In the meantime, enjoy the responses I have made to other prompts.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

To Give is to Receive

On Christmas Eve ten-year old Samantha stood at the door of the homeless shelter while her mother dropped off the box of toys Samantha used to own. Samantha held tight to Barkus, her floppy-eared, brown stuffed dog.

As she waited, a young boy came up to Samantha. The boy looked longingly at Barkus. Samantha held the puppy even tighter as she examined the child. His mussed blonde hair and mismatched clothes caused her to loosen the grip on Barkus. The boy reached for the dog. Samantha hesitated, and then his eyes widened as she handed him her cherished toy. He grabbed Barkus with one arm and wrapped the other one around Samantha. She hugged the little boy in return. He let go of her, smiled at her with the biggest smile she’d ever seen, and then ran off – with Barkus – across the room.

Unknown to Samantha, her mom had been watching. She wiped a tear from Samantha’s cheek, took Samantha’s hand and squeezed it as they left the shelter, telling her, “I’m so proud of you.”

That night Samantha struggled to go to sleep without Barkus until she remembered the feel of the boy’s hug and the smile on his face.

The next morning, Christmas day, Samantha woke up to a strange sound. She thought she heard barking. She threw off her covers, and ran down the stairs. There at the foot of the stairs was a real, floppy-eared brown puppy. Samantha scooped up the puppy and cried, “It’s Barkus!”

This is an entry for Susanna Hill's Holiday contest. It has to be for children, about a surprise and limited to 250 words - excluding the title. I have used exactly 250 words.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Me and My Shadow
Monster’s shadow said to him, “You never let us be
what I want for Halloween. You always pick for me!”

“Well, either I choose this year or Monster you should know –
when it comes to Trick-or-treat I will refuse to go!”

“But you are just my shadow; you have to go my way!”

“Not this time,” said the shadow. “Believe me when I say.
We either dress as candy corn, and not some frightful ghost.  
Or you and I will stay at home the day you love the most.”

Then Monster yielded since he knew
A candy corn could still yell, “Boo!”

This is an entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's "7th Annual Halloweensie Contest." The rules were to write a story for children (aged 12 and under) using the words candy corn, monster and shadow. We were limited to 100 words, but (thank goodness) candy corn counted as one word. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Partner Change?

I’m dancing with my demons, and at times they take the lead.

At times I try to loose their hold, just fighting to be freed.
They tend to keep me out of step, to make me doubt my skills.
What causes me anxiety must give my demons thrills.
I know if I’m to reach my dreams, they’ll have to step aside;
despite the pleas I’ve made to them, so far I've been denied. 
I'm ready for a partner change so I can move ahead;
I know I'd soar if I could dance with Confidence instead.

Will You Go the Distance?
A Rondeau

Can marriage last the marathon
which many will embark upon?
All start out with a common line,
then couples wed and all are fine.
A few years in, some have withdrawn.

Now midway through, some folks look wan,
and choose to rest then start anon,
while others slow and then resign.
Will marriage last?

They wake up on one early dawn
and realize all their kids are gone.
It’s then the couples must opine –
to call it quits or toast with wine.
What ending will each couple spawn?
Can marriage last?

The rondeau is typically fifteen lines long and written in iambic tetrameter, though eight syllable long lines work just as well. The rhyming pattern is aabba aabR aabbaR, where the Refrains are the first four syllables of the opening line.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Twitter Post -

Not Quite Empty Nest

As offspring moved and cleared the air
I found my husband standing there
I think I knew him way back when
but now we'll have to meet again

The title was not included in the post.

Farewell to Teaching
A Petrarchan Sonnet

The job of teaching children brings me pride
but also causes stress in many ways.
The mixture of emotion in my days
might make me laugh or eat me up inside.
What adds to that's a problem district-wide,
with fewer staff while student numbers raise,
it seems more of a fact than of a phase
the bite of budget cuts can't be denied.
As through the fifteenth year of this I stride,
continuing to navigate the maze,
I've set my thoughts on other ventures too.
Before my brain and energy are fried
and I must walk through life in just a haze
I think it's time for me to say adieu. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Thoughts a few days into my 15th year as a 7th grade math teacher

Observations from the Classroom

Students these days
are pressured in ways
never pressured before.
With input they're flooded,
their confidence, gutted, 
truths we cannot ignore.