The Letters Dance
by Oyeleye Mahmoodah
Miss Kenny hits the cane on the table. The sound makes me shield my eardrums.
“Read the passage,” she repeats, her gaze fiery.
“You don’t want to.” Her grip on the cane tightens.
Before she flogs me senseless, I’d like to scream, tell her I want to read, but the letters keep dancing across the page, outsmarting me.
My lung is also adamant. It won’t let out the pronunciations try as I may.
Whence the cane claimed my palm, I cried out, not in pain, but in frustration.
It is saddening that like everyone, the alphabets hate me as well.
by Ben Lockwood
The woods are silent when the old moose finally finds the clearing. Moss-covered stone walls stand in the center, surrounded by thick pines.
A breeze sweeps through the branches, and on it, the moose hears the sound of hooves from long ago. The air smells of resin and lingering history. He snorts and stomps as it passes.
Proudly, the moose stands near the ruins, his antlers raised as he gazes upon the woods of his forebears. He watches the snow begin to fall before lying down near a thicket of winter berries. Content, he closes his eyes to forever rest.
The Pink Sweater
by Helen Faller
He wore it on our first date, the viewing, when we compared profile pics to flesh. Gazing at him in besotted wonder, I thought, this burly man is comfortable in his own skin. He’s arrived. He mailed it to me one Christmas we couldn’t be together because he had to spend time with his ever-dying father. I tried it on then. The collar was too tight and the belly bagged, turning me into a whale. When he left us, I wanted to char it to ash. Then my daughter claimed it and made the pink sweater her favorite pajamas.
Beautiful, heartbreaking, and then beautiful again. Brava!