Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Word After Word After Word – Chapter 7

   My house was quiet. No music, no conversation, no laughing. I closed the door and walked down the hallway into the living room. My mother was staring at herself in the mirror. She did that a lot these days, since she had lost her hair from chemo. She saw me looking at her looking at herself.

   “What do I look like, Lucy?” she asked me. “I look like something.”

   “An ostrich,” I said.

   Mama smiled.

   “I do,” she said.

   She took a breath.

   “What happened at school today? How is the beautiful and creative Ms. Mirabel?” she asked.

   “She is beautiful and creative,” I said.

   “And how is that hair?”

   “Robust,” I said.

   I smiled at her because she knew that was one of my vocabulary words.

   Mama’s hair was growing back, in small fuzz all over her head. She did look a bit like an ostrich. But she said she was getting better. That’s what she said. That’s what mattered.

   “Russell wrote a poem about his dog dying,” I said. “He brought his baby brother, Oliver, under the lilac bush.”

   “Russell?” asked Mama. “Russell who drives Miss Cash to distraction?”

   “He drives her to sighs,” I corrected her.

   “Well, Ms. Mirabel seems to be working miracles,” said Mama. “What about you? Have you written anything for Ms. Mirabel?”

   I shook my head, thinking about my poem about sadness. That’s all I wrote about these days. Sadness.

   “One poem. I’m waiting for something to whisper to me.”

   “Whisper? I am sure there are whispers all around you, Lucy.”

   Mama turned back to look in the mirror again.

   “Maybe you aren’t listening. Children hear everything. Children know everything.”

   Mama and I looked at each other in the mirror for a moment. Then the front door slammed shut.

   “That’s your dad,” said Mama. “How can we convince him to take us out for dinner?”

   “Tell him we’re having liver.”

   Mama laughed. She didn’t laugh much these days, and I liked the sound of it.

   “Jack,” she called as we hurried to the kitchen. “Luck thinks I look like an ostrich!”

   “I was thinking that very same thing,” Papa called back. “What a smart girl she is!” 

   “And, Jack,” added Mama. “We’re having liver!”

   “NO!” came a cry from the kitchen.  

The moon came through my window. Soon it would begin to move away. I could hear my mother and father talking in the living room as if …. As if nothing was wrong. I reached for my pad and pen. I would write something that would change life in my house. I would not write about sadness. Ms. Mirabel had said that she wrote to make life come out the way she wanted. Maybe I could do that, too.


                        Sadness. Your laughter can’t brush away

                 the sadness here. I hear you trying to laugh. I see you trying to smile   and trying to talk away the sickness.

                                    You can’t, you know.

                                    You can’t.

                                                             ———– Lucy

             No use. It was still sadness. Sadness was all I had.

Word After Word After Word – Chapter 6

Chapter 6

   Russell ducked under Hen’s big lilac bush. We were five today. It was late afternoon, and shadows fell across the yard.

   Russell wore a pack.

   “What is that?” asked May loudly.

   Inside the pack was a baby.

   “My brother, Oliver,” said Russell.

“You’ve seen him before.”

   “I don’t like babies,” said May.

   Russell smiled. He took Oliver out of his pack and sat him on his lap. “You’ll like Ollie,” he said. “There is not one bad thing about him.”

   And as if Oliver had heard Russell, he smiled and pumped his arms up and down.

   “I babysit for Ollie every day after school.”

   Hen reached out and took Oliver’s hand.

   “That’s why you don’t lay soccer?”

   Russell nodded.

   Oliver grinned and then reached out o May. May drew back.

   “He likes you,” said Russell. “Here.” He handed Oliver over to May, who held him away from her, as if he were a package of trash. But Oliver didn’t care. He leaned closer and closer to May until his head lay on her shoulder. Slowly, May put her arms around him and closed her eyes.

   “I think he’s wet,” she whispered finally.

   “Of course he’s wet,” said Russell cheerfully. “He’s always wet. My babysitting time is over pretty soon. I’ll take him home and change him.”

   May still held on to Oliver. She didn’t open her eyes. And when she did, she whispered to Russell again.

   “That was a beautiful poem about your dog, Russell.”

   Russell nodded and picked up Oliver. He ducked out from under the bush and put Oliver back in his pack.

   “He was a good dog,” he said softly.

   “What was his name?” asked May.

   “Everett,” said Russell before he disappeared in the shadows.

            There is a soft sweet smell here.

            The smell of somewhere far away

            I may have been one time but can’t remember.

                        It is a soft sweet smell.

                        Why is it I know it? Why is it so familiar?

                        I can almost reach out my hand to catch it.

                        But not quite.

                                                            ——- May


This when they did melt...Yesterday in the hailstorm, The hail was larger than usual. After the storm my mom ran outside and grabbed two medium sized hailstones! Now I keep them in my fridge on the ice cream bucket.This... is before they started to melt...