All winter through you sat and chirped
And told me of your warmth usurped
Through wind and ice and flakes of snow
You warbled “Where’d my sunshine go?”
But now the bright beams warm your verse
No longer do you winter curse
Your notes have changed from ire to glee
And I you answer joyfully
Head pounding and hands shaking, she slams the lid on her suitcase. Tears continue to fall even though she physically tries to will them away. She paces between nightstand and window, then grabs her things and heads for the door. Stopping mid stride, she begins frantically searching through her purse. She pulls out a well worn love letter and places it under his forgotten cell phone, and Janet’s text asking him what time he’ll be over.
She absentmindedly rubbed the ears of the little dog lying next to her on the sidewalk as the words to the old Gospel song drifted through the church window.
It wasn’t long ago she had stood on the altar of her own church singing with the choir, her parents watching with pride.
Absorbed in the music, she didn’t notice the elderly woman reaching down to put a dollar in her cup.
As the choir repeated the last verse, she made no move to wipe the tears rolling down the cheeks which hadn’t felt her mother’s kiss in nearly two years.
In a whisper, she joined the voices singing “Lead me home.”
Today I attended a lovely alumni reception at St. Patrick’s Church, which is celebrating its centennial. Although the reception was light on actual former St. Patrick’s School students, the hall was filled with the bustling, devoted women who have lovingly kept the parish running for more than half of the celebrated centennial. As I bent over the dessert table to get a homemade piece of chocolate cake to go with my coffee, one of these devotees called out, “Karen!”. I instantly raised my head and responded, “No. My name is Kathy”. She gave me a perplexed look and then started talking to the woman behind me, whose name actually is Karen.
I laughed to myself as I walked back to my table, the calling of that name bringing back a flood of memories; Memories of 8 years spent following my well behaved, studious older sister, Karen, though school.
Not once, during any of those 8 years, by any teacher, was I ever called by my rightful name, Kathy. In every class, the teacher’s eyes would come to rest on me and, with the certainty of the sunrise, that teacher would: 1) call me Karen; 2) be offended when I corrected her; 3) 15 minutes later, call me Karen again.
One elderly teacher not only couldn’t get my name right, she couldn’t even get my sisters name right, so I went through 4th grade as Karen Louise. Now, it’s bad enough being called the wrong name, but tacking a Louise onto it just added insult to injury.
To compound this confusion, all through school there was a girl in my class whose actual name was Karen. Karen’s older sister was in my older sister Karen’s class. Guess what Karen’s older sister’s name was? You got it- Kathy.
Let the hilarity ensue.
Poor Little Sister Karen and I never knew which one of us was being spoken to. The teacher would ask, “Karen, would you please spell PREPOSTEROUS” and when Karen opened her mouth to respond, she would invariably be beaten back with whatever weapon the teacher held at the time and told “I was speaking to Karen!”
If Kathy was asked to come to the board to diagram a sentence, I was meet with equal fury upon rising.
Throughout the years LSK and I endured endless blows raining down on our heads from countless yardsticks and pointers for the imagined disrespect of not answering to the wrong name.
I can still hear my comrade’s plaintive voice pleading, “But my name is Karen, Sister.” in her never ending attempt to rectify the injustice.
I gave up around 7th grade when I realized it was probably better if they didn’t know my actual name.
Karen Louise- identity crisis over and no worse for the wear
Thoughts on an Autumn Evening
on a cold
the leaves through my window
catch the sun’s
like the crown
of a queensome still cling to branches
a memory of Summer’s
I tend to the fire
turn up the lights
I gently trace my finger along every feature of his precious face, committing them not only to my memory, but to my heart and my soul. I whisper hopes and dreams and love for him into his perfect ear.
His tiny fingers grasp mine and I kiss the top of his downy head.
5 Sentence Fiction- VIEW
Kera stood at the end of the bar looking out over the sea of nodding heads keeping time to the Latin rhythms of her favorite band, while her sometimes-friend, Jamie, slurred out her life story to the poor, unsuspecting guy who had the misfortune of sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She downed the last swallow of her warm beer and pulled a twenty out of her jeans pocket to buy another round when the sound of familiar laughter made her stop and smile; She didn’t know how Jay managed to get out of work early or how he figured out where to find her, but it was just like him to surprise her like this.
She quickly ordered another beer for herself and a tall Jack and Coke with lots of lime, just the way he liked it. I may have a few surprises for you tonight, she thought as she pushed her way through the packed bar in search of her fiance’.
When he finally stepped back from the tall brunette he’d been kissing, Jay noticed some broken glass on the floor and waved over to the bartender to come clean it up before somebody got hurt.