Images

My new story, Images, was just posted on potatosoupjournal.com. I’d love for you to read it!

Thighs

My thighs are fat They carry my weight As opposed to my back Which never over-ate. I walk miles each day To keep them trim But still they pucker There’s no shrinking them. My wrists are small Ankles, as well My arms don’t have flaps But my thighs…What the hell? I’m shaped like my mom Though quite a bit smaller And she never exercised So, my thighs-why the horror? I massage them, use lotion That’s s’posed to melt fat Do leg lifts and squatties But still, look at that. Diets won’t shrink them And still they wobble Each cell has a mouth Seeking food to gobble. Is chocolate the problem? Lord, please, NO! ‘cause that’s one thing I can never let go! I’m an addict, it’s true, And I say it with pride. No shame in chocoholism I won’t be denied. So when kids say, “Granny,...

Timeshare Nightmare

“I had a nightmare for you last night,” declared my husband George first thing one morning before rising from bed. “What?” I rolled towards him. “You had just bought more timeshares,” he said with a smirk on his face. “That would definitely be something to scream about,” I said, because screaming is what I do. George routinely reports that I scream during the night. If he wakes me up to reassure me, I may remember the dream that brought it on. But when he doesn’t awaken me, I have no idea the next morning why it was a rough night. The nightmares I remember often have to do with someone chasing or hurting me while I struggle to get away. But this dream that George had on my behalf—well, it was a first. “You bought three million dollars-worth of timeshare points…”...

We’re All Going to Die

“I’m going to die. You’re going to die. We’re all going to die.” Siggie, from the movie What About Bob? understands all too well what our futures hold. COVID-19 confirms it. Perhaps people felt the same way in 1918: the uncertainties of life in a pandemic, civil unrest, the haves and have-nots, Democrats vs. Republicans, socialists vs. capitalists. Not much has changed. In her book The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath says that things people did seemed silly since everyone ended up dead. The writer of the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes says virtually the same thing. “Everything is meaningless,” we read in Ecclesiastes 1:2. Yes, life is short and whatever we accomplish, we leave behind when we go. At the same time, life is good and God wants us to enjoy...

What’s in a Name (or Screw Those Labels)

“Karen, time for lunch, Sweetie,” my mother called. Our lunches were special on weekdays with Daddy gone to work and Debbie off to school, so I eagerly joined her in the kitchen. It was just me and Mother for grilled cheese sandwiches and Charles Chips. Being the youngest, second child, it was a joy to hear only my name, rather than be at the end of a string of family members. To be singled out. Karen is my name, who I’ve been for sixty-some years. It’s a name I’m used to, not Gregory or Stephen, the only two names my parents had picked prior to my birth. (They expected me to be a boy.) Surprised doesn’t begin to describe my reaction when I recently heard a friend reference Karens in a not-so-positive way. What? My friend explained that Karen was a commonly...

Don’t Call on Me

On a recent visit with my daughter’s family, I joined in a small gathering of friends from their church. While the children busied themselves with toys and art supplies, the grownups were led in a spiritual discussion by the group leader, a priest in their Anglican church. I was distracted by the children, though, and had difficulty focusing on what was being said; the children’s talking and laughter drowned out the priest’s words. Maybe a part of me was more interested in what my four grandchildren were doing than in listening to what a fairly new acquaintance was saying. But then, “What are your thoughts, Karen?” Father John asked. I was immediately transported to school days when I used to hide behind the student sitting in front of me, out of sight of the...