Second Acts By Martha Woodroof

Photo of white goat

Mary, Mary, quite contrary . . . a splat from my Charlottesville restauranting days . . . From the mid-1970s until the early 1980s, I co-owned a couple of Charlottesville restaurants with my second ex-husband. I was an accidental restauranteur. Second-ex had dropped out of law school one course short of a degree because he couldn’t bear the idea of being a lawyer. He had no idea what to do next and was understandably depressed. He knew the business side of restaurants from working in them during college and law school. I loved to cook. … Continue reading Second Acts By Martha Woodroof

Eighteen Years and Seven Months by E. H. Jacobs

Photo of hands using cell phone

Rebecca leaned into the driver’s-side window while I let the engine idle. Her brown hair had lengthened over the summer, and some strands fluttered into the car. The constellations in the ink-black sky and two lampposts illuminated the gravel parking lot. Hugging me, she said in a voice raspy with fatigue, “Thanks for coming with me, Dad.” I waited while she crossed the lot—the pebbles crunching underfoot interrupting the rhythm of the frogs and insects on this rural New Hampshire night. As she approached the road to return to the summer camp where she worked, … Continue reading Eighteen Years and Seven Months by E. H. Jacobs

Elegy for a Young Copperhead by Charlotte Rea

Photo of jade dragon

Charlotte Rea is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest So proud you must be, atop the fence rail, its flat black the perfect matte for your copper. Your telltale yellow tail-tip aglow under the vines,I’ve come to clip gloveless, blind to your sinuous stretch just a strike from my fingertips. Who is frightened more by our fateful brush with peril? You given no chance to respond as the shovel severs your tender neck–death quick as your tiny hourglasses bleed out time. Your climb is all hope you remember, synched dance of scale … Continue reading Elegy for a Young Copperhead by Charlotte Rea

Library Skulls by Fred Wilbur

Photo of stuffed bookcase

When insomnia provokes my wife or I to walk the footprint of our house, we sometimes end up at our bookroom. Bookroom is an idiosyncratic idiom of our family as my grandparents used the term, logically enough, for their room filled with books.  When I was a kid it was the quiet room (Shssssh) with glass-doored cases, walls of tooled leather, slag glass lamps, and ‘oriental’ rugs.  Our bookroom is not so different, though let’s substitute open shelves that, aggravatingly, are un-adjustable, walls of pine paneling, bright LED lights with inexpensive shades, and bare board … Continue reading Library Skulls by Fred Wilbur

Renegade by Susan Muse

Photo of pea pods

Susan Muse is the 1st place winner of Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest Peas are on. The kitchen smells of fatback and cornbread rising in a rush of heat from the stove, unfurling around me like those green stalks in the south field bent over with a want for picking. Earlier I sat in the swing on the shaded porch popping a mess of purple hull peas into a colander, abandoning the shells haphazardly in a ripped-open bag spread brown on my lap. Each one, its freedom echoing against the metal sides of the blue speckled … Continue reading Renegade by Susan Muse

Where Are My Words? by Pamela Potter

Photo of lit candle and envelopes

All my life, I’ve processed joy and sorrow, confusion and diatribe, in writing. I have a book of hand written poems working through the tragedies and angst of a teenage mindscape. I have notebooks journaling my college years full of anecdotes of friends and my small adventures. I have abandoned blogs leaving breadcrumbs of my growth and change on the internet like a hidden treasure map. This past year has left me grasping for a comfort that will not come. In March 2020, my words fled. Cancelled like the cruise I had been looking forward … Continue reading Where Are My Words? by Pamela Potter

Portraiture and Man’s Man, 2 poems by Arnie Yasinski

Two girls, covering each other's eyes

PORTRAITURE Our dinner ends with watching Portrait Artist of the Year. For Adele likeness is all, while I focus on the how of its attainment. Beginnings proliferate and lead on to ever more various results. Yellow ochre ground and raw ochre outline of head and face; detailed sketches in pencil; a renaissance grid filled in from a polite iPad closeup. After the basics, most build slowly. I admire the painterly souls who stand back for each stroke, loading the brush then contemplating placement for long moments before leaning in with deliberateness and intention not mine. … Continue reading Portraiture and Man’s Man, 2 poems by Arnie Yasinski

Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Photo of train tracks

I was walking our dog this evening, around six o’clock, when I heard the low rumble of an approaching train. I live in Silver Spring, Md., a few blocks from where the tracks cross over Georgia Ave. When walking down our street, we can see the trains passing at our level, giving the illusion that there is a crossing up ahead. Actually, Georgia dips down below the tracks at that point. But I always look, for I’m reminded of the times my father would take me to watch trains on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we’d go … Continue reading Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

My Most Memorable Patient by Roselyn Elliott

Photo of red Accident and Emergency sign

Ten years after graduation, at seven a.m., Sunday morning, I round the corner to my office and nearly stumble into a distraught family in prayer. Six adults, seated with their heads bowed, listen as a Catholic priest, and a Baptist minister, beseech God to help them. A teenage boy leans against the doorjamb, listening, but obviously uncomfortable. In a second, I decide the clergymen have the situation under control and proceed directly to the ICU to learn what has happened. As I guessed from the looks of the people in my office, the news is … Continue reading My Most Memorable Patient by Roselyn Elliott

Escalation by Claire Scott

Photo of woman walking dog

I am so sick of walking past the cute little signs that say please clean up after your dog. really? do we want our ivy, our pachysandra, our Vinca covered in pee and poop? do we want our perfectly manicured lawns used as toilets? no possible way to clean up all the mess with a plastic bag what about Keep Your Canine Off My Grass You Dimwit or No Pooping on my Property Under Penalty of Perjury I yell at my frowsy neighbor, who insists her stupid, practically legless dog prefers my ground cover, won’t … Continue reading Escalation by Claire Scott

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