In Poetry on July 24, 2013 at 7:55 am
All of us have an emptiness within longing for something more.
Sometimes we aren’t sure, just something to adore.
A hole so big it seems impossible to fill yet so tiny the simple truth
is all that’s needed to do.
Is wealth what you seek and all that it can keep?
Is it glory and honor and all its prestige?
Is it some other empty dream lurking after you
only to gratify but not to satisfy?
Our hearts are like a jigsaw puzzle. No matter how hard we
try to force a wrong piece. It will never justify the lie that wanna be.
By Shirley Cook
In Stories, secrets & dreams on July 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm
They say she drowned. They say she swung too high on the old wood swing Mr. Bennet hung for his own daughter all those years back. Dolores Bennet is 28 now and moved 5 years ago to Fredricksburg. The rope was worn and its fibers threaded out in a fringe about the knots. The wood was old. Ma said to watch my bum for splinters. I never swung too high – I was always too scared – but Beth did. She always did. She was fearless. That day they say she swung so high that it catapulted her out high over the water that then sucked her down deep. Brett Taylor says the water in the lake is so deep that no one has ever found the bottom. But Brett says whatever he wants. It’s not always true. But most of the time I believe him. He’s in eighth grade and isn’t from here. He grew up in NYC so I think he knows things that we here in Dannerville don’t know.
I don’t think she drowned. Brett Taylor doesn’t either. He thinks she ran away and left no trail, no tracks. She wanted them to think she drowned, he says, so they wouldn’t come after her. She may have run away to join the circus, or be a famous singer… She may have run away because her father beat her. One afternoon at recess, Brett gathered all the boys in his class on the hockey field and had them write down every reason they could think of as to why she might have vanished. I don’t know what they said but they seemed to think they knew. Boys always think they know but they don’t always.
I can just see Beth on that old swing. I think she stood on the swing not sat down. Sometimes it’s harder to pump that way but you can see everything. You can go higher than the buildings. Higher than the steeple of First Presbyterian Church. You can feel the wind smack your face hard and cold and wrap your hair around your eyes and thin strands get caught in your mouth. You have to spit those strands out because you need your hands to hold on tight to the rope. Tight enough that your palms turn red. You might hope there are no boys around – especially the seventh graders, especially Billy Brooks – because your skirt will fly high right up your legs as you go into the air. And when the swing comes down so does your skirt, right back down. The air on your legs feels cold.
Up high you can see Smith’s Cove and the row boats there in the summer, the fisherman out on the piers in the fall. All the sycamores with their blotchy pale bark look small to you and if Mr. Brian lets his pigeons out the coop on his roof right then you might be even higher than those birds as they take flight in formation one after another batting their grey wings madly. Like there was no tomorrow.
I only seen the cove once because mostly at six, and being so short, I don’t go that high much.
I know Beth didn’t drown because I know there’s a tomorrow for her. I close my eyes and I can see her on that swing in the summer, in the orange and brown of fall, in the icy whiteness of winter-this one and the next.
Beth took flight for sure but she never dropped to the lake the way they say she did. She never fell. She soared. On that last rising of the swing, her hands sweaty tight about that rope she took off, flung clear into the sky where she had grey feathery wings like Mr. Brian’s prize racing pigeons. Her face was flush red from the sun and the cold. Her eyes all ablaze and huge with everything she saw from up there. Everything she came to know up there. Things even Brett Taylor doesn’t know. Will never know.
By Annie Quintano