Return to Sender by Trudy Hale

Photo of dove sculpture
 

I live in a writers’ sanctuary, a nineteenth century three-story house overlooking the James and Tye Rivers. The back stairway off my kitchen leads to my office and bedrooms; a long narrow hall on the second floor separates my quarters from the writers’ section of the house. When the house is empty of visiting writers I like to wander through the rooms and reacquaint myself with the many books. Most of the books are my deceased husband’s or mine collected over the years. Over time, more books appear, publications of past resident writers and donated … Continue reading Return to Sender by Trudy Hale

 Being Seen by Kathleen McKitty Harris

People looking at art in museum
 

On the one-year anniversary of the Covid lockdown, my husband and I decided to visit the recently-reopened Museum of Modern Art (while double-masked and socially-distanced) in midtown Manhattan, and have dinner afterwards in a private outdoor hut in the West Village. When I had my temperature check before entering the MOMA yesterday, the attendant made eye contact with me and said—you have beautiful eyes and I love your glasses. We looked at each other for a few more seconds, and I said thank you and his eyes crinkled above his mask. We really saw each other for … Continue reading  Being Seen by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

white bandaid against pale blue background
 

Brush a thin film over the slit on your papered skin— ………..feel the throbbing start to numb. Shields against……………………………..daily scrapes ……………………………………………………blisters and callouses ……………………………………………………prickles ……………………………………………………exposed nerves I scan directions for protection from…………………………….splintered remarks lodged so deep they remain hidden until the skin regenerates……………….pushing the sharpness slowly ……………………………………………………toward the surface Search for……………………………………toxic comments from others …………………………………………………..places not yet recovered …………………………………………………..pummeled layers from sharp tongues turned red to purple to blue to yellow from deep tissues that ooze their spew. Scars that never faded, alleyways from the past. My palms sweat as I touch the thick callouses … Continue reading Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

Bring Out the Champagne! by Susan Shafarzek

Photo of wine glass on colorful tablecloth
 

Yes, champagne, please. It’s a red letter day here at the essay/memoir neighborhood of Streetlight: time to announce (appropriate fanfare) the outcome of our sixth essay/memoir contest. It’s a time of hopefulness, vaccinations and all, even if we are—for the second year in a row—announcing the winners of our contest in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. I feel grateful for all the help I’ve had, especially to Paula Boyland who co-judged and to Emily Littlewood, who kept us ‘blind’ in our reading by keeping track of the entries for us. But, most of all, … Continue reading Bring Out the Champagne! by Susan Shafarzek

Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

thin stemmed yellow daisies
 

  My mother has forgotten about the sun Her gaze gauzy, living room window a bay shape she has always detested Here comes the mailman My father is in the Rehab Center Our king and conqueror of transient ischemic attacks Your father’s strokes are just mini strokes Stacked in a corner of oil stained garage Forest green plastic lawn chairs unparted for cobwebby eons Virginia, what are you doing out there? On the small concrete front porch of that one bath, three bedroom rancher I place two empty chairs in the sunshine as white spiders … Continue reading Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

Abraham’s Mustard by Philip Newman Lawton

Photo of people walking down sidewalk
 

There was small marble sculpture of an aged figure on an unpretentious pedestal near the eastern end of St. Donatus Park, a leafy space in the old city of Louvain, Belgium. The figure was that of a seated elder with eyes wide open and a biblical beard; were there not an owl on his lap, were his hands not serenely folded, he might have been a prophet. The pedestal bore a placard, in Flemish, that read, “Wise is he who wants to know where Abraham gets the mustard.” The park had a wide dirt pathway, … Continue reading Abraham’s Mustard by Philip Newman Lawton

His Words Were Smiles by Erika Raskin

Photo of a child's writing
 

“Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me.” Some people are born with a different level of grace and goodness than the rest of us. My nephew, Tommy, was one of them. The middle child of my brother Jamie and his wife Sarah, Thomas Bloom Raskin was extraordinary from the jump. Even as a small child he could glide into any set of arms, any conversation, any group. He was born kind. And intuitive. And piercingly sensitive to the needs of others. At … Continue reading His Words Were Smiles by Erika Raskin

On Marriage to a Statue by Emily Bornstein

Photo of statue
 

I could have stayed married to David if he wasn’t so unwaveringly chiseled. If his deceptively supple face wasn’t so perfectly defined. If Michelangelo could have given me a dress that was low-cut, a dress that would force David’s undulating cliffs of eternal gray hair to turn and fly rebelliously (momentarily) from the craggy sides of his head. Alas, I have no such dress (but rather, baggy plaid pajama pants that some dancers shot off the stage at a bar mitzvah) and I figure that even a silvery ball gown couldn’t turn me tamed and … Continue reading On Marriage to a Statue by Emily Bornstein

Philosophical Poetry by Fred Wilbur

Photo of cracked asphalt
 

  In a recent batch of ‘reviews’ from an online magazine, I was struck by the variety of descriptive words used to evaluate the thirty-five or so poems. They ranged from “funny,” “strong,” and “moving” to “masterful,” “cinematic,” and “sardonic.” These superlatives were illustrated by a phrase or line which purportedly was the essence of the work; the impressive image, at least. Clearly, there was little effort to delve into the subject, the art or mechanics of the pieces. I wonder, would readers just pick out the “exhilarating,” the “charming,” the “delightful” in hopes of … Continue reading Philosophical Poetry by Fred Wilbur

Out of Range by Patricia Hemminger

line of geese flying into gray sky
 

Patricia Hemminger has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest Consider the pattern of UV light directing bees to the flower’s center. Magnetic fields, unfelt by us guiding geese in migration. The low inaudible sounds elephants hear with approaching kin. That butterflies stand on a leaf to taste with their feet. Tiger moths ultrasonic clicks jam bats’ echolocation beams. And snakes have holes in their faces to detect their prey’s infrared radiation. I tell you again she is gone forever. You answer not all things can be seen. Patricia Hemminger’s experience of growing … Continue reading Out of Range by Patricia Hemminger

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