all the small things
midges in sunlight
Lynne Rees (Offham, Kent, UK)
Selected by Isamu Hashimoto
What your story has to say will gradually reveal itself to you and your reader through every choice you as a writer make . . .2
The writer must decide what larger meaning the story represents and lead the reader to that.3
"Did you know a plane flies over your house every seven minutes?" Dad asks. I didn't know that. Dad is checking his watch again. "There goes another one," he says triumphantly. I check my watch. He's right. It has been exactly seven minutes. Dad likes to measure things. He was a scientist, before he retired. He taught me how to measure my pulse, how many steps to take before letting the kite string out, and how to count the gap between lightning and thunder. In his world, everything is precise and orderly. The hospice nurse says he has six months or less to live. That's a lot of airplanes.
deepening twilight . . .one by onestars appear
Baseball is always relaxing, you said our last summer on the couch – in cancer's coma, limbs like bats in a rack, game over – as the Phillies, two years ago the winningest team in baseball, were losing, losing. Loss wasn't as fun for us. But the men were good men, trying as hard as men can, mostly failing, and you loved them. And you loved life around a diamond, a gem of time, a few hours when you could defer to fate, be a fan, a hopeful person, winning never out of the question until the last second, when the small dense ball massed into a mitt and they lost, you lost – my favorite enthusiast – and I lost. Tonight I lie on the couch where you died and narrate the ninth to another woman who has fallen in love with the game, my game. She admires a man who doesn't stop when he is losing, a determined man, a man who endures an ending, plays again.
I can nevercatch youfull moon
How To Disassemble Your Father's Ghost (Winter)7
We suffer each other to have each other for a while.Li-Young Lee
The night your father's ghost appears, take his old pocketknife from the drawer in the study and have him sit down in the chair. First you must cut the apparitions of his ears. He will ask for you to skip them like stones across the wooden floor. He has always wanted to know this sound. Next, you must sever the opaque tongue from the back of the opaque throat. Cast it into the fire. He will smile, as it tastes like bourbon. Close the knife. Return it to the drawer. His heart will be easily retrieved from the cloud-like chest. It must be fed to the dog. Wake the dog and feed him heartily. Your father's ghost gives you this order without reason. Slowly he will stand and walk to the sliding door by the back porch. Follow him out into the snowy yard. Watch as he stretches his arms. Be prepared to stare until morning. When the wrens wake, they will dart through his body until it is riddled with holes. What remains will lift like fog, burnt off by a trepid sun.
were my father alivegreen shootspierce snow
|Sunlight through raindrops|