Prose Archived

sign reads short cut to toilets

The Low Talker

          I suppose this story really begins when several months ago I noticed bubbles in my urine.  Not all the time, but occasionally.  What alerted me was a story in the New York Times weekday edition.  I ...
lunch tray of asian food

Air Hunger

When I arrive, a sign is already posted outside my mother’s private room—Airborne Infection: Isolation—and an open box of sterile masks is meaningfully mounted on the wall.  I take one and strap it on, feel it ...
three family members deep under a tree in the forest

Faith

(for N. and N.)  Lenore didn’t personally experience it, the first several times. Still, anyone could see the woman made something happen. She had the gift: some few just do. You might come in only half‑believ...
wedding rings on pillow

If She Had Married Barry Higgins

“If only I had married Barry Higgins,” my mother joked whenever she was feeling frisky. My mother didn’t date much before she met my father, but not for lack of interest. She blamed my grandfather, a stern m...
yellow and orange unfinished painting

Somebody Who Cares

"I wish I'd tried harder ...." Gramps began. Then his voice gave out. When he could speak again, he continued, " ... to let people know I cared about them." That's what Gramps told me from his deathbed. It w...
closeup of military helmet laying on the ground

My Son, My Son

  This week, two of my patients, each submerged in grief, told me of their recent loss of a son in the war. Each mother struggled to hold back her sobs. I listened.  “Allow yourself to cry,” I said to e...
closeup of light in corridor

Confessions in 451

Confessions In 451            The overhead light of the corridor glanced off Vera’s white uniformed hips as the nightshift nurse backed out of one of the rooms in the Intensive Care Unit.  Silvia, the morning ...
hooded man looking at smoke

The Distance Ratio

It was a question that, in the beginning, struck me as rude and intrusive. But it passes the time. Besides, they never question why you ask; the right to dignity is something most have long since surrendered. ...
spray paint green heart

Muscle Memory

The pounding of the heart feels like it is going to break through her chest. Stephanie pulls at her light green gown, ignoring the tubes and pull of the needles in her hand. She’s used to the small holes in her...
raspberry tart close up with crust

Pie

Losing a thumb was no way to start the day.  But there hers sat wedged firmly between the worlds of the living and what was about to be lost.  It was rather gnarled, flattened yet remarkably intact.  It stung i...