The Cage

By on Feb 8, 2015 in Cuttings, Fiction | 3 comments

because so many wondered what happened … A once beautiful bird sat on a post in a gilded cage.  Her claws gripped the post on which she sat.  Her cage was made of the finest material.  Her days were spent in the dark, only catching a glimpse of the outside world. As the years passed, she could feel time slipping away.  Her body aged and she was weak from her burdens.  When her cage was uncovered for her regular feeding, the brilliant light blinded her to what the outside world offered. Her keeper, the Lord of the manor, insisted he knew best.  Indeed, he was a very important...

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Molasses in January

By on Feb 7, 2015 in Cuttings | 6 comments

My mother took a drag on a Pall Mall, exhaled, and told the story of my birth. These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ was playing on WJOY, and it was my fourth birthday. She proclaimed, “You were like molasses in January.” We were idling at a red light in a green station wagon on Main Street in Burlington, Vermont. I wasn’t yet familiar with the properties of molasses, but I knew it to be an important ingredient in ginger snaps; it seemed exotic, unlike maple syrup. The youngest, I was always beside her in the kitchen, watching, standing on a chair or peering over the counter, sticking my...

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A Fable

By on Feb 13, 2014 in Cuttings, Fiction | 7 comments

Once there was a bird. She was the finest of birds. She was all of the things that make birds desirable to us mere humans. She was quick-witted. She loved to laugh. She was kind beyond kindness. She was strong, yet delicate. Even though her heart had been wounded, she found a way to rise above. Her beauty, obvious on the outside, had its origin from within. In short, she was a bird among birds. She was one to be recognized on her own merits. She didn’t sing very much, for even though she had a wonderful voice, she had been told that it wasn’t acceptable.  One day a weary traveler...

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Waiting for Signs

By on Feb 12, 2014 in Cuttings, Fiction | 8 comments

My mother believes in signs. A bird that alights on a branch near her kitchen window possesses the spirit of my dead grandfather, listening to us, guiding us forward. Pennies found on the street are good luck. God is here among us, she says, blessing us with His presence, dropping small miracles at our feet. I want to believe in these signs, but something stops me — the fact that I can never feel God no matter how hard I try. Staring at the ceiling from my bed at night, my prayers are all yearnings, wishes, poured out like coins into a cosmic slot machine. I always make the same request:...

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The Incredible Melting Man

By on Feb 9, 2014 in Cuttings, Fiction | 1 comment

MELT ONE They arrived at the check-out line at the same time. Oops. Awkward, empty thought balloons. She pushed a full carriage; he held a quart of milk. “Go ahead,” she said with a quick gesture. “Oh no, no,” he said, shaking his head. “You go.” “No, please,” said the logic of her overflowing cart vs. his one-handed purchase. “Uh, ah…” And then he melted to the hard, scuffed floor, reduced to rivulets of green goo, and oozed under shelves of candy and tabloids.   MELT TWO He was at work, standing at the time-clock, watching the minute hand. She was fanning...

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Into the Light of Things

By on Jan 14, 2014 in Cuttings, Fiction | 6 comments

Michael’s shiny Volvo slid across the ice and crashed into the grove… When he woke, Michael clambered from the wreckage, then floundered in the drifts — punching through with every step —  … ‘til he reached the barren lane.  Under the yellow of the stars, his breath plumed like an egret, and his boots crunched and squeaked.  Blood spilled from his crown, hit the wintry air, and stiffened like black jelly. And Michael staggered on… He thought of his naughty Beagle pissing on the couch, and smirked.    “Almost home, boy.”    But the...

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