fiction such as short stories.  She loved any story that had a happy ending, always the optimist.

In the evenings after dinner,  she sat in her room with her whiskey and soda and watched her favorite shows or a good movie.  She made the trip down the hall a few more times before she turned out the light to go to sleep; instead she lay awake for hours tossing and turning.

I saw my mom today.  Her white hair fixed nice with the smell of hairspray freshly spritzed.  She stood in front of the mirror putting her make-up on.  Flicking off the bathroom light, she walked down the hall as quickly as she could to get her purse and go grocery shopping.

When she arrived home, she came in the door tired and sighing heavily as she put bags on the dining room table.  She put the groceries away, made herself a glass of iced tea, and went to sit on the couch for a few minutes.

I saw my mom today when I looked in the mirror.  Same color hair, reading a novel, lounging in my loose-fitting clothes.  Drinking coffee in the early morning from my sea turtle mug,  minus the nightly drinking and insomnia.  Not quite the optimist mom was, seeing the worst case scenarios first.  I went grocery shopping today, but I treated myself to a movie and a trip to the library first.  In addition to reading tonight, I thought…I wrote…I remembered.

I saw my mom today when I looked in the mirror, but mostly I saw myself.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Member Monday: Gusty by Larry Watters

Welcome back to Member Monday.  Today we welcome our beloved Writers Forum President, Larry Watters.  Welcome, Larry.

Gusty

by Larry Watters

It was a dark and stormy night in Beeville, Texas, home to a naval air flight training squadron during the early days of World War Two. Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Adel Schwartz was in the tower, and she was talking down Lieutenant Mort Feinberg in his T-2, a navy training plane. An experienced ex-civilian pilot, he was smart enough to know that he had to rely on her, since she was familiar with the winds that were gusting in from the gulf. Mort was so taken with her voice that the next day he asked around to find out who she was. While fraternizing was not allowed, he was determined to meet her.

Loitering between the WAVE quarters and the chow hall a few days later, he bravely asked others if they would point her out. Seeing the sturdy young woman, he excitedly rushed up to her, on the pretense of wanting to thank her for guiding his plane to a safe landing during the storm. He asked her to meet him for a cup of coffee off base later.

They hit it off and enjoyed each other’s quirky humor. He graduated from that flight school, and shipped out to the war in the Pacific. But they stayed in touch. In their letters they fantasized about what they, if married, nah, when married, would name their first child. After the war they hooked up and got married.

And they named their first child Gusty. After all, when they first talked, it was a dark and stormy night.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Others

In Honor of September 11th is this by member Jim Barrett

“Take the hose up,” the Battalion Chief looked into the eyes of the fireman.

“Yes sir . . . but . . .

“But what”?

Others gathered around him. One said, “is it wise; all things considered?”

The BC gave his men the look, “you’re New York City Firemen, right?”

“Yes,” their chests puffed out.

“What choice do you have?” his voice leveled the playing field; there was no contrary response to that question.

“There is no choice,” one said.  “We have a job to do so let’s do it!”

They started up the stairwell—some carrying hoses—others moving forward more quickly. They didn’t know that others were leaping from windows, didn’t know that this building would soon collapse…hell…hadn’t really thought much about terrorists and didn’t understand why they would fly airplanes into buildings. But, they had fear in their eyes.

They were soon to learn the message of terrorism.

The building shuddered so they stopped on the stairs, looked up, stood aside for others who were running down the stairs.  “What was that?” one asked, holding onto a banister.

“I don’t know” . . . others answered.

And then it happened—the debris rained down upon them and they were gone…vaporized…soon to be mourned by others.

They didn’t know anything about terrorists.

Member Monday: One Finger Shaking by Linda Boyden

Welcome back to Member Monday.  It’s a pleasure to feature a poem by poet, storyteller and children’s author, Linda Boyden.  You can purchase a hardback copy of Linda’s newest picture book Boy and Poi Poi Puppy at All About Books.  Be sure to come and hear Linda speak about the importance of diversity in children’s literature at our September Writers Forum meeting.  Welcome, Linda!

One Finger Shaking

By Linda Boyden ©2014

The tipping point reached

nothing left

no time

no possibility of

renouncing the demon

grabbing the reins and

galloping toward new habits.

 

the old ones have you

in a chokehold

the familiar temptations

to live forever young

the way you want

without rules

You’re Pinocchio

choosing the easy life

drifting on a high

seeing vistas denied to

us lowly drones.

 

The demons whispered

You’re immortal

above it all

so you took on

that devilmaycare swag

that nothing can snare me

scare me

stop me

to live in

a YOLO state of mind.

 

But a little becomes

a little more

and a little more

and a little more

to ease the pain

erase the misery

drown the regrets.

 

You fly

You soar

in the crimson fog.

You don’t NEED it

you want it

the crave

the taste

the zing,

the ping

the rush until

you melt into the mire

stagger to the mirror

and look into

the face of a jackass.

 

One finger, shaking,

traces its outline,

“This is real.

This is all there is.

This is me.”

 

 A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

A Message from the President: September, 2014

“What I did this summer.”

Normally a back-to-school topic, I enjoyed the comic strip Frazz during the summer that asked, “What I will do this summer.” The students had so many plans; but in typical Frazz style, some of those plans, while outwardly noble, were a disguise for something lesser and sort of self serving.

If I had that question, I would have replied honestly, “Nothing exciting.” But in reality, I had a great summer, coming up with fodder for meeting openings.

Like these:

  • I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
  • A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
  • This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.
  • What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
  • What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.
  • Broken pencils are pointless.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

So did I do any writing? Nope. But I kept my mind running at full tilt. Hopefully your summer was fruitful (not with real fruit, but accomplishments).

Member Monday: Minnesota 2014 by Nancy Byrne

Welcome back to Member Monday.  It’s a pleasure to feature Writers Forum member and first time submitter, Nancy Byrne.  Welcome, Nancy!

Author’s Note: This was written in Minnesota in May of 2014, where I lived for over 29 years.  I call it “Minnesota 2014”

Minnesota 2014

by Nancy Byrne


I’ve known since I was young that I love long and hard and deep—it seeps into my bones and cones and moans and joneses on and on and on. The boys and men I’ve loved are very few—Tommy, Jim, John Byrne, Steve, John Byrne, Dan, John Byrne and John Byrne and John Byrne—mainly all my life I’ve loved John Byrne—through thick and thin, through romp and sin, through marriage and divorce, and in my dotage still, of course. It doesn’t change the life I have or want—apart we are and it’s OK—I couldn’t stay—not my way, to live in tight and coiled dreams.


My life needs to be widened beams of light and reams of open spaces—many faces; doesn’t change the love that races through my heart and through my veins for the man of then.  Now he’s tied to someone else—just as well—I cannot be tied.  I tried and tried and nearly died—my soul and body freedom breathes, but love speaks languages of other needs. Of other lives? Of other times and other trials, fierce denials—many riles and rails, and tales of woe and ‘go, go, go’ my soul would cry. My heart would sigh ‘I will die if I stay or if I go’ until the strength in me came slowly to the fro— and the voice said ‘when you know, you will go’…

Nineteen years it’s been since I left here, Apple Valley, Edgewood Lane—to stay sane, to stay alive, to even thrive—driving to and fro across the west, looking for the blessed best.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!