Showing posts from May, 2018

I Meet Your Mother for the First Time by John Grey

She is in exile here. your mother, the gray-haired female Napoleon, bestriding this St Helena of a kitchen. We find her on a rock between the wall cupboards, stove and table. Your father moved out years ago, she does not recreate him, merely nods towards the remnants of his empire, the walls, the ceilings, honored by her choice of curtain, paper, linoleum, and this liberating cooking range. Her eyes peck at me for signs of constancy. I grip your hand tight. I’m aligning with her hopes not planting the seeds of your banishment. by John Grey

Thanks for Calling by Robert Madden

Brian's father made some final touches with his pocket knife. He would have much preferred a piece of basswood, or even some pine. But due to the way things were, he had to make do with a lump of MDF scavenged from a skip. It was painful for Brian to watch. The old man scratching away at a piece of scrap, in a futile attempt to win back his life's worth. 'Dad, will you put it down,' said Brian. 'You know there's no point?' 'Now son, none of that.' He continued to work his knife. 'When this is complete, you'll see. Things will be back on track.' 'But dad, it's . . . over. Forever. It's never coming back.' When the crash came, it was so ruinous - so finite - that they didn't bother to reopen the markets. All stockholders were abandoned. Total and permanent wipe-out. 'Dad, are you listening? Your holdings were -.' 'Here we go,' said Brian's father. He held up his creation.

A Music Never So Sweet by Anne Britting Oleson

At the base of a wind-fallen cedar, roots lifted into the damp air, a small pond ripples softly, dappled by this afternoon's sifting sunlight. Listen , you whisper, leaning close. Listen to the world turning . In the time before we stood beneath this breathing canopy, in the time before I knew your voice, I didn't know how to hear this. The trill of the waxwing which tumbles down, so many gold coins, I could not then count among my riches. Nor the hollow fall into water of the tiny wood frog, now only two eyes like bubbles in the muddy pool. And those songs, the ones you sing under your breath, without thought, as we step carefully among the ferns. It's a blessing, you murmur on the faint movement of air. Listen . by  Anne Britting Oleson

The Rules of Commuting by Janelle Hardacre

Layla prepped herself to fit into one of the small spaces under the armpits of suited businessmen and hipsters. Her fourth day in her new job and she already understood the unwritten rules of tram travel. No eye contact. No huge rucksacks. No smelly food. She’d timed the journey exactly. 12 minutes in the crush. So packed you could hear the squeak of uncleared sinuses. It was all worth it to be a Store Team Member in her favourite ever shop. Her new status was advertised on her lanyard, despite her not being allowed to wear it outside work. For Layla there’d be no more clearing trays for people who thought they were better than her because they didn’t wear a hairnet and rubber shoes. Toes tapped inside her platform trainers as she turned on her playlist. She gripped the yellow pole and tried not to think of all the unwashed hands that had done so before her. The doors slid open and yet more commuters negotiated their way into the horde. Layla felt moist breath on her neck and sa