The Chase

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Kevin looked back over his shoulder, just once, as he ran down the empty street. The drone was still back there, following him. He cursed his luck; why did this have to be the one day that not a single person wanted to be out enjoying the sunshine on Fourth Street? Any other day this place would be thronged with people.

He felt like a fool for choosing the path he had, and nearly wasted running energy to facepalm himself as he remembered that the boat races were this afternoon. Of course no one was on Fourth! You couldn’t get any farther from the river and still be downtown.

Kevin huffed and puffed and tried to urge a tiny bit more speed from his worn tennies. He couldn’t check for it any more without slowing down or risking a dangerous fall, but he imagined the drone inching closer and closer, nipping at his heels, as it were. A silent tear ran down his face. If he got caught, the scandal would annihilate his reputation.

The daylight was creeping from the cracks and crevices of the still neighborhood, and Kevin let the loaf of bread slip from his fingers and into the clutches of the grocery manager’s drone. Entropy slithered upward another notch, and Kevin’s family would go hungry tonight.


A Strange and Terrible Wonder

the softly building din
of sparkling shining raindroplets
pouring from the skies

outlining the impression of a man standing
silent; mouth set in a straight line.
speaking whispers in my head

Walk with me. Come with me.
We’ll never return.
Leave the dishes in the sink, the pots and pans to rust.
Leave the dog and leave the cat.
Leave everything you love.
Come, walk with me.

the light that once shone down
making rainbows cross the sky
slowed to dim
and darken the puddles beneath my feet.

whispers, whispers, in my mind
the doubt sets in
shrouded in the glory of escape

Walk with me, away from responsibility
before the rooster dares to crow.
Walk with me, come walk with me.

the weight of my own feet crippled me
I want to walk; I want to leave.
my life weighs down on me
My albatross.

the echo chamber of my thoughts
spinning round and spinning round
the carousel of every day

I reach out and take his hand.

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Thanks to Abraham Fleming for the title.


Postcards from Adventure

You know that saying, “today is the first day of the rest of your life”?

Nobody ever thinks about that. I don’t. You know you don’t either.

Sure every once in a blue moon, something happens, some massive national tragedy, some major personal tragedy to you or to someone’s nephew’s brother’s cousin’s roommate. Something happens and you think about it, but it never lasts. The appreciation for every day wears off and you’re back to square one.

I’m not scolding. I’m just like you.

But my little sister wasn’t.

She was different. Today really was the first day of the rest of her life, every single day.

I talk about her like she’s gone, but I don’t really know. She got tired of the rest of her family never understanding how special today is, because we just didn’t. Just like you.

And she left.

I haven’t seen her in years, now. She used to send postcards, once a week, then once a month, then maybe once a year. We couldn’t write back to her, not that anyone wanted to, other than me. There was no telling where she was going to be.

She left to have adventures. I know she was having them while she still sent postcards, but now, I don’t know.

But I always like to think that she is. That she wakes up each and every morning with a smile on her face to greet the day, and with that burning curiosity to find out what this new day will bring.

I guess since that’s how I remember her, that’s how she still is.

Have fun, sis. I miss you.

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The Escape

My parents visited my brother yesterday and got some details of his escape. First of all, he and the other boy walked out the open door. What kind of place is this, anyway? Nobody even missed them for hours.

They ran through fields and ended up falling into a ten foot deep hole, where they had to dig steps into the side to climb out. They walked until they found a motel, where they told a guy who asked if they were okay that some girls ditched them, and they didn’t even know where they were. They got a ride to the nearest large city, where they went to a store and stole clothes, changing in an aisle and then walking out.

Then began their stay with some hobos, who shared their liquor and pot. They spent the night under a bridge and tagged along to a soup kitchen in the morning, where they were caught, unfortunately, before they got to eat.

It’s easy to laugh about it now. It’s easy to hear the story and marvel at their luck. It’s also easy to imagine the many forms their death or serious injury could have taken.

My brother knows I write, and he’s told me several times that I should write a book about him. I hope that’s not the reason he has such adventures.