FICTION STORIES & POETRY
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.
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.
Scribble down thoughts.
Rapid fire to
left from love lost.
Words gone unspoken
written on a blank page.
No longer empty
I am free
Message in a Bottle
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? "