#BlaPoWriMo: Farewell (poem)

Squeeze my finger one last time,
your stubby digits enclosed around
my knuckles. You look just like
your father before they disfigured
his face with iron muzzle, bit
down his tongue on rusted metal.

I will always remember the way your
eyes slowly open, adjusting to the
morning sun, how you upchuck just
a little on my breast from nursing
too hurriedly. Let that hunger for
your mother never go away—

Even when you can no longer hear my
voice, when my touch is cool, faint
from the distance, when they beat
you ’til your back blisters open and
your muslin shirt irritates the
wounds my hands cannot heal.

Your cries will echo forever, and
one day when this system crumbles
on its head, and our chains are
broken free, I’ll follow them North,
like the brightest stars in the sky,
’til my embrace calms you once more.

—Nortina

Remembering Mondays Finish the Story

Last week, we said farewell to a fellow blogger. Barbara Beacham, facilitator of Mondays Finish the Story and owner of My Life in the Foothills, sadly lost her battle with cancer.

My deepest condolences go out to her family. We’ve all been affected in some way by this tragic disease, and it never gets easy. She was a strong woman, continuing to post on her blogs even through the health complications. While I didn’t know her for very long, I’d come to look forward to her Mondays Finish the Story prompts and cherish her sweet comments on each post. Kisses to you in heaven, Barbara!  Be well, my friend. ^..^

I don’t know if anyone will try to continue Mondays Finish the Story, or if this will be the final post, but I’d like to take the time to remember Barbara by sharing two of my favorite stories from the challenge. I welcome everyone to join in and share their favorite stories as well.


Tall Tales From Kitchen Stools

2015-03-02-bw-beacham

When it came to a challenge, Jim Smiley just had to jump right in!” Grandpa said. He sat on the edge of the stool, and we sat around his feet, crisscross applesauce, elbows on knees, chins in palms, giving him our undivided attention.

Grandma stood over the stove stirring chicken and rice. She snorted. “Don’t go tellin’ ’em chil’ren tales.”

“If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’,” Grandpa said. “We was down in Mississippi at dis ol’ white bar.”

“How y’all get in? Y’all darker den coal!” Grandma said, her hands on her hips.

“Hush, now!” Grandpa waved her off and continued.

“We just got back from de river. Found a bullfrog along de bank. Jim had it in his pocket, and it was just a wrastlin’. A big gal wit bigger breasts was uncomfortable wit us bein’ dere. Got her ol’ man to make us leave. Now, I was chicken. I ain’t put up no fight, but ol’ Jimmy boy, he toss dat frog in de air and it land right in between her cleavage!” Grandpa guffawed, slapping his knee. “And we ran so fast de soles on our shoes was burnt by de time we got home!”

We laughed and clapped as Grandpa stood to take a bow.

“Alright,” Grandma said, “Story’s over. Now get on back, chil’ren, ‘fore lightenin’ strike all y’all dead!”


Blue Skies, Bloodshot Eyes

2015-03-09-bw-beacham

“On March 9th, 2015, three objects were reportedly seen in the skies over the Borracho Todos los Tiempos Vineyards.”

Javier, the town wino, had broken into the winery. He rolled a stolen wine barrel up the hill overlooking the vineyard, pried off the lid, and dunk his head into the wine, lapping it up with his tongue like a dog. When he raised his head for air, that’s when he saw them. Three pairs of stars shining brightly in the hazy, mid-afternoon sky.

He told the winery owners who had him arrested for stealing and contaminating their product. He told the police officers who wrote him off as a babbling, idiot drunkard and threw him behind bars. He told his cellmate, Silvano, who, the minute he was released, went straight to the local news, but it was too late. The town had been infested by a race of drunken aliens who had abandoned their dry planet in search of water, and crash landed on top of a winery instead.

—Nortina