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Brother Against Brother


EXCERPT: Finding the courage to break his mother’s heart is harder when he’s already broken it before.


George pulls back on the reins until the wheels of the buggy carrying the coffin of his brother comes to a stop just outside of town. He sits there unable to continue overcome with emotion.


The last time the brothers were home together they had been impetuous about their principles regarding the state of the nation and had said horrible things to each other. They were on opposing lines of loyalty to the national Union.


Today, he returns home, and in respect to his brother; he is wearing a simple black jacket and white shirt instead of his military uniform.

Image by Patrice Bouchard

Pileated Woodpecker


He stuck out his long pointy beak and blazing red head

from within the hollow of the tree

and peeked out at me.


He hopped out,

strained his long white neck,

unfurled his black wings,

darted his yellow eyes back and forth.

Regal crown bopping around,

he sang his song like the chatter of monkeys

and the gurgle of water.

I sit beneath him,

My cap of curly brown hair

unruly by the wind.

Pen to paper scratching away,

brown eyes dancing to and fro,



Both of us pecking away.


Image by John Schnobrich

Blank Page


Scribble down thoughts.

Rapid fire to 

freeze moments.

Heart scraps

left from love lost.

Words gone unspoken

written on a blank page.

No longer empty

I am free

Image by Ruud de Peijper

Message in a Bottle


EXCERPT: These wrinkles are the trophies of taking care of a husband, three children and a newly divorced mother who seems to have moved in with us.


I slather on more than the suggested dollop of moisturizer; careful to apply it in an upward motion to work against gravity. I fill in the lines with primer and spread on a thin coat of foundation. 


“Good morning, Mother,” I say, putting down the laundry.


“Morning, Dear,” she replies looking up from her daily Sanka coffee.

“Are you still doing that boy’s laundry?” she says referring to my 25-year -old son.

“My goodness, when you were his age you were already married. No wonder no one ever leaves this house.”


“Including you,” I mumble.


She slurps her coffee right out of the spoon. “You should get your hair done today,” she says.


Cringing I respond, “Why is that Mother? 


“I shouldn’t say anything, I promised I wouldn’t but Rick and I are throwing you a 50th birthday party tonight and well no one your age should have a surprise party anymore. Right? "

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