A Mother Still

When she returned home from the hospital, she locked her doors and lay in the bed alone. She didn’t move; she couldn’t, the pain was too great. She felt as if pieces of her had been ripped out from the inside—they had. She felt she was hemorrhaging enough blood for two persons—She was.

When she bled through her pad, she didn’t attempt to change it. She couldn’t if she wanted. She was too sore to roll over onto her stomach—empty and full at the same time—slide one leg off the edge of the bed, and then the other, crouch onto the floor and then pull herself up, take one step, and then another to the bathroom too far away.

She couldn’t imagine sitting on the toilet, wincing under the ache of the muscles in her thighs and abdomen pulled tight, looking down between her thighs into the bowl of the commode and seeing remnants of a life swirling and blending with urine and water. To see it caught up in the fibers of a maxipad clung to her skin, like a nightmare trapped in the dreamcatcher’s net. To feel drops trickle down her legs when she stood and slowly dragged forever filthy clothing back over her hips.

She curled around the pill bottle clutched in her fist. Prescription pain medicine strong enough for her to become addicted to after the physical pain had left her, but the emotional trauma still remained. She hacked up saliva and mucus from the back of her mouth and used it to push two down her throat. She lay on her back, watching the ceiling spin overhead. When she closed her eyes, she dreamt of drowning, of splashing to the surface gasping for air, and tiny little hands, stubby little fingers, dunking her head back under.

She woke choking, unable to breathe, and when she looked up, she thought she saw eyes, narrowed and burrowing. She sat up. Through the pain, she crawled to the other end of the bed, to her purse hanging over the bedpost, and retrieved a pen from the front pocket. Lying back, she wrote upside down, crooked letters on he stomach, below her navel, against her throbbing womb, in red ink.

Believe me, I loved
you—Before Winter’s smitten
death—And even still.

—Nortina


It is Short Story A Day May, and today’s prompt asks us to write a story in the form of a series of letters. This haibun is the result of how I was inspired by the prompt—my “series of letters” coming together to form the melancholic haiku at the end of the story. 

English #frapalywo: Warrior’s Return

Love Haiku #8

I hear crickets chirp
in the fields as the door creaks
open, and the wind

blows your mint cologne
to my bed. Your boots tread the
carpet—home from war.

—Nortina


Written for English #frapalywo. #Frapalywo is a German poetry challenge for Mrs. Paulchen’s poetry week. All this week, we are writing poems about our theme, noise. Today we end the week with one last prompt: “in the night.”

BlaPoWriMo: Chocolate Love

Love Haiku #7

I stuff my mouth with
heart shaped chocolate truffles.
It reminds me of

you, specifically
your puckered lips, sugar sweet,
brown like cocoa beans.

—Nortina


Written for Black Poetry Writing Month, 2017— a fortnight of “black” love poetry. Join the challenge and share your love poems today!

After You Caught Them in Bed Together

fe1f64b599ed42caf657a7b99a0ee401Sun sets on furrowed
brow; scent of lilacs on his
breath when he kisses

you — Goodnight.

—Nortina

Play Suspended

Tennis paused — players
exit heavy clay. Rain falls in
northern France — again.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: “write an acrostic with ten”

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(Photo: Alastair Grant, AP)

 

I write this haiku as I wait for tennis to resume from yet another rain delay at the French Open. Will they ever get a roof over Court Philippe Chatrier? 😥

Gone Fishing

Reel it in, even
if it sinks the boat — already,
we smell like the sea.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: in the sardine can.”

3lt_ropeThis poem is also written in response to 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?

3LineTales: Job Interview

Blouse unbuttoned, eyes
drift to necklace between breasts—
Pearl, when can you start?

—Nortina


photo by Samuel Zeller
photo by Samuel Zeller

Written for 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?

3LineTales: 21st Century Foundlings

behind every book—
a child’s dusty face; foster
home for the abandoned.

–Nortina


photo by Glen Noble
photo by Glen Noble

Written for 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?

3LineTales: Aspiring Author

Pot of gold: blue bin
at end of block where I slip
debut manuscript.

—Nortina


photo by
photo by Alyssa Smith

 

Written for new challenge, 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?

#BlaPoWriMo: Psalm 90 (poem)

A Negro Preacher’s Haiku

We ain’t nothin’ but
grass, Lawd—green in da morn’, by
night, brown—dry like hay.

—Nortina