Looking Through Your Eyes Without a Mirror
Your shoulders hunch, your nose pokes into your scarf, and your walking pace is brisk on this the crisp morning. But you straighten your spine and lift your chin when you see a young man looping towards you. As you meet you take note of his frost bright eyes, imagine he makes note of yours. His passing creates a slight breeze, sending a puff of fogged air meandering up out of your scarf and a stray lock of hair into your periphery vision. The hair is whiteish, with frost you think, but why doesn’t it glint in the morning sun?
How To Love a Teenager
by Courtney Messenbaugh
After the yelling subsides, give her space. Take a moonlit walk to clear your own mind, then invite her to talk. Spend some time clarifying your own ineloquent outburst, but mostly, listen to her, let her describe the jumbled emotions that she carries. Pull her in close and hang on for a few seconds longer than she’d like. Ride your bike home from school with her the next day. Let the tender autumnal sun hold you both. Inhale the earthy wonder of the bejeweled trees. Drop her at a friend’s house later in the evening and watch her walk away.
by Nilsa Mariano
The pungent aroma of jengibre wakes me. Ginger tea, simmering hot in a teacup, my mother’s healing aid for illnesses. I had been napping trying to beat this fever. It reminded me of the story my mother told of my coma when I was a toddler. Her hands on my forehead searing the memory to her soul. Mami kept vigil willing me to wake believing the prayers and the Miraculous Mary medal would save me. The Spanish prayers echo softly in my head, I feel my mother’s warm hands in my feverish dreams, with love and promesas on every finger.
On the Surface Only So Briefly
Dad preferred panfish—sunnies and crappies—little white-fleshed fish that had a high bag limit because it took ten to make a meal for two, so twenty to feed the family. I preferred trolling for bass, some fight, some excitement. Bang for my buck—though instead of money it was my teenage-time. I thought I knew the importance of time back then. Jack and I motored the rented boat to the stream intake where panfish used to spawn on Linwood Lake. Dad’s ashes floated for a moment on the surface before dispersing in a light cloud, thinning quickly to nothing.
Thanks for having me. I enjoyed the other pieces. 😊