20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Partial prints

It was a letter written of love,

Not to be misconstrued of anything more or less than a poignant goodbye.

The dark ink incontinent,

Like a child sleeping sound.

Ink drooled.

Wet, and leaving behind one partial print.

A keepsake, an ornament to place next to your pillow as you sleep.

With one slow flick of my tongue,

Our fate was sealed.

We will never be justly blended,

Or paint each other in soft acrylic hues.

The smell of paper,

As it falls slowly into a slivered space.

As my forest burns a thousand words.

No longer left bottled.

Tiny prisms that leave behind ruined tomorrows.

With my signature godless and grey.

A postage due,

I can no longer afford.

 I finger this forgotten letter.

Now dressed in dust, crumbs and

What I once viewed as loss.


The Salt (Weekly Challenge-Ocean)

You laughed when I told you I had never smelled the ocean.

You’re your eyes and dialect tangled together sparkling.

As an image of the gentle wind gladly carrying the weight of your burden,

Rested itself quietly within my thoughts.

On the curve of a broad shoulder.


I want to taste the salt from its waters-just once.

Just once on the tip of my cool gel-like tongue.

Like a toddler chewing on a ladybug-unintentional,

A process only of growth and exploration.


I dream of playing telephone with a cotton candy colored sea shell.

Pressing it next to my tiny ear,

Softly kissing the right lobe.

As the water whispers to me its secrets,

In a language I cannot comprehend,

But only pretend to understand.


A vision of the livid waves as they splash,

Against my mid-west, tanned calves.

And then fall,

Like opulent tears down my chest,

A tiny ant- like trail,

Forming in perfect succession.


Communications through two separate bodies,

Create a uniformed balance.

Carry me.

Carry me away from this mundane maze of fields.

Away from small minded peoples.

Wearing John Deere Green.


If, for only a moment.

I laugh, realizing I would be out of my element.

Like you, the ocean would only reject me.

Spitting at my presence.

As I turn to the farm houses, tractors, and open minded people.


 I listen to the song of the wind chime,

Beg me to stay.

In a language you could never comprehend,

Or pretend to understand.

No longer wearing the weight of your burden,


smelling the ocean.    





The Laundry Maid


The Laundry Maid

Last March I was inducted into The All-Iowa Academic Team through my sorority Phi-Theta-Kappa. I got the privilege of attending a beautiful awards ceremony banquet (and I got to dress up for the evening). This photo was taken at my brothers prior to the ceremony. It was a beautiful banquet and I was able to enjoy a few child-free hours which doesn’t happen often. Though I will admit that after an hour I was ready to be home with my babies and get out of those heels.



Peter, do you recall that first glance?

It was nothing much of fancy,

A paltry church that at one time housed a sandwich shop.

Sitting neatly between rows of turn of the century houses.

You and I on the edge of holding hands,

And exchanging awkward giggles instead of dialogue.

In between rinsing brushes,

And caulking cracks in the window sill.

Peter, does the taste of bitter lemonade evoke

The time in which your thirst for me became sound

We paid no mind to those heat advisories.

Or the absence of sugar within our mouth,

As ice cubes clicked loudly against our teeth.

Cassette singles and letters each week,

Over mundane things we thought to consider.

I think of hiding the phone bills from our parents,

And smile.

I cannot find you anymore,

Except in my head, Peter.

They plucked that church down and swapped it with a parking lot.

I long to sit on its back steps one more time with you.

To feel the sweat fall from your palm,

And pore over your Andrew McCarthy blue eyes.

Schedules and abortions took you,

Along with that sandwich shop church.

The timetables were wretched and unstable.

There was nothing Del-Amitri or Bon Jovi could do for us.


Waiting on Candy (July 4th Photo challenge-I think?)


Waiting on Candy (July 4th Photo challenge-I think?)

I have always been fond of “in the moment” photographs. There is something about catching youth’s innocence within their element. It was around 100 degrees this morning for the parade. Way too hot to enjoy it. Yet, these youngsters were not fazed by it at all. I remember a time when I wasn’t affected by the weather-seems so long ago now.

I shot this photo of my youngest (center) at the parade this morning. Beside her were two girls from Connecticut that she had befriended. one girl wore a pink skirt, the other blue. They were friendly and sweet. They told me they were “Irish twins”. I am now giggling at the thought. In front of them was an old rusted tractor that was put puttin’ by. My daughter took a break from waiting for candy to observe her shadow.


The Bagpipes Account (July 4th Weekly Challenge)

My girls with their blonde tresses and summer bussed freckles.

Pause hungrily for the procession of screaming fire trucks and,

Inexplicable clowns throwing candy and miles of uninspiring advertisements.

Their immature hands softly grasp a tiny miniature flag.

As their bare feet swing indolently back in forth.

We wait,

In this sticky July sun.

Like broken dolls on a shelf that nobody wants to buy.

Candy is chucked,

Then lands like small stones on the filthy curb around us.

I observe,

Little petite people run.

Their chubby little fingers fight for that satisfying morsel.

As if this was their last meal.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I remind my girls to share.

As people rise for the caparisoned Veterans who traipse proudly by.

The bagpipe clarifies the account through song,

To all willing to pin their ears back and listen.

For a moment.

Just listen,

To the true description of love, war and loss.

Not candy in the street.

Or slapstick comedians in cars.

But freedom, values and family tradition.

Those memories that were neatly framed and handed down to us,

                                   Old sepia colored photographs,

That rest on a bedroom dresser.

People we never knew physically.

Only their story.

Our story.


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