A View InsideMy cousin’s pictureHangs in the hallway.Eight feet tallMajestic in every sense.An old man sits in his living roomSurrounded by twelve catsThe thirteenth lies dead in the kitchenSo my cousin explains.She worked at an asylumPainted eight scenesEach about a different patient.Then her world collapsedAnd she became the patientGave away all of her paintingsExcept this oneThe one I saved.I wish it had been her I savedKeeping her in the lightLetting her fingers brush canvasHeal through her art, her geniusBut she chose a darker pathAnd all I have of her Is an old man with cats.Rick Stepp-Bolling
My own placeAfter the splitand going throughDivorceafter sober livingfor several monthsNow, through the front doorRefrigeratorBed and stoveIt is all mine25 dollar paymentsper monthuntil it is all paid2000 dollarsA bargain for living spaceA perfect placefor me to liverebuilding my life
“Crazy Things Happen Here”There must be a party of same-sized people who arrived wearingSneakers and sandals and boots and more sneakers.Someone even brought their climbing shoes andSomeone left their socks.The shoe party is split, some to the left and some to the right, leaving a trail to negotiate in search of the wearers.It is a party of two with space in their rooms, butNo need to wear shoes in the house.
inside outreflect the shadowof the mind
From the street, the view in is through two windows blocked with cheap miniblinds. Bedroom community anonymity. But the crows know all that has gone before, and what is yet to come.
SILENT SPRINGBy Steve ClarkThey knocked on my wooden shield And asked me to step out upon the porch. There were five of them spread apartEach one lighting my lawn by flaming torch. I did not know what to say, nor to do.Then more people came down the street,Marching in a parade this silent spring night. All I could hear was the tramping of their feet. To a halt they came in front of my houseAnd turned all at once to face me, me all alone. Someone counted four and they began to singA serenade to me, widower of an empty home. They sang a song of lifelong love taken.They sang of shattered hearts and sorrow. They sang of neighbors loving neighbors. And they sang of hope waiting for tomorrow. They finished and I somehow waved my thanks,Then turned to make my way back inside. What strange twist was this? It makes no sense. My love taken by the reason I now go to hide. I stopped in the doorway and wept for my wife,Afraid now of my refuge, my lonely prison cell.Looking down, I saw a bag of groceries thereAnd on top, a simple note to me, “Stay well.”