The Child Adapts






to see or not to see
that was the question

to speak or not to speak
that was the answer

I tried not to see
but my eyes got
in the way

so I sat in silence
with the elephant
in the middle of
the room

and looked with my
eyes as my parents
dosed off in their
status quo


dared not
dream of
their misery



Isn’t Your Face Red – The Fool Answers

The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Isn’t Your Face Red.” When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment?


The Fool:

ancient archetype

of truth-telling 

across cultures

nonsensical, outrageous

in words, behavior

and dress


a deeply perceptive


and sage-like



the unspeakable


his gift to humanity

without shame 

without guilt,


not in his



My Red Dotted-Swiss Fourth of July Dress

Red Dress dotted swiss

On one particular fourth of July
when a sparkler ignited my dress
daddy rolled me on the lawn
until all the fire was gone
and my most
favorite dress

was a mess

A hole in the skirt
where my thigh was burnt
and grass stains every which where
I would not change my dress
even under duress
no more sparklers for me
didn’t care

My mother patched up the hole
with fabric from the hem
I grew to love the grass stains
dotted-swiss goes well
with them




Do We Have a Crisis or Not?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In a Crisis.”

teenage_angerThis is a dialogue story that takes place at the walk-up window of a pharmacy. It depicts a conversation between a sweet middle-aged Pharmacy Tech and a frazzled teenage girl. Inspired by real events.

How may I help you today?

I need a Plan B! (catching her breath)

Sorry, what did you say?

I said, I need a Plan B. 

Aha, you would be referring to the morning-after pill, otherwise known as emergency contraception?

YES, that’s it! That’s exactly what I need. Do you have any?

I believe we do have some in stock, yes. Did you want to make a purchase now?


Alright. First, I need you to sit down on this chair, take a deep breath and sit quietly for a minute while I ask you a couple of simple questions, okay? 

Yeah, I guess.

So, you’re wanting the Plan B because you’ve had unprotected sex … is that correct?

Well … that depends on, like … what you mean by “unprotected.”

Let’s start with this … did you use a condom?

Yes! Oh, YES!

Okay, did you use it properly? You know, according to the directions and all?


So … you were protected, then.

No, not really … it turns out there was this teeny-weeny tear in the condom. I mean, it was a brand new condom, but …

I understand. So, we have to assume you were not protected. Let’s just go on to the next question. Now, how long ago did you have this unprotected sex?

Ah … about 10 minutes ago.

10 minutes ago?

Yeah … well, I guess maybe it’s more like 15 or 20 minutes by now. I only live a few blocks away and I just ran over here.

Might I ask … where is the gentleman?

You mean my boyfriend? Oh…he had to go back to work.

Oh, my dear sweet young lady … you must learn something right here and right now. YOU deserve more than that.


Listen to my words … you should never, ever settle for less than at least 15 minutes of cuddling and pillow talk after having sex. 

Yeah … I guess. Now can I please BUY the plan B?

Hold on, we’re almost there. Now, how old are you.

Um … how old do I have to be?

17 … with proof.

I’m 17, but I don’t have proof.

No driver’s license?

Nope …

Well, without proof of age, you’re going to need a doctor’s prescription to purchase a Plan B. So, I suggest you contact your GYN doctor to get a prescription.

I’ve never even been to a GYN doctor!  Oooh … this is getting worse and worse… how am I ever gonna get the Plan B!? My parents will be soooo pissed if they find out about any of this! The tears begin to flow . . .

Alright, alright. Now, take another deep breath and listen closely again. First of all, you have time … up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex, to prevent a pregnancy, okay? Of course, the sooner the better. So you’re okay for right now. I only have one more question. Do you live with your parents and are they home right now?

YES, I live with my parents and NO they are not home right now! Why do you think my boyfriend came over on his lunch break?

Of course. This evening, you’re going to talk to your parents, one or the other, or both, about your situation. If you can’t do that, there is a Planned Parenthood at 550 Main Street … go there tomorrow morning and they will help you. Okay? Now I want you to walk, not run, home. Will you do that?

Okay… I guess. Thanks … I guess … bye.

… and don’t forget … 15 minutes, at least! Always!

Yeah, yeah. ~

In a Crisis

Her Whole Life On Page Three

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Early Years.” Write page three of your autobiography.
She just wasn’t
quite right.

She didn’t know
or what it was

She didn’t know
she went 
even if she did

go wrong.

She just knew

   quite right.

And if
not quite right
you must
quite wrong.







The Early Years

Being Six Years Old in the Kitchen #3

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Childhood Revisited.” Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood?


He grabbed the pot of coffee
from the blue and gold
flames of the gas burner,
hurled it across the room
the far wall of the kitchen,
splattering coffee like a mural

in the shape of a large umbrella
opening up for a downpour

delicate brown trickles
slid down the wall
each led by a tiny bead of coffee
shaped like a tear drop

if I set my sights
on just one bead of coffee
and followed it all the way
down the wall

the scary stuff around me
seemed to fade away

daddy didn’t always
throw things in the kitchen
only when he drank
too much whiskey

at Casey’s bar

Childhood Revisited

Nightmares – Eyes of the Tiger

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Nightmares.”
Describe the last nightmare you remember having.

He has been prowling
my dreams
for eons

Circling my house
in the dead of night

Reposed in my backyard
basking in sunshine

Meandering my streets
when I leave the house  

Most recently
standing atop a small hill

In one terrifying leap
we are face to face
eyeball to eyeball

I wake up
this is the closest
we’ve ever been


Image: Roger Cooper 



The Pub Out Beyond the Pale: A Girl’s Tale, Limerick Style

Daily Post prompt: “Beyond the Pale” When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element?


At the Pub Out Beyond the Pale 
Raucous revelry did prevail
She entered the din
Though t’was a great sin

As she downed her first taste of ale

Pounding music and lively dancing
The sweaty young men came romancing
She dipped and she twirled
In this fun new world
Like a dream it was oh, so entrancing

He asked, may I offer you another?
A much stronger ale than the other
Yes, thank you, she said
Then she yanked her head
At the yells of her older brother

How dare you come into this place!

His voice bellowed and filled up the space
Ma and Pa are mad
So mad you’ll be glad
To start praying for mercy and grace

To the nunnery she was sent
Further wickedness to prevent
Regrets, she had none
For one night of fun
There was plenty of time to repent