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...
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...
Without a whistle
without a lurch,
the train moved out.
Stationary at the crossing
doing God knows what,
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...
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
and the wonderful things she could make...
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,
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....
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...
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.
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.
Each story will be paired with a charity inspired by the theme of the story. After you’ve read the story, if...
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 tree limb scratching against the side of the house