Blink

The average human being blinks 28,800 times a day.
Supposedly, it’s more often than we need to.
Supposedly, we do it so much, because it provides a mental break.
Supposedly, blinking is how we refresh, reboot, rest.
But there you are.
You have implanted yourself in my offscreen movie.
You’ve folded into the material of my mind,
become part of my neurochemistry,
so that with every rapid blink of my eyes
I see your face.
I see your face,
streaked as an amaryllis.
I see your face,
like an escapist from your body,
peeking out from the broken beast.
My memory is an old black and white film
and I keep playing the sequence over and over,
like I’m pulling through the negatives of film I never want to see in print.
I drove to the gas station as if nothing untoward had happened,
as if you hadn’t changed the dynamic of my brain,
as if I the mud and blood and gas and debris stuck to my shoes was part of the actual design,
as if you weren’t in my sock and I wasn’t going to have to throw all my clothes away when I got home.
My car was on ‘E’
and when the mellow scent of gas hit me,
floating in a translucent cloud above the pump
I hit my knees
vomit sliding up my throat
and I blinked and blinked and blinked.

© Laura A. Lord, 2018


Thank you to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie for their prompt.

15 Minutes

This was probably one of the hardest prompts I’ve ever had to do. The prompt asked for us to time ourselves for 15 minutes and write down every memory we could think of. The idea was to put ourselves in the shoes of the Hawaiian civilians who thought they only had 15 minutes left before the missile hit. What would we remember from our lives in 15 minutes?

I can honestly say I started out writing like complete sentences, but towards the end as I watched the clock tick down beside me I felt very panicked. There was no way I could get it all out. I literally started to just think of names, those people’s faces flashing in my mind. I couldn’t even place the memories, just that it was that person. I didn’t even realize I was crying while writing most of this until the end. If you have a chance to participate in this, please do. You can find the prompt here at The Beacon.


I had written “I love you” on an orange Easter egg and asked Mak to go find the orange egg in the fridge. There were too many orange ones and it took him forever to find it. It was the first time I’d told him I loved him.
When they finally handed me Dallas after her birth when they’d finally gotten her breathing straight.
I counted her fingers and rubbed her head.
She had a green and white and red knitted Christmas hat and dark hair.
When they laid Dude on my belly after birth and he was purple and quiet.
When he raised his head and looked around in the bath at the hospital.
When I held Tommy after my c-section and I was still shaking so hard I thought I would drop him
When Mak’s dad died and I saw him cry
When the hospice nurse told us my grandfather was dying and my dad cried
When we buried my grandfather and a woman gave me an old picture of his grandparents
When we buried my grandmother
I had to wash in the sink at the state park and my hair was bleached blond and I walked to her funeral
Dallas’ little blue dress that matched her eyes
My first date with Mak we met at Food Lion and got steaks
When I walked down the aisle to Papa Roach’s Not Strong Enough and could hear my dad crying
I danced with Mak at our wedding
I danced with my brother at my wedding and cried
When my brother came home from Afghanistan and I saw him get off the plane
When my dad put me on the school bus and he had a red truck and white shorts
Laying in the grass with Gary late into the morning and talking and smoking cigarettes
My dad making jokes when I was in labor with Dude
When Gary and I got back together and made love in the shower
Mak and I making love on the porch before he left for California
Mak making love to me for the first time after my surgery
When I miscarried at the hospital and Mak couldn’t get up from his chair
Giving birth to the twins
Holding baby girl before we left the hospital
Seeing Gloria in the hospital holding Tommy
Letting Uncle Eddie meet Tommy in the nursing home – he wore a white shirt and was sitting in the common room
Uncle Eddie taking Dallas to church on Sundays
Wrestling with Dude
Dallas and Harley in their Easter dresses
Mak and Dude in the window looking outside
Daddy and I at the flea market when I met a guy off some online site and he was teasing me about him
Meeting a guy named Creed online and thinking I was in love
Riding rollercoasters with Mak until we had headaches
Swimming with Mak when I was pregnant with the twins at the hotel
Walking away from my grandfather at the nursing home for the last time, he had on a white shirt and blue plaid pj pants
Eating peach ice cream with my Poppop and his Yorkie in the car
Sleeping in the bed with Shelby
Letting Dude sleep in our bed when Mak worked nights
Getting my ears pierced with mom – Justin teased her and said she was too old for two holes in her ears
Going dancing with Justin and laughing while he pulled over to pee on the wall of a bank
Hugging my brother when he left for the military
Seeing Matt in the casket
Daddy taking silly pictures with me before graduation
Mommom’s chocolate fudge and potato candy
Playing in my grandparent’s basement
Sitting on my grandmother’s bed late at night and talking
Mommon in her red recliner
The smell of my dad’s hands when he smoked
The way Mak smells when he gets back from a bike ride
The feel of Mak’s long hair
Dallas’ freckles
Tommy’s dimples
Tommy’s dark eyes
Dude’s eyes – just like mine
White Shoulders
Dude’s smile
Dallas’ birthmark
Tommy saying I’m gonna boop it
The day Mak adopted Dallas and Dude
Mak
Showering with Mak
Lying in his arms after sex
Yeah you’re cool and all
Mak
Mak

The Boy

The porcelain sink gurgles when the water splashes
and slips from the ends of my fingers
down the drain.

It has a drowsy drip
that echoes around this room
with its green wallpaper
and too bright pink roses peeling where they meet the ceiling.

There is a supple bend in the way you walk now,
as if someone has slipped in unnoticed
and upset the balance of your spine,
has stolen a single vertebrae
and left you unspooling out
vomiting the threads of all you were
across the yellowed tile of this bathroom floor.

The box they have brought to bury your son in
is too small and too white and
it shines so clean by the alter that I think you have not touched it.

I cannot walk down the aisle.
I cannot seem to leave this stall
and I stare at your white shoes with the little kitten heel
and the way your toes are pointed in at one another,
as if they were in conversation about the trip they must make –
down the aisle,
across the grass,
to the place where the green turf is rolled out
and the small mound of dirt is fermenting in the sun.

It is too bright today to bury a boy,
and so we will stay in this stall
and hide under the bright fluorescent lights.
We will stay here, where your shoes are all I can see
and where there is nothing more
than a drowsy drip in a porcelain sink
and roses peeling from the ceiling.

© Laura A. Lord, The Boy, 2016


The recent loss of that poor child in Florida has reminded me of a funeral I went to years ago. A different child, a different place, a whole different scenario of loss, but still…a loss.

Silverfish

I have perched on the edge of the heaving ocean’s waves –
a cliché of turbulent emotions raging in translucent spray.
It sends my mascara to running faster than any
fight or flight mechanism left in this old gray matter of mine.

I’ve got silverfish in my heart
and they’re eating at the yellow pages
that litter the floor
of my little castle keep.

I’m fumbling about in the rancid leftovers
of a fridge left behind.

Someone turned the power off on me
a few weeks ago,
but I never needed light for this sight –

I’m in my element here…

Here,

where the war stories of the day are bunched up under my head,
a lumpy, bumpy pillow that croons in my ear
every hour,
on the hour –
the breaking news.

And the breaking news is shattering news.
It’s crushing and devastating –
a shock to the system.
It’s the all new norm

and catastrophic in its mediocrity.

And I’m one wave crash from wiping out completely.
I’m a piss-poor balancing act on a boogie board –
I’m being eaten alive,

but the power’s off and so,
I can’t even see it happening.

© Laura A. Lord, Silverfish, 2016


I don’t claim to be anything more than I am – but there are people in this world who are especially attuned to humanity. They are effected in ways that may not make sense to others. These are the kinds of people who can read a news article and hurt so badly for humankind that they slide helplessly into a depression.

And in a world where there is so much hurting, it is easy to get lost. Bear with us, those of us who feel a little too deeply, who are thin-skinned, who wear our hearts out in the open like some big, bold flag…The world can be a little much for us some days.

Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for their prompt that helped inspire an aching mind today.

Wishbone

There is a space right in the center of a woman’s breast,
stretching between her waiting arms,

that craves a baby. It aches to be filled with the
soft bounce of new flesh, the warmth of new life.

It was here that I felt the wishbone break and
suddenly Thanksgiving was over. Celebration was

tossed aside as I snapped apart and became empty.
The hollow of the marrow leaked a plague stain –

bright red between my thighs. The world was silent
noise, all scurrying and rushed, while whispers passed

and the nurse stepped back as I shattered on her table.
She said, “There is no heartbeat.” and I thought instantly

of a washing machine – the steady thwump, thwump, thwump,
and knew that someone had turned it off.

Someone had snapped the wishbone and I was all
hollow marrow and no heartbeat.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


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Design by Book Genesis

Calendar

calendar_copy

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives – Creative Commons

There is promise in the new year, in the fresh turn of the calendar page.
There is a resolute melody of positive change and growth.
There is hope lingering in each little, numbered box.
There is a conscious resolve hanging on the edge of that shining Time’s Square ball, that pushes us forward in happy motion.

And yet, let the dates fly by until another birthday approaches.
Let the candles pile upon the cake and watch death’s shadow creep, unwelcomed, unbidden, to leave a black mark that mars this passing of time.

© Laura A. Lord, 2015


It’s amazing how we view the passing of time, how certain events leave us feeling hopeful, and others simply remind us that we only have a short time here on this earth. I hope you all have a wonderful new year and that you are living your life to the fullest.


Thank you to Uncharted for the Six Sentence Story prompt (the theme resolve), An Artist at Heart for the Miniature Writing Challenge prompt (92 words used), and Three Word Wednesday for their prompt(the words resolute, new, and fresh).

#StandingStill

We’re all standing.
We’re standing with San Bernardino.
We’re standing with Paris.
We’re standing with Planned Parenthood,
with #GunSense and #GunControl.
We’re standing with #BlackLivesMatter,
and we’re standing with #NotInMyName.
Hell, we’re one hashtag away from becoming
the nation that stood for everything.

We’re all striving to be Lady Liberty,
statue-strong and docile.

We’ve grown accustomed to the rinse and repeat motions
of shootings and suffering and grief and standing.

Standing.
Standing.
Standing.

Another life lost,
another prayer given,
another hashtag made,
and then it’s all forgotten.

We’re so busy standing with everyone,
we never take a step forward for change.

©Laura A. Lord, 2015

Redhead

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

I am the remnants of a tumultuous society.
I am unaccounted for
and left behind –
a birthmark taken under the knife
and striped from the flesh.
I had a mighty flare for the dramatic
and a haunting ability to appear
right when you least expected it.
My tongue swept acidic threads
that wove together like dollhouse curtains.
I didn’t want you to see
every loathsome action
until that last
s e c o n d
had elapsed
and the world stopped spinning
and you sucked in a deep breath
staring down at the path of my destruction
the auburn hair growing
spilling down the concrete
and seeping into the cracks
to nourish this broken landscape.
I am the remnants of a torn society,
tucked in the waist band
flat against your spine.
I am here, waiting,
patient for my chance
to turn the world into a sea
of red haired slaughter.

© Laura A. Lord, 2015


Thank you to MindLoveMisery for their wordle prompt.

Sacrifice

Stock Image: Dreamstime

Stock Image: Dreamstime

I do not think I like this legacy of mine.
Half my life we’ve been at war
and slaughter has become the adulthood I know.
I gave up my generation to fight this war
and we’re leaving behind new gods in our wake.
We’re all hailing at the Church of Trump
and we mistook the burning bush
for George W.
Because the deacons of our NRA society
have told me I need this gun to stay safe,
have shown me that worship
comes in small metal packages,
shot straight into the heart of the issue
of this up and coming,
numb generation.
Where we have exchanged
love thy neighbor
for love thy white neighbor,
thy Christian neighbor,
thy middle-aged, gun toting,
conservative neighbor.
This is a land where we can preach
all life is sacred
and then quote the second amendment
all in the same breath.

I do not think I like this new god.
If I have to have one,
served at every meal,
shoved down my throat
at every impasse of my morals
with a side of the cherry-picked lines
from that book…
I think I like your angry god.
I think I like his old testament self –
where he turned a woman to salt
for her uncontrollable urge to look back
at the city that screamed like babes.
I want his desperate need for
constant sacrifice,
because we’re already doing it.
We’re good at it.
Eventually he might even be appeased.
I want that angry god to step in
say enough, is enough
and put his finger right on the heart of the issue
of every Obama is Coming for Your Guns Commercial
that says we need more guns, more guns, more guns…
More guns to stay safe from school shooters
who blow away my children’s generation.
More guns to protect ourselves from black people,
yellow people,
brown people,
who want our jobs,
to sell us drugs,
to steal our things,
to hurt us.
More guns to safeguard our god
from their god.
Because killing in the name of ours is moral
and killing in the name of theirs
is terrorism.
Because at the end of the day
that god is a loving god
with an affinity for combat grade
automatic weapons
and a righteous cause…
I pray for your angry god.
In Jesus name,
Amen.

© Laura A. Lord, 2015

Left Behind

Gold_Chaika_Pocket_Watch_made_in_the_USSRYou have left behind a small bedroom, engulfed by the bulky hospital bed with its folding mattress and steely grey rails.

You have left behind an old red recliner, and I sit in it and remember that the wooden handle no longer works and the deep creak in its rock sounds like the background music to midnight conversations, whispered in the hushed stillness of a sleeping home.

You have left behind a closet full of blue dresses and a red cape, and I never would have known that your favorite color was pink, until you asked for a dress to be buried in and smiled when the rose colored sheath was unfurled from its bag, petals opening in front of a sunset.

You have left a trunk full of love letters and silk scarves and stories I was never old enough to ask you for, so that now I sit and wonder about the woman in the picture, legs propped up on the steps, her skirt sliding up to show off her slender calves.

I have days of work ahead of me, maneuvering the remnants of life from present to memory, and you have left your scent in the sheets, your powder on the bathroom sink, your gold pocket watch on the dresser, and me.

You have left behind me.


This has been a six sentence story. You can find out more about them and this week’s prompt, here.

Your Bullet

pen-and-ink-drawing-the-gun-creativity-carnival-shafaliI suppose He tore another page from The Book today. . .
let is slide between sweaty fingers,
slice the tip,
right there under the nail,
so the pain would ebb and flow,
waves of electricity with each
thump-thump –
a heartbeat set to leap into
break-neck pace,
as the blood dripped like heavy sealing wax.
Gifts unwrapped and
His will is a shiny, sparkling,
death trap.
It’s fully loaded and
set to go
right through the forehead
with the little blonde curl.
It’s His will,
His gift. . .
but your bullet.


You can join in this prompt at the Creativity Carnival, here.