The traveler had gone this way before
and the route was familiar in its bends
even though the roadside inns he had known
were shuttered closed and eyeless.
At a spring made from snowmelt,
he doffed his hat to cup the cold water,
dousing his sunburnt face
when he saw the town’s stone marker.
He brushed his thumb against it fondly
and in his mind’s eye he cut the forest for grass
returning it to cow pasture, full of forget-me-nots.
A shy girl he had asked to dance on May Day,
decades ago, had loved them,
and pressed them between old books
to preserve them through the seasons.
He rose from aching knees,
knowing he couldn’t stay any longer
or he’d forget where he was going.
A girl who wore red ribbons in her hair
took one off to tie around
the wrist of her dear friend
asking her to promise to never take it off.
It stayed there through summer, fall, and winter.
In spring, the bare-limbed trees
began to sprout green buds.
While the ribbon had withered,
turning brown and tattered,
the girl had grown three inches
and cut her hair short;
She no longer wore pigtails.
I wish to turn off the world
and freeze those dear to me
encase all in the bountiful time
when the sun shone benevolently
and I thought flowers
would always perfume the air
silence and time
are the healers
of rich and poor
A teenage girl flung herself headlong through the maze of the fishing district. She scrambled over barrels of squid and mackerel. Her heart leapt with her feet and her ears strained to catch the sound of armored footsteps behind her. She jerked, skidding, as advancing Royal Guards bullied and pushed protesting merchants out of their path. Ducking into an alleyway, she crouched behind a pile of discarded crates and peeled off the sash tied to her waist. Its fluttering skirt dropped, revealing twin throwing knives sheathed in her leather belt.
A guard’s voice, threatening and masculine, echoed through the alleyway.
“Did she come in here?”
Continue reading “[Fiction] Tahra of Cursed Time”
Grandmother in the old country never had an orange, for where she lived it was cold ten months out of the year. She knew the taste of seal blubber and could read the hooves of caribou, calculate the freshness of their crossing by turning her face into the wind; for they carried a musty scent and brought old ice with them. But she had never had an orange. It was her daughter who grew up with oranges, peaches and apples, flown or shipped from places more southern than she ever had traveled, tinned in dripping sauce or dried to crisps. And it was her granddaughter in Florida, who picked tangerines fresh from a veil of leaves, but who never knew the thunder of caribou’s hooves as they pierced the white, white snow.
although my visage
accrues the years
time yet slips
from my fingers
From now to a dreaded morrow
Time seems racing in her flow
Pleasure makes a slothful way
But a Villain sharpens his blow
When berating oneself
for slow progress
how many hours
you have put in.
Is that enough
you have lived?
How did one hour
at the Laundromat
turn into two?
At least we’re past