If It Ain’t Broke

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Photo: Will Malott on Unsplash

 

She refused to budge

Or borrow.

She would not allow herself

The slightest

Reach.

“If it ain’t broke,” she said,

Hiding sorrow –

Holding on to life

In tatters

Yet refusing to

Give in even

A stitch –

“There is no need to seek

A fix.”

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Fix

 

 

What Is Allowed

kids gate SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

They didn’t know what they could do. What’s left of what they had.

So they rode the day in minute steps, a hand in tender hand.

They sought the light as morning came.

They danced into the night.

Because they knew no ban could

Fully

Take away

What is allowed.

 

 

For RDP Tuesday: Ban

 

 

 

The Now And There

Distant Stairs NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

In the distance between

The now and

There,

Rises the stair

We all must

Share,

Step by step to

Anywhere

Before the future days

Declare,

The distance we

May finally

Repair.

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: distance

 

 

I Believe

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Photo: Charlie Hammond on Unsplash

 

I believe the magic

That is people,

And the unremitting wonder

That is found

Undaunted

In their hearts.

I believe the small,

Persistent,

Staunch soul rumble

That continues

Shaken but unfailing

To grow

Through the hardship,

Making handholds of the worry

All the while.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: magic

 

 

The Way It Used To Be

storm SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

There were hollows underneath the old ruins. They could be reached through the small shadowy glen that indented the hill where the remains of the stone structure stood.

Da had said that the underground spaces had likely been storerooms, but in Konnor’s mind they could just as easily have been dungeons. People had such things in castles and forts and towers. In old times.

Or perhaps still did. You never knew what could be lurking underneath someone’s residence.

He used to go to the ruins with Baldwin. It had been their favorite play space. They’d crawl through the opening in the rocks which led to a small roundish place with hand-hewed walls that still showed marks of chisels, complete with what must’ve been a doorway to other spaces but was blocked by a tumble of large stones.

They had made a plan to clear those, he and Baldwin, once when summer was long and they were bored and needing an adventure. They were soon disabused of the notion, however. Not only were the stones heavy and the tugging of them sweaty work, but the dust that fell on their heads from the ceiling made them realize that the whole thing could come down and leave them buried.

They weren’t ready to be buried. Not when ghosts and goblins waited to grab any who stepped into Death’s domain.

So they left the rockfall alone and found that their imaginations managed to terrify each other well enough without actually discovering what hid underneath and behind the areas into which they had no ingress.

Then Baldwin got sick, and when the fever subsided his legs did not work anymore and one of his arms was weak and he became morose and pale and could no longer come play in the ruins. When Konnor came to visit him, Baldwin reclined in his bed and frowned and said that dungeon stories were stupid and for babies.

Konnor stopped mentioning their games. He visited less and less until he only went when his mother made him. Baldwin was too angry and there was nothing Konnor could do right and he felt awkward and worried and sad.

His feet still took him to the ruins — they knew the way so well — but it wasn’t the same without Baldwin. The place felt spookier. Lonelier. Colder. Silent in a way that breathed him guilty. The stories that had been so exciting felt empty and Konnor began to think that perhaps the hollow, too, was for babies.

He turned his back on the ruins and tried to forget the way things used to be.

Then one day, as his feet walked him by, he heard mewling. At first he wondered if those were ghosts come to haunt him … but the insistent whines sounded too much like complaints brought forth by small, needy, hungry, living things.

He crawled in. His torch lit an area of newly fallen stones and a squirming mound of furry wobbly creatures.

It had been heedless to enter face first into a den. He would have been taught a painful lesson by the parent, had she not been crushed under one of the stones. It couldn’t have been long. Her motionless form was almost warm.

The pups mewled and one wriggled to nuzzle blindly against Konnor’s palm, seeking comfort. It was only when he picked them up into his shirt that he realized something.

“The stories we told may have been for babies,” he told Baldwin when he unveiled the brown head of a pup that had snuggled into the crook of his arm, “but the dungeons seemed to have produced some real younglings.”

“And this one,” he planted the helpless creature in Baldwin’s withered lap, “needs someone who understands. Da says her back must have been crushed. Her hind legs are paralyzed.”

Baldwin’s eyes grew round and as he reached to touch the pup, she licked his finger. “I’ll call her Dungeon,” he said gently and his voice held a hint of sparkle. “For the way it used to be.”

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge

 

 

 

Just A Crack

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Photo: Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

 

“It is just a crack,” she said,

“A splinter off of perfection.”

‘Twas more than that, she understood,

Knowing what effort it exacted of her

To keep her direction,

To balance scales just so

They did not tip life

And hope

Into utter disconnection.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Crack

 

 

Too Steep To Stand

farmhouse stairs SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Up steep stairs

Of old, new places

He is reaching up

Hand over hand.

Bravely mastering

The gaps that make it,

Way too frightening

To stand.

Up he goes,

A little hero,

Climbing life’s thrilling

Demand.

In his moment of

Adventure,

Oblivious

To just how well we

Understand.

 

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steep

 

 

On The Stair Way

Central park stairs NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Take your time

As you climb.

Hold the rail.

Breathe in. Exhale.

On the stair way

Of life

Steps of joy

Steps of strife.

Both the rise

And descent

Are energies

Quite well spent,

As long as your heart

Can extend

To see a tad

‘Round the bend.

 

For the Which Way Challenge

 

A Challenge To Pick

climb ChagitMoriahGibor

Photo: Chagit Moriah-Gibor

 

When faced with

This-is-just-impassable,

The oh-too-dangerous,

And far-too-far

To pull out from;

One step

And then

A careful second,

With a resolute pick

And sturdy rope,

Will help lock arms

With trembling courage,

To climb you out

Of hazard’s maw.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Challenge

 

As The Crow Flies


Image result for Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island; http://www.cityofmi.org/

 

“Thar she is,” the captain pointed.

She stared at the lighthouse across a desert of stacked ice shards and patches of wet cold.

“How far are we?”

The grizzled man lifted a hand against the horizon as if measuring. “Ah, ’bout a mile, as the crow flies.”

Might as well be ten thousand, she thought. Years, too.

He’d left the engines idling but refused to get her any closer. Would not lend her a kayak, either. “Too chocked up,” he’d said.

She reiterated her urgency but still he would not be swayed.

“She’d give up her ice soon,” he nodded at the lake. His attempt at kindness.

Soon would be too late. She swallowed bitterness. The estate was scheduled to be liquidated the next morning. Without photo proof of her early childhood scrawls in the lighthouse’s attic, she’d lose the inheritance. Illegitimate in a whole new way.

 

For What Pegman Saw