Paul stared out his living room window at sunset. “How beautiful.” Anne always enjoyed the pastel colors of the clouds at this time of day. He glanced at her framed picture on the table, and once again, a twinge of pain and longing pulled at him. Had it really been a year since she’d passed away? Yes, I suppose so.
His chest tightened at the recollection of it. Totally unexpected. Went to bed and never woke up. Cerebral hemorrhage. Probably a peaceful way to go, but still . . .
Inspector Maggie Hoffman holstered her weapon and picks up the child to hug and kiss her. While her partner pulled chalk from his kit, Maggie let the child smear chalk dust on her uniform collar as she wipes tears off the girl’s cheeks.
Ten minutes and a protective order too late, a drawing with an outline replaces a butterfly sitting on a flower, both etched on an asphalt driveway.
Little fingers creep into Maggie’s mouth, a dusty bitterness slides across her tongue, a pale reflection of the broken heart thudding in her embrace.
“Mama?” cooed the little voice, tinny and fragile. Maggie turned her away from a picture no one should see toward the cruiser nearby.
“See the pretty flashing lights,” she offered. Little eyes stare into hers, searching for answers but finding none.
[The first line of this was not mine but selected at random.]
The feeder rocks back and forth,
propelled by a departing Cardinal,
bits of seed dropping to the ground.
Skittish and afraid they are,
of the world around them.
What concerns do they carry?
Scratching at the screens,
jaws chittering, sit the cats,
eyes wide with anticipation.
Fear of the unknown,
But no realization of safety,
keeps happiness at bay.