life

Tell Me a Story

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker, based upon the prompt, The Roles We Play.

“Why can’t a woman be more,
More like a man?” he said.
“Because then you wouldn’t be here,” says I.

Would I trade having kids,
Watching them grow,
Laugh, learn,
For the hard labor of a
Construction site?
Or sitting in an office all day?
No.

Would I trade the warm scent
Filling my kitchen
As I take loaves of fresh bread
Out of the oven,
For the oil and grease
Of a mechanic, a factory,
Or the dry sterile atmosphere
Of a skyscraper downtown?
No.

Would I like to be an astronaut,
Like Peggy Whitson,
Out there, exploring the stars?
Yes!

But the time is not,
Nor ever was,
For me to fly to the moon,
Discovery electricity,
Romance in Paris,
Dance across the Great Wall,
Or pet a tiger.
But I can.

I can do whatever anyone
Throughout time has ever done,
Feel what they’ve felt,
See what they’ve seen.

So, show me, storyteller.
Where have you been?
What have you done?
What have you seen?
Tell me a story
So I can go, too.

8 May 2017

Mourning

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, D.K. Lubarsky.

I cannot mourn in front of my children,
I cannot share the sorrows and tears of age and illness
Nor cry from the depth of my heart
Nor speak of the profound and lingering losses
I cannot tell them of the pain I feel at times
They do not want me to know

I cannot mourn with my children
They choose not to see the shriveled arms and shuffling gate
“You are fine,” they sing in their frantic dance of life
“You underestimate yourself,” they call over their shoulders
As they race through sunny fields, flying off to catch their young
Leaving me far behind in their wake

Confident full-fledged adults, with steam engine powered muscles
Their throttles smashed forward against infinity
They recognize on some transient level, I suppose
That I am something else
A specter of the mother they once had
Tho’ purposely not examined too closely
For then they might have to acknowledge their proximity of loss
In their world of distant horizons

So I cannot mourn my losses with my children
But I thank God for my friends
Equal in age and weariness
We sit around the table stacking our wounds like poker chips
Unashamed confessions
Tethered with nods and sighs, handclasps and hugs

Learning from one another how to step forward
How to keep laughing
In spite of it all
To appreciate simple pleasures
And each other

We grieve and giggle on the same breath
Then breathe, grieve, and giggle once more.

And at day’s end
I come away stronger for their strength
So that I can return to the children I adore and listen as they say
“See, I told you that you were okay.”
Never comprehending how close to the edge
I was when first awakening to morning’s light

But perhaps I am better off
Being able to glean from their perspective
Knowing that for now, this very moment,
I truly am okay.

Young Body, Old Soul

The following is based upon the prompt Prompt: The Soul is Born Old, and written by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.

I could tell them so many things, answer so many questions, if I could only figure out how to make the noises they seem to understand. I have tried, and they respond with smiles, but they just do not understand.

When I am uncomfortable or hurt, I can make a harsh noise they respond to quickly. They make sure my physical needs are met.

Do they understand when I tell them “thank you”? I am grateful, even though this physical stuff is awkward, and challenging…and tiring! It feels good when they hold me, rock me, sing to me. I want to caress them back, but I still haven’t managed these limbs.

I want to tell them how glad I am to be here with them. I remember them from before, when we agreed they would go first and prepare a place for me.

I want to remind them that they promised to teach me all I needed to know to be successful here. Do they remember that?

Most of all I want to tell them that Father loves them and knows their concerns. He sent me here with a specific task…now I have forgotten what that was.

Every day I learn more and soon I will be able to tell them and show them so many wonderful things about where I came from.

Ahhh, where was that again?

Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer enjoys writing short family friendly fiction. She has always had scenes developing in her mind, when she is not occupied with family or events on the rural Oregon property she and her husband share with the dog, cat, horse and 20 sheep.