Beautiful by Lori Thatcher

 “Don’t cut my hair, Ma. I need to go to a beauty place, pleeeease,” I whined. My mother told me to stop whining, but I kept on—I knew it was a request, not an order.

I talked fast hoping she wouldn’t say we couldn’t afford it. “Janey got a perm and everyone loves her hair. No one likes my hair. I hate my hair.”

“Come here.” She peered at me and I peered back from under my too-long bangs. She fluffed up my straight, shoulder-length brown hair and sighed. “We’ll go tomorrow.”

Tomorrow was Friday and I would have to wait until Monday to show off my beauty-place hair, but I was thrilled!”

Friday at school was two days long. I ran all the way from the bus stop, charging across the stubble in the corn field. Ma met me on the doorstep with her old black pocket-book. We walked to the neighbor’s house and got a ride into town.

The place smelled smoky and there were old men sitting in chairs against the wall, but I was delighted when the man draped me with a black plastic cape. I couldn’t see the mirror, but I watched the hair fall onto the floor and imagined what everyone would say on Monday. I felt special, a trip to town just for me.

Monday morning, my hair was messy, but I combed it all the way to school. I marched into school beaming and everyone smiled at my beautiful hair. When Janey asked me where I got my hair done, I said, “At the beauty place.”

She said it looked like someone had put a bowl on my head. I didn’t care. My Ma hadn’t cut my hair. She took me to a beauty place, and I felt beautiful.

Green River – Wylie Russell Dam by Janet Keyes

Angled, the dam bends,

Vee-ing two halves together-

Odd old waterfall.

Life erupts shyly

Along greening riverbanks.

Spring comes to this place.

Summer- still water

Reflects green. Sparkling below,

Clear water dances.

Golden leaves with red

Flecks shimmering in sunlight-

Autumn has arrived.

Winter ice glistens,

Framing cold with frosty breath-

Cascading waters.

No longer useful-

Some beg for the dam to stay,

Valued for beauty.

Demolition comes,

So fish can move more freely-

Hold the memories.

The Brink by Mary Kuzontkoski

You and me bringing in the light.
You and me seeing with second sight.
Will you come with me?
Nothing’s in the way
my soul’s right here for you to see.
Bringing love alive,
is easy when I look into your golden eyes.
Bringing up all you want to say
takes faith and prayers.
The layers of love wrap around us like bliss.
You and me bringing in the light.
You and me on the brink of desire’s kiss.

Little Pink Cloud by Janet Keyes

Low in the eastern sky

Perhaps thirty degrees above the horizon

Hung a little pink cloud.

Evening had receded past twilight

And well through dusk-

Nearly night, where dark clouds ruled the sky,

And a timid half-moon to the south

Peeked out intermittently.

We often see pink clouds

Scattered overhead after sundown,

Reflecting rays of distant sun.

This one was isolated, glowing softly,

Emanating from within, and not reflecting.

The cloud contained flashes of lightning-

Not jumping to other clouds

Nor striking toward the ground.

We heard no thunder from this little far-off stationary cloud,

And lightning continued fifteen minutes or so

While the surrounding sky grew dark.

One with imagination might have seen

That little cumulus entity

As a pink glass jar

Filled with fireflies.

Hmmm- fireflies.

Mom called them “lightning bugs,”

And her book was “Fireflies and Fairy Wands.”

Maybe my mother was sending us

A message of fireflies and fairy wands

And hope and joy and peace-

A message we really needed

At this time.

Mystery solved.

Thanks, Mom.