Little Mandy dragged her parents’ plastic purple broom out of the garage.

Today was the day

she was going to fly.

She tucked a still sticky bubbles container

full of flight potion up her jacket sleeve.

She poured the potion,

dissolved bath salts and grass,

over the broom,

bristles to handle.

Crisp autumn leaves

blew down the street

as she mounted the broom.

She just had to believe and try hard enough.

No neighbors were out to witness it,

but after a few minutes of rocking onto her tip toes

and jumping around,

she could swear she actually hovered a minute.


Teenage Mandy loved Halloween.

She went as a witch every year,

but this year she wanted to be pretty.

She wanted to be a fairy.

She bought sparkly make-up,

blue wings,

and a short, sequined gown.

Of course, her costume wasn’t complete without a bag of pixie dust.

She sprinkled some over her blonde hair before her party,

and though it was silly, part of her believed that it would make her fly.

Enough of her believed.

At the stroke of midnight, he kissed her

and damn if her heart didn’t soar.


Adult Mandy bought candy.

She’d just moved out

and saved up to splurge on decorations for her favorite holiday.

After setting everything up, she laid down on her living room rug,

an ornately designed blue and gold one that she loved.

Though she didn’t think she’d be flying over the New York skyline on it,

she believed it would take her places,

that it would help her fly,

that it would make anywhere home.

And despite her fear,

she knew that she was doing the right thing.


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High School Reuinions

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

The corny black and gold “Class of 2014”

decorations make me angry.

It says it on the napkins,

the plates, the stupid streamers.

People I rarely talked to then

much less five years later

mingle over chips.

It’s a bragfest.

Got a good job.

Got a house.

Got a baby.

Got married.

I like my life.

That’s not the problem.

I search for one familiar face,

one that I actually want to see,

but the people I miss,

I’ll never see again.

Time stretches between us,

an impenetrable distance

without an arbitrary similarity to pull us back.


Image courtesy of Pixabay on Pexels.

White tufts of dog hair litter the house,

from the crack between the couch cushions

to the steps

to the bedroom carpet.

These are the remnants of husky coat-blowing season.


The howling, high-pitched neediness of a two-year-old

dog, of course,

as she throws a tantrum

reverberates off the cheap drywall.


She sticks her head between the living room curtains when I come home.

And keeps looking after I pet her.

First thing when she wakes up,

she checks the empty bed.

She stops for every car that drives by,

waiting anxiously to see you again.


I have my own rituals.

Delete your number in the morning.

Add it again after dinner.


Delete it again.

Take the whole bed for myself.

Wake up anxious in the middle of the night.

Consider texting you.

Fall asleep again.



When the dog isn’t crying,

chatter from the TV fills the silence.

The quiet at night fills my ears until all I hear is my heartbeat.


Your stuff hides in the house,

from the sock under the coffee table

to the old razor in the bathroom

to the ripped space poster hanging in your empty office.

These are the remnants of our life.

Lonely Ballerina

ballerina, ballet, lonely, dance
Photo by Ricardo Moura from Pexels.


Ballerina’s dance across the wallpaper that lines

Eleanor’s bedroom.

Every time she begins to close her eyes,

they move.

A pirouette,

a grande jeté,

a pas de bourree

around a stone fountain,

beneath the stars.

The dancers turn

and leap,

smiling and laughing.

Eleanor stumbles out of bed

and assumes first position.

The dancers don’t look.

She spins three times,

pushing for a fourth.

They don’t notice her stopping short.

“Hey!” She waves at them, waiting for them to watch.

But they laugh louder,

look only at each other,

and vanish.


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Northern Night

north, night, imagination, aurora
Image via Pixabay from Pexels

The quiet of night settles over her bedroom

as the cricket choir chirps.

The warm comforter tangles

around her feet.

As her eyes close,

green and blue lights dance in the corner of her room.

Could it be the glow from her TV

as the credits role?

No, it’s something more

reflected in her mirror.


In the reflection, her tall wooden desk has transformed

into a log cabin

with soft, inviting light shining through the windows.

Her white iron bed frame

is now a sled.

And her tan carpet has turned into snow.

She kicks off the covers

and now she’s skating

across a frozen lake

beneath a sky of stars and the Aurora.


The air is cool, but not too cold.

Light from the sky fends off the dark.

Being alone does not scare her.

And when she returns to her bed and her room and her life,

she feels safe.

Pretending was easy then.

Bitter Burn

Image via Pixabay from Pexels


A thin stream of smoke rises from the match,

twisting towards the ceiling.


Relief rushes her head.

But her stomach continues to churn,

moving too fast to calm now.


The harsh burning smell

covers the lavender candle scent.


She succeeded, she tells herself,

reminds herself.

But memory stings.

Leaving her old home did not stop the reminiscing.


The flame flickers.

The wick burns.


Images of the past invade her vision,old feelings fill her veins,she relives them,she relishes them,they

demand to be remembered.


It’s only when the purple candle wax pools

that the smell of lavender permeates the room,

chasing away the bitter burning.

Lovely Eyes

love, flowers, roses
Image via Burst from Pexel

Words are halting.

They come out messy,

left of their meaning.

They miss the mark.



An all-encompassing word that covers

family, friends, partners, pets.

It means you care and want to be around them.

Sometimes it’s flimsy cardboard.

Get it wet

and it dissolves.

It can be a word that you use because you have to.

You don’t feel it now,

but you’re supposed to.

Or it can be a word that you mean,

but you don’t know how you mean it.

“Love” without definition,

somewhere between friend and more.


The truth is in her face.

The lips curve;

eyes shine.

The unguarded smile,

“I love you” in the eyes.


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Lost Again

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

Your path diverts in four different directions:

the sunny route by the ocean,

the one shrouded by dark forest,

the dirt trail over a hill,

or the one through the meadow.

You can’t see the end of any of them.

You know what you want.

You’ve read the map,

the paths that others have taken.

But these trails aren’t familiar.


So you start down one,

then double back.

Half way through the woods you wonder,

is this what I want?

What’s important?

Was I wrong before?

Is this the right way?


Voices jeer at you.

They give advice, all conflicting.

You’ve gained some ground

in the wrong direction.

So you give up everything,

swallow your pride,

ignore the voices,

and find yourself again.


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Image via Breakingpic from Pexels


Detached words sound sweet,

inspire creativity,

Make you leap off the edge.

No parachute.

No plan.


Time traps you,

unable to skip the hard stuff.

There are options, escape plans.

Rum, vodka, pills,

but numb isn’t happy.


Let go let go let go let go.

Forgive your mistakes.

Forget the confused judgement in their eyes.


Eat too much.

Sleep too much.

Stress too much.


Know that you can’t go back.

Too late.

Too bad.

Playing in the Spotlight

It’s the liquid courage,

weapon of choice: rum.

It’s the music,

the way the notes hit

and connect everyone in that moment of ecstasy.

It’s the intimate side eye and smile,

the perfect joke,

the rest of the room fading away.

It’s the attention,

knowing that you’re attractive and interesting,

confidence pulsing through your veins,

replacing your blood.

The feeling pushes you forward, driving you to run and dance and act,

but it can’t last.


Excitement fades.

Parties end.

Confidence wavers.

And reality waits.


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