The Gift

She wrapped her scarf and sighed visibly in the morning air.

On the recurring drive, she replayed the first visit. Tubes, wires, alerts of all kinds overwhelmed them.

The season closed with a new beginning; baby is finally coming home.

– Written for YeahWrite Microprose Challenge #434. Prompt was to tell a story in exactly 40 words that evokes a specific season without using the names for that season.



In between
Living and waiting to live

Songs of mourning and lullabies
Life as it were and as it will be
Tears for the loss and baby cries

A cycle that ends
And begins again with no surprise
Twilight and morning sunrise

In between
An ultrasound and looking into my newborn baby’s eyes

– Written for dVerse Poetics, prompt was “limbo.” I also implemented the Form for All 55 word challenge. WC 55. Photos are of my daughter. She was born 1lb. and 10oz. at 27 weeks. She is now 6 months old (3 months adjusted) and 11lbs. 7.5oz.

Grand Plan​

You birth a child you should care for but instead neglect.
You have what some others wish they could get.
Maybe there is a plan
That I don’t understand,
Or is the dice rolled to select?

– Written for Limerick Challenge Week 30. Prompt was “antonyms.” Photo from

Kitty & Ben’s Night Out

When did my baby son become a tightrope walker?

– Written for The Blog Propellant weekly photo prompt. WC 564

“Kitty,” he said in response to the feline song we heard carried on the wind.

“Yes,” I confirmed, and he giggled proudly.

The full moon was large and close and shone like a spotlight on the alley below. He patted his chubby little hands against the window and smashed his nose on the glass, excitedly trying to see the location of the kitty’s performance.

I smiled at his unruly blond locks glowing in the moonlight like a halo around his cherub face.

“Kitty!” He shouted and laughed whole-heartedly scrunching his eyes and clapping his hands.

“That’s right,” I said encouraging him.

Oh, to be a child with eyes so full of wonder, “Bedtime, Ben,” I informed him, gathered him up amid the typical protesting, and began our “night-night” routine.

With Ben tucked-in, I rested nearby and was eventually lulled to sleep by his dreaming mumbles and baby snores.

I abruptly awoke, or so I thought when I felt a breeze from the open window. The curtain was fluttering and flapping against the wall. I was certain I closed that.

I didn’t see Ben in his bed.

In a sudden panic, I ran to the window and leaned out over the fire escape. I heard shrieks of laughter echoing through the night, and I frantically searched for his little silhouette.

My mouth fell open, and my heart jumped when I spotted him high above the street, among the crisscrossing clotheslines strung between buildings. “Impossible,” I said to no one. “Ben!” I yelled his name.

“Mommy look!” He joyfully replied. He balanced precariously on one of the lines, a balloon in his hand and a cat nuzzling at his leg.

I stumbled out onto the ladder, terror rising; I rubbed my eyes not sure of what I was seeing.

He wobbled back and forth with the wind tousling his hair and whirling the balloon around in circles. I could hear the cat meow as it turned on the line. It seemed to lead the way further from the building. Ben began to follow.

When did my baby son become a tightrope walker? I thought, horrified.

“Ben, listen to mommy,” I pleaded, “go back toward the building, to the window.” Another laugh, another meow, but he didn’t comply. I climbed a step higher on the ladder and reached out in vain.

My foot slipped, and I tumbled down in slow motion onto the grate. “Beeeeen!” I shouted on my way before suddenly seeing only darkness.

I was startled awake by the loud clanging of metal on metal as the garbage truck picked up the dumpster in the alley. I sat up on the futon, immediately looking for Ben. He lay quietly in his bed arm wrapped around a large black cat who was watching me intently.

I hurried over to him, checked his breathing and ran my hand through his hair.

He stirred a bit and without opening his eyes he mumbled, “Kitty.”

I raised an eyebrow and looked the cat in its tense green eyes. “Hi,” I said. He meowed. I patted his head, and he purred approvingly.

Ben shifted under his blanket again and said through his pillow, “Bwoon,” and the arm that was around the cat pointed up.

I tilted my head sideways and looked up at the ceiling where I saw a balloon bouncing around from the draft coming through the open window.

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