Month: April 2013

No One’s Studying You

The cabbie gives me the once over. “You a doctor?” he asks. “I’m a writer,” I say. “I thought you were a doctor,” he insists. “You got the hair, the glasses, the dress.” For the rest of my time in New Orleans, I wear patterned hose and flapper dresses and red pointed cowboy boots and a tight black tee-shirt with my Elvis medal pinned front and...

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Documenting What I Cannot Change or Understand

She rises behind the lectern, carefully taking the steps. Each time, before she reads us our Sunday morning lesson, she flashes a smile our way. Not all lay readers approach their task with such lightness; some bring a decided solemnity to the event. Not her. We’ve walked with her through a recent journey—she’s lost an incredible amount of weight—and...

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Train Triptych Part Last: Without Warning

Without a whistle without a lurch, the train moved out. Stationary at the crossing doing God knows what, it finished, and went along its way unaware that three heartbeats before— one thump thump, two thump thump three thump thump, a boy had been shoving his bicycle between the cars then clambering up and over after it, impatient to get along...

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Ties that Could’ve Been

Riding the train from Memphis watching the tracks go by, I was struck by the railroad ties strewn hither and thither along the way. Old ties, been there a while— it wasn’t like the tie collector was chugging along behind me ready to recover the rotting ties. I couldn’t help but think of my artist friend and the wonderful things she could make...

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The Power of a Grandmother

The little boy taps his fingers against his open palm, making the baby sign language for “more.” But it’s not nanners he wants or more pancakes. Tap, tap he goes, and says, “More choo-choo?” We spend our days—Aubrey and his Gogi—racing to the window when the choo-choo whistle blows. We crane our necks to see. The crossing arm lowers, the red...

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Time to Take a Break

When I was growing up, my daddy quit going to Rotary. Daddy had been a member of Rotary as a young businessman in Jackson, Mississippi, and when we moved to Charlotte, one of the first things he did was join the downtown Rotary Club. Tuesday nights at supper, Daddy would tell us all about what he’d learned that day from the speaker at Rotary....

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It Isn’t Fair

I wake up this morning and head out to see if the CA possibly delivered the newspaper (no) when I notice the front door is ajar. Without my husband here to lock up, I slept with my front door not just unlocked but standing open. When I go out back to scrounge up some boxes for packing, I return to find my keys dangling in the lock. So I slept...

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My Peony Life

Last night, I remembered the peonies in my dream. Startled, I wondered: had I missed their blooming? Many years ago, I dug a hole to China and planted the peony bulb in my yard – 18 inches isn’t deep until you start digging. I’d fallen in love with the flower’s ostentatiousness, its irrational exuberance, its beauty. But...

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The Deal

Nine of the fourteen stories in Cain’t Do Nothing With Love have been published in literary journals. Thus, to the extent I would be paid for their publication, I’ve already been paid. So the stories will be free. And. Each story will be paired with a charity inspired by the theme of the story. After you’ve read the story, if...

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Things I Noticed Today

a robin chirping the wind chimes tinkling the pressure washing going on next door a plane piloted by my neighbor buzzing his house, twice a barge coming down the Wolf River Harbor my husband coughing as he took a nap the dog scratching at the closet door the weed-eater the chainsaw the tree limb scratching against the side of the house the heavy...

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