Unable or unwilling to start another novel or memoir, I have been writing small pieces prompted by a word.
I’m feeling empty as
the pumpkin my brother carved for Halloween, sitting on the step, sunken cheeks and smelly,
empty as the smile my sister wore standing back against the wall in the gym watching the others dance,
empty as the purse I carried because mama dressed me up for her boyfriend who was coming on the train,
empty as the glass resting on the bar that the bartender refuses to fill. Says Dad’s had enough but he’ll buy some at the ABC on his way home,
empty as the checkbook Mom threw at Dad,
empty as the shoes in my brother’s closet because he was DOA, dead on arrival.
empty as the words the minister spoke at my sister’s service because he didn’t know her. She never went to church but Mom insisted on a church service,
empty as my mother’s stare as she sat on the floor because she forgot what chairs were for.