For the fortieth memorial picnic, Egon Frankl had prepared ditalini with tomatoes smothered in oil. The food shimmered beneath an airless Viennese sun as he waited for his brother, who adored the dish. Not once did Egon sneak a bite. He’d long ago learned to go without so others might eat. Whilst his brother was normally late – Egon’s disappeared wife, Hilde, the person to whom the afternoon was supposedly devoted, once said being late was Ignaz’s chief characteristic – that day Ignaz excelled himself by failing to make any appearance whatsoever. Egon occupied himself by admiring the tattered life for which the city park was home. He ardently wished for his brother’s Copernicus moment, when it would dawn on Ignaz that the universe did not revolve about him. Younger brothers – even one aged eighty-two – seem duty bound, it seems, to disappoint.Continue reading “Climbing by Antony Osgood”
Dimac looked again and the white house at the end of the lane was pale yellow. He tried to find a simile, then a metaphor, and was lost in the miracle before him. The change had happened in the blink of his eyes, and it unnerved him so that he closed his eyes, waited for the white shingles to settle back into place, become their proper selves, as if he could say that about shingles, and opened his eyes.Continue reading “The White House at the End of the Lane by Tom Sheehan”
Thump. Bump. Bang. Sixty years collapsed around his feet as if they were a single lump. Merricut was one step inside the front door of the antique shop, an hour-old beer settling within him, his wife Lynette three steps ahead of him.Continue reading “The Rifle by Tom Sheehan”
My fingers glide over the white and black of the piano keys. The tune, a melody that wrote itself on my heart years ago, when my hair was not white and my joints did not ache, is familiar like the embrace of a longtime lover. My fingers are too stiff and my knuckles too engorged to play with the elegance they once possessed but the tune calms me.Continue reading “Manhattan and Gibson by Rachel Sievers”
These days, you’re the only Townie I would know on sight as you grace our Riverside Cemetery in your own hellos, tall as all get-out, robust, time marking your way past that mere issue, and a charmer from a distance on any day of the week. I wish, among other issues and dreams, that you’d recognize me, wrap those loving arms around me, greet the passing among all these stones, upright, neat in place, fighting off the centuries one by one.Continue reading “Charlestown Calling Back by Tom Sheehan”
The sun warm, the air pleasant, but me like a beggar lost in thoughts, I stepped up to the back door of the old farmhouse on Route 182 in Franklin, Maine. Home at last from the army was topping off my day. Coming home from military service, I’ll swear forever, is better than birthdays, weddings, or vacations.
Or should be.Continue reading “The Long Way Home by Tom Sheehan”
I leaned against the largest maple tree, planted hungry years before upon a leech trench in my back yard, watching my going out of me at play and shining the souls of mirrors back, telling each other what we knew.
I loved him from the tree, later a window dark-squared above the wide grass, as I leaned toward his hands moving out of himself, making; and the corners of the house, the inners and outers hammered upwards from my hand in late repair.Continue reading “Flashing Mirrors at a House Built in 1742 by Tom Sheehan”
Moments linger, trapped in thought. Two things right, then one thing not:
I’m a ghost.
Ghosts live in the memories of those that they touched.
It doesn’t hurt to die.
For these past 70 years, since 1951 in Korea, I have carried a 1000 Won Korean Banknote in my wallet with the signatures of all my squad members on the face of that banknote, our unit being Headquarters section, First Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, when we were deployed on the far side of Lake Hwachon, and when squad members put their signatures on that bank note, given to me by a Korean worker assigned to our unit, Lee Bong Ha. He was a chief figurehead in his own right when he made a replacement crystal for a comrade’s broken watch crystal out of a plastic spoon, which was carried in many military papers under the title of “Time to Spoon.” Lee Bong Ha had been paid off from his government contract with a basketful of such banknotes, and passed them out like the near-useless paper that they were (some of them used for the most unlikely reasons you might think of.)Continue reading “What’s in My Wallet? By Tom Sheehan”
Lizzie’s dark curls held sparkling rain diamonds. Her eyes were bright. Julia! Lizzie often arrived unexpectedly, coming through the walls or the door.
I brought you a present. A box, Lizzie said. A little box, she added, her eyes laughing.Continue reading “Boxes by Shira Musicant”