2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Today begins our 30-day journey! If you’re unsure of the rules for this challenge, click here. I’m pretty flexible on things, but just contact me if you’re really worried about something either in the rules or not in the rules.

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Usually, I kick off these challenges with some kind of get started prompt, but not this time.

For today’s prompt, I want poets to take one step back and write a “closing the door” or “turning the page” poem. Feel encouraged to get creative with today’s prompt (and the other 29 prompts–for that matter), but here’s how I interpret this prompt: a poem that looks at where a person (or animal or thing) was and finds resolution with the fact that things won’t be that way again.

If you see another opportunity that has nothing to do with my interpretation, then write that poem. Okay, enough talking; let’s poem!

Here’s my attempt:

“On the morning after”

Abandon this placard and grab the next;
there’s always a new sign to carry us
to our secret destination. Forget
the map and hold this compass to your heart.
I understand your fear but don’t agree.

*****

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(Also, if you want to share your November PAD Chapbook Challenge pursuits on Twitter, just use the #novpad hashtag!)

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Get poetic and learn something too!
Check out Sage Cohen’s Writing the Life Poetic, which is filled with inspiration and useful poeming tips and advice from one of my favorite poets.

Click here to learn more.

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194 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

  1. alana sherman

    Plus A Change…

    Like life it appears to have a plot—
    a direction. People move through:
    In spacetime they love,
    they argue, kill one another
    for what seems like a reason.
    One person at the center of the action
    believes he can control the outcome.
    He tries but it is like putting his hand
    in an icy stream.
    A woman and someone else
    get caught up in the drama
    and there is drama in every event.
    There are inventions and enough
    characters to fill up time itself.
    Yet, at the finish, it ends
    without anything to take away
    except the telling. There is no
    denouement, no clear understanding
    of what it was about, but we know
    nothing will ever be the same.

  2. ideurmyer

    Orion, Pleides, and Ursala Major,
    winked at me from heaven’s ceiling.
    You taught me their names and folklore.
    My sons are also prey to their charm.
    Legacy of stargazing shared with my grandchild.
    Lifting her high I glimpse you waving from the Milky Way.

  3. ideurmyer

    Orion, Pleides, and Ursala Major,
    winked at me from heaven’s ceiling.
    You taught me their names and folklore.
    My sons are also prey to their charm.
    Legacy of stargazing shared with my grandchild.
    Lifting her high I glimpse you waving from the Milky Way.

  4. pamela

    I built it myself

    I place the pebbles on top of each other
    alternating their colours.
    Creating a mosaic pattern that becomes
    pleasing to my eyes.
    In my mind they form Sahara deserts,
    Never visited
    In my dreams they form hidden treasures,
    Never gotten
    My moot is well-formed and protective.
    To keep the warriors at bay, as they
    try to force their way in.
    May they drown in the stinging waters
    below …

  5. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    Somewhere In Time (Peace of Mind)
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov., 2010

    Across the vast expanse of universe
    My soul doth fly on wings of dove.
    ‘Tis peace I seek, somewhere in time of course,
    That blissful location sent from above.

    Is it on an isle of solitude, ‘ neath palm trees fair?
    Or on some country lane amongst the rustic folk?
    Maybe it could be upon a mountain retreat, way up there?
    Or in a German hamlet, valley of the common volk!

    We search, surmise, and seek to know of tranquil peace,
    And in this world of hot commotion war precedes the find.
    Do not look where it lies not, like search of golden fleece,
    ‘Tis not a place—-location dear; But deep within the mind.

  6. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    Self Control
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov 2010

    Control your wrath, your angry mood when it arise,
    No good can come for him who loses self control at times,
    Far better ’tis to make containment of embers as it dies,
    Frustration leads to foolish course, while scurvy succumbs to limes!

    So why not school thy feelings at the burning point, chagrin;
    No temper ever softened good relationships among the foe,
    To have a friend, and be a friend, sometimes requires to bite the tongue thin,
    Hold back those hostile words and never let them go.

    We’d keep our thoughts unto our self if we would love unfeigned,
    In times of stress as we undress the feelings of our heart,
    And later check the balance book of what we did untrained
    Will come across the ledger, clear, this "man of peace" he did his part.

  7. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    Metamorphis!
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater NOv 2010

    While traveling down a dusty trail across expanse of time,
    I happened on an unusual circumstance of life:
    I met a morphis wallowing in the loathful grime,
    And thought unto myself, poor chap, he needs a wife!

    And children too, to help him see his current awful state
    Before his rueful situation beguile his very mortal soul.
    So I inquired: "Have you lifted up your eyes, agate—
    Towards heaven with a solemn plea to change your porrage bowl?"

    Said he: "I have not tried of late because of failure in the past."
    But if YOU send a spark of motivation to my weary solemn mind,
    I shall try once again to metamorphasize and give way to blast
    Away cocoon of grimy circumstance into "what the butterfly doth find!"

  8. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    I’m Looking for an Honest Man
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov 2010

    I’ve heard the tale of long ago about a man in Greece
    Who in broad daylight walked about with candle in his hand.
    ‘Twas lit with fire, an odd presumptuous thing to cease
    "The silence of the mind" for questions of his motive grand!

    Thus students of this wise sage and philosophical one
    Came upon his "trek across the ground", clothed in robe of white,
    They asked: "Dear Sir!" "Why for so, lit candle in the sun?"
    And quietly, reflection on his face of wisdom, set aright—

    He spoke aloud for all to hear that came within his voice:
    "I’m looking for an honest man, but dim my vision grows
    Each time a shadow passes me that might resemble choice
    To be, or not to be, to TRUST, and look beyond his nose.

  9. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    PRO
    (C) Richard_merlin Atwater Noiv 2010

    Pro-rate your calculations if you will to do,
    And you will find that one plus one still equals two.
    One of you, and one of me, can make a perfect match.
    A man, a woman, both heaven sent to find their catch.

    Pro-life, together4 they shall conjugate for blissful joy,
    And find that in their union comes first a girl, then a boy!
    A family is born amongst the teeming crowds of busy life,
    To multiply and replenish the earth requires husband and wife!

    Programed by God above who helps us thus to pro-create,
    The sperm and egg to match the DNA of sons and daughter5s all of late,
    While God produce "the breath of life" and send a spirit soul to fly
    On towards mortality, promotion of the nursery: I think I hear a baby cry!

  10. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    The Tilt-a-Whirl
    (C) Richard-Mer4lin Atwater Nv 2010

    As a kid it was the joy of my youthful ways to ride
    Upon the tilt-a-whirl and spin around—delight
    As it went faster and faster, I said: "Never slow down, subside"
    So I returned again and again to take the wild exotic flight.

    As time went by from youth to age of wisdom I must slow down a bit!
    There is no choice for creaky bones to conquer youthful ways; august!
    When even mind tells body: Let’s go fly again on "wings of writ"
    Perchance the fun of speed will say: "To Disney World, or bust!"

    Be as it may, the truth will conquer all to be what is—as so.
    We speak in life at start: "I must never slow down to achieve my goal."
    As time moves on REALITY must have its’ rule as to how it is to go,
    And even fighter pilots, at speed of sound, must someday slow down
    to retirement, to golf or bowl!

    (Major Rich Atwater, USAF Retired—the once upon a time, real world
    Top Gun Fighter Co-pilot—retired to "slow down times", who once lived
    to "never slow down" —remember Tom Cruise years ago in Top Gun
    and now, he too is getting older and must "slow down" from those
    "never slow down: days!)

  11. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    Love
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov 2010

    "Love is a many splendid thing."
    So says the song of romance long ago.
    It can carry you to great heights upon a wing,
    If you find it to be true, and let it grow.

    But oft deceit will canker that which is not true,
    And also money can not buy God’s given grace,
    Sometimes ’tis slow to cultivate, or maybe "out of the blue"-
    Love may come and go, ’tis seen in countenance of face!

    The glow of light that shines within comes from the heart,
    True love in romance must be given truly from the soul,
    It can not be suppresses as is expressed, nor forced upon in any part,
    But freely given to the one you love, unconditionally–the goal!

    And in return such love may come back to you as meant to be,
    That man and woman may unite as one to form a family,
    With children ’round the hearth of home as branches of ancestral tree,
    As God’s own group unites in love in time, and in eternity; anomoly!

  12. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    No One Wants to be Unhappy
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov 2010

    Did you ever meet a person, young or old, who said: "Please make me miserable?"
    Yet how oft times we to do ourselves what we want not at all!
    Is it not true that a man’s worst enemy sometimes may be himself, unreasonable!
    You may go to "Happy Hour" to find no happiness because in truth such is to be found at home–the call.

    Not at some "den of iniquity" to drink the blues away after the work-a-day,
    Not to some exotic shore to seek out the lore of booty, or even prey.
    Not even as an astronaut who saw all-out-of-space by grace, came back to praise—-
    Can know of happiness sublime, found only in the home with family, and love of God, to raise–

    The voice in joy of words, to bespeak of love so true that makes a happy mind,
    ‘Tis born from relationships, true love, peace within the heart, and service to mankind.
    There lies a happy man indeed who has a faithful wife, and children whom he love,
    And nurture in the truth of sterling character to pattern the divine eminence above.

    So think again, my friend, as I have said before, no one wants to be unhappy,
    Whether rich or poor, even tall or short, slender self, or fat, beautiful, so-so–
    It matters not that in truth if it’s wisdom or youth—-like puppy—
    Wagging tail in glee, giving warmth of love, everyone wants to be happy, and to glow!

  13. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    Forget What THEY Say
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov 2010

    Forget what THEY say, unless it is good and true!
    After all, who is THEY to say anything at all?
    It should be Tom, Dick, or Harry who gets to speak for YOU!
    As THEY praise the wonder of such a lovely baby doll!

    Perhaps YOU are a boy, and not a girl at all; in this case–
    YOU should expect some decent words about YOUR intellect,
    As Jane, Jan, or Jill will say what they will about your face,
    But in reality know it is YOUR mind they should select!

    To understand "the ONE" who stands inside YOUR stately frame,
    As a body, mind, and soul, from experience I’m told, grows
    To become "the character inside" that truly is YOU, whether man or dame.
    And hopefully YOU are: good, honest, and true, as should be—who knows!

    So be careful what YOU say; don’t worry what THEY say, ’tis of no consequence.
    The words from YOUR mouth will be the judge of who YOU are in reality of life!
    Forget-ME-Not, my dear, please may I have a British coin: six pence–
    To sing a song of "Pocket full of rye", as I go by, and forget what THEY say, and play the fife!

  14. Major Richard-Merlin Atwater

    sorry folks–I’ve been on a classified counter-terrorism mission tracking terrorist groups in Eastern Europe, limited access to my lap top to make POSTS, so I copied down prompt words each day and wrote by hand in my notebook from my "foxhole" observation post the following poems (out of sequence). Depart Odessa for Moscow tomorrow. Back to NYC Sunday, home to Florida Monday. 2 weeks in the undercover SPY world once again. Johnny Rivers song says it all: Secret Agent Man, they’ve given you a number and taken away your name I get my name back on Tuesday as Sir Richard-Merlin Atwater after 2 weeks as Agent 006 Here’s my take on the Prompts—which was hard to post since I copied them to my email address from my hand notes in the field, then had to copy/paste from email to this file. Sorry they are all combined on one post. Maybe at home next week I can organize them to go to proper pages of each day in sequence!!

    From: Richard-Merlin Atwater <rmatwater@aol.com>
    To: RMAtwater@aol.com
    Subject: poetry nov 2010
    Date: Sat, Nov 13, 2010 3:03 am composed in Easter Europe on intelligence assignment
    The Agreement
    (c) Richard-Merlin Atwater Nov 2010

    Pre-mortal realms of spirit world where God doth dwell,
    Celestial orb of Kolob at the center of the universe,
    Once stood I, and all mankind who ever lived, destined for heaven or hell,
    ‘Twas there we met to congregate and formulate The Agreement verse!

    A document to sign? Perhaps! At least a solemn oath to mind.
    By thought, then ACTION; sides to choose: our fate,
    A leader steps before the throne and says: "My Plan is kind!"
    To force upon every soul his safety that all may not fail the date.

    Thus, Lucifer, son of the morning, seeks the glory to himself!
    Another, softer, kinder, gentler soul presents an alternate view,
    My Father, as Thy Son, I offer me as sacrifice of sin upon the shelf,
    Repentance gains forgiveness and the grace and mercy too.

    The honor be Thine own, in service to my fellowmen who choose
    To follow Thee along "the Way" that leads unto eternal life.
    One-third say Lucifer presents the better plan and not lose,
    Two-thirds accept the Savior, JESUS CHRIST, Messiah: for the bridal wife.

    The Plan is set, and Elohim rules: I choose "the Holy One",
    A war in heaven now is set, of thoughts, of deeds and life
    To stage upon a mortal world where Satan now doth reign to stun
    Those with bodies so to tempt and thwart The Plan with strife.

    Today we choose between "the good and the right way" to go; or not!
    To adhere to The Agreement made before we came to earth!
    Or choose, by free agency, to sin and live a life of wickedness, prepare a hell so hot
    As thus, to sear the mind "like brimstone under fire", no happiness, no mirth.

    Beware my friend, the life you live is written in the sinews of your bones,
    By every deed and act you do, and even in your thoughts of mind,
    Your life is but an open book for Him to judge on final day of groans:
    The consternation of the damned; but YOU can be "the Happy One" if by The Agreement you bind.

  15. Diana R. Wilson

    Here is my attempt

    How the Winners Write it
    The tight collared executive huffed a sigh of relief at the end.
    He might still get his Christmas Bonus!
    Now that the oily plumes stopped bleeding out his profits.
    No more haunted nights hearing the earth whisper: ‘glug-glug-glug-cha-ching’.
    He adjusted the silk tie over his puffed chest.
    Another victory for the books.

  16. Debra Elliott

    Hey guys,
    I’m getting a late start.
    Here is day one:

    A Swift Slam of the Door

    A swift slam of the door
    and I am gone…
    out of your life
    out of your mind.

    A swift slam of the door
    and I am alone…
    out of your heart
    out of your memory.

    ©2010 DAE

  17. Taylor Graham

    TALL IN THE SADDLE

    Look at him, stopping traffic on the freeway bridge.
    His small dun horse moves her shadow
    along the guardrail, flicks her ears at cars that brake

    and stare.
    I’ve heard he comes from behind CashCo,
    where the homeless keep camp.

    Ask him. He’s done with mortgages
    and phone bills; disconnected
    from his kids who think he’s crazy.

    Behind CashCo, people pass around
    the plate, the cup. Richard brought windfall apples
    for his honey-colored mare.

    Above the evening fire, songs with words.
    The moon is a slice of the full pie. He’s glad to be
    done with the world.

  18. Lavinia Kumar

    LOVE AND SHIVA

    Before the ceremony, Asha slips first aqua, then
    pink powder through her fingers, the circular pattern
    growing on the cement floor in the brocade of shapes
    gods fancy for feasts, rice seeds filling ellipses,
    her sari tight around her waist, but there
    is no rice on the circular path on Himalaya’s
    Mount Kailash, and it is to open mind and heart
    that Amit is traveling three days around the mountain,
    no tent to sleep at night, Tibetan tea for warmth,
    the moon for light, for surely Shiva can hear
    his question at the top of the icey dome,
    and it is Shiva seated on this throne that surrounds
    Asha’s mind so far away, her vision the temple in Ellora,
    carved from stone, carved from the top down, one rock creating
    the god, the sacred bull, elephants, and holy rivers
    slowly raised to light for all, and with no doors on the crypts,
    once beds for monks, found between carvings, small caves
    in a cave, and guarded by Shiva, cobra circling
    his neck, new flower petals brought to him
    and the bull each day, money and garlands thrown
    when drums sound, and all bow heads with palms
    together to Shiva, as Amit and Asha prayed,
    and were tempted to curl together in a crypt
    in the darkest corner, oh surely Shiva understood love,
    but they knew they could not control the shape
    of the moon, the shadows leaving and coming,
    stones falling.

  19. Angie Bell

    NO ADMISSION

    You closed the door the day you turned thirteen
    Soon it was locked, bolted, braced against me
    My knock yielded the echo within
    I squinted through the keyhole
    and the crack between door and floor
    But these were stuffed with remnants of the past
    And I could not see
    I went outside to look in the window
    The blinds were impenetrable
    When you emerged of necessity
    You’d been transformed
    I did not recognize you
    You did not see me

  20. Angie Bell

    <blockquote cite="No Admission">

    You closed the door the day you turned thirteen
    Soon it was locked, bolted, braced against me
    My knock yielded the echo within
    I squinted through the keyhole
    and the crack between door and floor
    But these were stuffed with remnants of the past
    And I could not see
    I went outside to look in the window
    The blinds were impenetrable
    When you emerged of necessity
    You’d been transformed
    I did not recognize you
    You did not see me

  21. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    bounce
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    today is the day
    i take my leave of you,
    today is the day
    i bounce.
    for too many years
    i’ve serviced and pleased
    and never once asked
    for an ounce.

    it’s high time i lose
    this hop-girl image
    it’s high time i turn
    the page,
    it’s high time i grab
    this plum-bob and swing it
    aligning new paths
    with its rage.

    today is the day
    i go off reservation
    today are new
    boundaries i lay.
    so fire those rockets
    strapped to my ankles,
    stand back and watch
    me ricochet.

    today is the day
    i take my leave,
    today is the day
    i bounce,
    it’s harder containing
    the tiger within
    than granting her
    freedom to pounce.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  22. PSC in CT

    Getting a late start & playing catch up. Back later to read. For now, here is my day 1 entry:

    Summer’s done

    November’s come too soon
    scarlet skies bled out to autumn gray
    sea-salt breeze, a razor’s slice
    bitter saline sting
    cold briny tang of regret

    board up the windows
    drain all the water
    blow out the pipes
    Don’t turn around
    No reason to look back

    All you leave behind is salt

  23. Elizabeth Oakley

    I Am Called Stepmother

    I am called stepmother
    A title that has nearly
    emptied
    my pre-existing identity
    Now
    a stereotype
    a feared intruder
    by three unbending children
    who view my nurturing
    as my obligation and not
    sincere expression of love
    because
    with their father comes
    them
    and I am apart
    from my
    previous self
    pictured there on my nightstand
    before their father
    became my partner for life
    That previous life
    soon to be forgotten

  24. Michelle Hed

    Growing Up

    There is a room just down the hall
    scattered wood alpha blocks
    and dust covered dolls.

    Brightly colored walls
    filled with toys –
    there is a room just down the hall.

    You can hear the echoes
    of childish giggles –
    scattered wood alpha blocks.

    This room is filled with
    the memories of childhood
    and dust covered dolls.

  25. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

    BREAK THROUGH
    Looking up from the reading,
    Our eyes meet
    muted whispers fade to white noise
    colors swirl
    the beating of my heart
    syncs with yours
    I blink, taking off my glasses
    so that you will no longer be visible
    too late, your look is etched
    in my heart

  26. Kim Yvonne King

    The Scarf

    She stroked the silk and twisted floral ropes
    with ivory nails and parchment fingers. Hands
    once tied and wrapped the icy lime foulard
    around her neck and under hair, against
    her skin, her throat, her breasts, her sighs, her/his
    unloosened knots with willing folds undone
    then ironed again like handkerchiefs in drawers–
    behind the socks, unused but pressed and creased.

  27. shann palmer

    Late Fall

    There are pumpkins on the walk,
    a quiet hissing coming in the window
    where grass wants to stop or grow
    or stop, the yard can’t tell the season

    anymore than I can begin to explain
    how hard your name sits beside me
    while a loop of Joni Mitchell songs
    run in a stream around my ankles.

    First frost tonight, off schedule, early
    by two weeks, still past your birthday.
    I never forget, you never remember mine
    except that it’s just after New Year’s.

    Lucy found the Friends of the Friendless
    the first year you moved away from here.
    Watching the episode together, miles apart,
    I attached too much significance to the event.

    Ritual gets me by when people fail,
    storm windows put up by the fifteenth,
    patio furniture in the shed, card sent,
    I don’t call anymore, you won’t answer.

    By Friday, it’ll be warm again, in time
    for daylight savings. Poetry reading
    in Williamsburg on Saturday, this poem
    raw but full of feeling, seasons change.

  28. Kyhaara

    Highschool:
    Where did innocence go?
    When I went to highschool,
    I learned many things I wish I hadn’t,
    But did anyway.
    I saw guys in a different light,
    No longer always “just friends.”
    And heard lewd jokes, saw couples
    Making out in the hallway.
    One cannot un-see or un-hear―
    There’s no turning back.

  29. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Remembrance of Times Past

    I have been in my mind
    revisiting Bali

    back before drugs and surfers,
    before the century turned.

    Some things, I’m sure,
    haven’t changed.

    There will still be offerings
    left on the paths:

    tiny trays of woven palm leaves
    filled with rice and flowers.

    Processions of villagers will still
    tread the rock path to Tanah Lot.

    At Ubud, water trickling downhill
    unseen through vines

    will still tinkle
    and the thick, dark leaves glisten.

    I wanted to stay there then,
    in the Island of the Gods.

    But that was when I was young
    and thought I would live forever.

    That was before the nightclubs
    and the bombs.

  30. Dennis Wright

    Turn The Page

    Turn the page to find
    the end of the tale,
    where the people appear
    upon the page, to show,
    themselves thin and pale.

    Thin and pale upon pages
    in stories, longer than,
    the mind will hold still
    and sort the order clear,
    who did what and when.

  31. Jeanne Rogers

    Broken

    The idea flickers,
    then flares—smooth, surreal—
    to knowing:
    she could swallow the darkness,
    she could stay gone.

    She views herself
    from behind the mirror, watches her mind ignite,
    a fevered break,
    and then she knows:
    how Edgar Sawtelle’s mother felt
    watching the barn burn—
    a smooth igniting, surreal bloat of smoke,
    the cacophony of panicked dogs
    coalescing into human voice: Edgar the mute
    speaking in fire.

    She heard him, too,
    read his hands, heard the ending
    of her story:
    an epilogue
    of combustible self.

  32. Lauren Dixon

    Closing the Door

    We’ve called you
    many times,
    to eat and drink wine,
    like we did
    in the old days,
    the days before
    the second marriage,
    before the second wife,
    the days before
    the second son
    of the second wife arrived,
    to no avail.
    Enamored with
    this second child,
    wanting to make sure
    no mistakes are made
    like they were
    on the first,
    you don’t miss
    a thing,
    not one event,
    not one school play,
    no concerts, nothing.
    Now you are one
    dimensional,
    only have one subject
    to talk about,
    and have lost yourself
    in someone else,
    someone we hope
    will not disappoint you.
    But he will. It won’t be
    his fault.
    You will come knocking,
    there will be no recognition,
    because after eighteen years,
    we don’t know you anymore.

  33. Kim Yvonne King

    Wow! So many good poems right off the bat. Wait, you must "wait" up for the prompts to be so speedy with your posts.

    Amy, love the poem and reminder of how one item, shoes, can carry such profound meaning..

    To the other poets, Kimiko, Ian, Salvatore and more, I’m humbled by your swift submissions. I’ll probably be a day or two behind everyone for the month.

    yay for poetry!

  34. Diana Robinson

    Finally I’m at the end
    I turn the page but I start again
    Telling the same story
    The one I tell day in and day out
    Sometimes I think it’s finished
    Sometimes I think it’s done
    But as long as I live
    and life keeps happening to me
    I turn the page and I start again

  35. Patti Williams

    Turning the page
    Of an unopened book
    Closing the door
    To stories already told.

    New beginnings
    Freshly born
    Ideas leaping from the page
    Print begging to be real.

    Another chapter
    Written with another chance
    Leaving behind
    The stories already told.

    All being enjoyed and imagined
    With The End
    Blessedly nowhere in sight
    Just another page

    In a whole new life.

  36. Kimiko Martinez

    ENTRYWAY

    The door was never closed really.
    At least, I don’t remember it
    happening that way. I never slammed
    it after a fight and he never
    cradled the knob in his hand as he
    ever-so-carefully slid the big, windowed
    beast into the jamb when he came
    home late at night.

    No, the door was never closed. It
    simply sat there, an open invitation into
    one anothers’ lives, which we chose to
    walk near but never through. Every day
    the wake of our rushing would push the barrier
    ever-so-slowly shut, until one day we
    came home and couldn’t get in.

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