Tag Archives: loss

Drive-Thru Angel by Lynne T. Pickett

Bonnie took a toothpick and dug at her fire-eaten scalp. Fifteen more minutes. Her mama always loved Bonnie’s red curls. “Just as sweet as the bluebirds singing in the oaks,” Mama would whisper to her. “God spun those curls out of fire with his little finger just for you, precious.” Maybe that’s why the perm solution and the hair dye burned so bad: Bonnie was trying her best to take on God’s job. In the past few years, her perfects curls had turned into frizzy wires and her flame-red hair diluted into a muddy rust. … Continue reading Drive-Thru Angel by Lynne T. Pickett

Ernestine Goes to Heaven by Susan Heeger

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” the actress Bette Davis famously said, and these words reeled through Muffin’s head as she crammed a pill pocket down the throat of her ancient basset hound. Ernestine was no sissy. Overweight, asthmatic, maybe a little depressed, the dog had the droopy-eyed mournfulness of Davis during the late “Baby Jane” phase of her career. Some of her teeth had fallen out. Her swaybacked body was knobbed with benign tumors the vet said were “evidence of her aging immune system.” She smelled musty, cheesy, like a Brooklyn deli on … Continue reading Ernestine Goes to Heaven by Susan Heeger

“The Fish”, A Love Story by Mary Esselman

I first read Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” when I was in college. Five American Poets was the course, taught by a ruddy-faced Midwestern professor who began class by reading aloud a poem, often reciting it from memory. We were to sit and listen, book closed, before discussing anything. His sonorous voice hung in the air, like a small plane flying low over crops on a hot summer afternoon, his words trailing like a lazy line of smoke across the sky. The physical pleasure surprised me, the low hum of language a warm breeze on my … Continue reading “The Fish”, A Love Story by Mary Esselman

When Words Fail

By Stefanie Newman I spent most of my life at a loss for words. On job interviews I could never describe my good points or my bad. As an art professor I would get student evaluations that said She was nice but I didn’t understand what she was talking about. Life’s important moments found me rooting around for words with the dogged persistence of somebody looking for their car keys I had a reverence for language that only a visual artist could have. Color and form were slippery and vague, but I was sure that … Continue reading When Words Fail