Saturday, 02 July 2022

F Fic, Non-fic

The Constant Learning Curve

By Rachel E. Watson


Flinging Four-Letter Words


Soil, I say.

You’re looking at the world

through dirt-tinted glasses, I say.


Stop, he says.

My glasses are as dirty as

a look from your eyes, he says.

Lily, I say.

I wear the lily-white hat

as well as the sword, I say.


Pooh, he says.

Not this same old, tired

line from your book, he says.


Dash, I say.

Dart from the barb

that I will hurl next, I say.


Okay, he says.

He heads to the track

and runs from the barb I say.


Back, I ask.

Are you coming back

after a run at the track, I ask?


Back, he says.

Yes, I am coming back,

back in a flash from the track.



In Defense of Two Trips


Why is it that I would rather

carry 100 pounds once

than 50 pounds twice?


I gather full-to-bursting shopping sacks,

grasping five in my left hand and three in my right,

teetering like an off-balance vector scale.


I use two of my fingers to dig in my pocket

for the keys to our inner house door—

trying not to drop one bit of my load.


If I would just set the bags down,

and pause patiently for a bit,

I might regain my arm strength.


But no. The weight of everything

calls to me. It begs me

to handle it all at once.


I don’t say no.

I’m fond of one trip.


I like to think I’m strong enough

for one trip.


But two trips stands

and makes its case.


“I’m how you can stay cheerful,

instead of exhausted and brutal,”

two trips says gently.


I fume at two trips!

I hate two trips!


Two trips smiles—

and waits for me

to release my load.





Like a dry fish,

like a drained water skin,

like an unwell child,

I lie flat on my back,

lacking all the sap

to power my limbs.


In the dim dawn light,

I see shades drawn

and hear birds chirp.

I remember all the

twitter of yesterday

that voided my reserves.


As I rise and wake,

I dress myself in quiet,

I clothe myself in calm,

I break my fast on stillness.

I dive deep into me,

filling my hollowness

with flights of fancy,

with songs of intricate worlds

woven for one.


Maybe tomorrow

I will share my songs with you,

but today, they are mine,

for restoring what I lack,

for reviving my inmost self,

the truest part of me.


Rachel E. Watson, an author of poetry, fiction and essays, writes to offer salve to folks with heart wounds and brain problems. Her poems have been published in Indiana Voice Journal; her short fiction at Splickety Lightning Blog; and her articles at The Grand Rapids Press and The Daily News in Greenville, Michigan. Her essay "Learning to Love the Abused" was featured in "Campus Voices: A Student to Student Guide to College Life." She also is a semi-regular guest blogger for four authors. Read her blog at, and follow her adventures on Twitter and Facebook.

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