20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

How to Make a Difference

She is 86 years young. I grew up to this amazing person, my aunt, youngest sister of my mother.

Since I was a toddler, I would walk up the hill to her house, plant flowers with her, watch her can vegetables, help her work in the garden, and help decorate for Christmas.

When I was a young adult, trying to survive a disastrous marriage, be a single mom, work and go to school, she made sure my kids and I had clothes, food, toys. Even today at her last siblings funeral, she smiled at me and said, “Maybe someday I can make up to you all that you have done for me.”

I smiled and quietly whispered, “If I were to live a thousand years I could not begin to make u for all you have done for me.”
I think often of what the world would be like if it were full of people like my aunt. She listens, she cares, she is generous, considerate, loving beyond all reason. I envy her thoughtfulness, honesty, willingness to help, or even to be kind when she disagrees.

If ever there has been a person who is “my precious. Is is my aunt, who is like a “sister”and friend as well. I have shared my joys and sorrows with her, helped her with her ailing elders, and enjoyed visits to her house several times a week, if not more. When I thin of the word, “beautiful”, her face comes to mind. She is the kind of person that makes life worth living on my worst day, a true treasure.

Thanks for being ‘my precious’, Aunt Phib!



whatever you fear, whatever you hide,
whatever you carry deep inside
there’s something more than this
October Project


on that late lit afternoon amidst the blaring horns sirens rolling steel and rubber of every constant rush hour this city only knows, he saw her now sitting folded into the corner of a familiar doorway the burgundy shroud resting deep into her knees that impossible smallness an almost prayer like silent plea her meditation wishing this world would disappear from view. and as he always did walking his young golden retriever Scout a dog so serene he’d never heard him make a single sound, the closer to this little person in a doorway by itself the bustling street echos ending another ambivalent big city day, and his concern alarm now heightened wondering why this any child was left so alone, his scan for parents but found none.

closer now and details unfold black ballet slippers to black anklet socks delicately edged tiny white lace frill slim cranberry pants, then that ankle bracelet! …. it’s chain spun so finely crafted not by our any human hands sun speaking to each tiny charm glistening. …and hesitant now not ever wanting to intrude, Scout answered his questions a gentle nose nudging her knee as all good dogs will,

‘oh im so sorry, he has to say hello to everyone’,

and the slowest of motions the shroud lifted its head as if in a slumber waking finally eyes to eyes nose to Scout’s nose her hands instinctively moving involuntarily they found his golden jowls, standing motionless accepting her slow fingers moving a golden fur caress, the shroud so deep he could not yet see her face. and in a ‘time will forever stand still moment’ forever be etched in his memory, the burgundy shroud slowly lifted falling back revealing her pale skin colored paler by the blazing embers of the extinguishing afternoon sun this deliberate ray reaching her darkened corner of the doorway,

his concern its own slow fade seeing her narrow face she was no child after all, and in human years twenty something but as in the swift glint of brown in her so grateful eyes raising to meet the sun… a whiteness then the infinity white of everything all knowing and all our kindness in every universe that ever lived, hers a timeless and slow smile reply,

‘yes…he does.’

he stood there letting this moment live as long as she wanted Scout turned to leave he followed and as so many of us his slow walk away was followed in doubt, a disbelief that this was not just a dream awake so double quickstepping around the block with Scout trailing. maybe to relive a moment that should not require repeating …….maybe to speak another word that didn’t need speaking, arriving as the sun had already fallen behind every building in its way the doorway now darkened and she was gone.

whatever you love, whatever you give,
whatever you think you need to live
there’s something more than this

1 Comment

14 Words

My mother,
bringer of love,
taught me the important lessons.
O Mom, thank you.

Let me be a conduit
of love,
wiring the light to overcome black midnight.

I seek containers
into which to pour
gallons of love.
Hold out your cup.

Have you thought
that love is math?
Your heart, my heart–
the right answer.

I see grace in your eyes,
confidence in your step.
Come be my friend.

I prepare the coffee,
set out square plates,
bring cloth napkins
just for us.

Turn the lights low,
turn the world off.
Let us hear our own music.


Special Things

There are special things we cherish

Hold fondly, and hold dear

We wouldn’t think of keeping them

Anywhere but near


They hold the memories so sweet

Of moments on the way

Along the journey we have walked

Toward where we are today


These special things we cherish

Though tarnished, they may be

We hold them ever close to us

We treat them carefully


We polish them and place them safely

Somewhere they won’t fall

We show them to all visitors

Who on us, sometimes call

But often we don’t treat our loved ones

With the same great care

When worry lines, perhaps appear

Or salt and pepper hair


Or maybe they are chipped and cracked

Or tarnished in some way

And we can’t stand to look at them

Or have them in our way


If we would only cherish people

Like those things we do

And handle them with care, you see

Speak fondly of them, too


What a kinder world I think

That maybe this would be

I do not know what you will do

But I can start with me


Tiny Kindnesses

There are people who have touched my life, though only passing through

Perhaps just for a moment, to exchange a smile or two

There was a light inside their eyes, that somehow drew me in

As they quickly walked into my life, then right back out again.


I recall sometimes those faces, even ones from long ago

Faces of dear people who I didn’t even know

Perhaps my heart was hurting from some deep and painful trial

When life was feeling cold and cruel, and I had lost my smile


I thank God for those people,  maybe angels here on earth

Who just with tiny kindnesses, gave hope in me new birth

If you wonder why I smile sometimes, though hurting deep within

Or why I’m often singing, as I don a silly grin


I want to be remembered, like those people I recall

Not because I’m special or my life is great at all

But because the mem’ries of those smiles don’t go away

They’re like the sun, illuminating clouds, so dark and grey


I’d rather be thought foolish for a smile upon my face

That maybe some would permanently wish they could erase

Because I know that someone, somewhere, many years from now

May pass that smile along to someone else, somewhere, somehow.


A Comedy Tonight

A tragedy it is, when drama’s left to rule my life

And all about the tears I cry, the worries and the strife

What fun that it can be to take the drama all around

And turn it into comedy and laughter, I have found


I know that it’s not easy implementing this ideal

The drama that I sometimes have, is sorrowful and real

I know I must allow myself sometimes to frown and cry

To cry out to my God above and ask, Lord when?  Lord why?


But wallowing is not an option I’ll allow myself

I’ve been there and I’ve done that, now I’ve put it on the shelf

It’s much more fun to smile and laugh, e’en in the midst of pain

And in the end, the difference ‘tween insanity and sane.


So laugh at me, I won’t protest, when I am feeling blue

But don’t forget that I will do the same regarding you

I do not speak of making fun of pain that’s raw, and real

I have a heart that feels for you, it is not made of steel


Above all, may I not forget that kindness matters much

Cold shoulders often harden hearts, not so a gentle touch

This is the day the Lord has made…that’s what I’m talking ’bout

I will rejoice, and glad I’ll be, and of His love I’ll shout!


Thank God for You

Just in case you may have thought

That I got busy and forgot

The kindness that you showed to me

That’s something that will never be


You gave your time, and awesome skill

Discouraged, I had been so ill

Directly answered prayers I spoke

Twas God who sent you, tears I choke


But tears of happiness are they

And gratefulness I cannot say

No words could ever be enough

Still here I try, though it is tough


How can I thank Him, sending you

For something so big, that you’d do?

It was so long, I’d lost my smile

I tell you, it had been awhile


But now that smile is big and bright

And you, I pray for every night

And never will there come a day

When those dear prayers, I won’t say


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