Five pieces by Todd Mercer
Strap a horn to a horse’s head,
it’s still a horse, acting. The audience
must need unicorns to be real
to magically suspend their disbelief.
Jimmy’s buddy claimed he derailed trains
by leaving pocket change
atop railroad rails. Jimmy wagered
the train would flatten Lincoln, continue.
Test run: Evening Express.
A fancy place that serves desserts after dinner,
early and wearing a tie. Before she arrives
he has the ring-box on the table.
The year I loved a Deadhead
and pretended Jerry Garcia was a genius,
strangers crashed in our front room.
I craved meat constantly, ate vegetarian.
Cherries in the Snow
or more accurately, their blossoms
coated in ice. Along the ridge
branches break from the weight.
Orchardists bank on next year,
eek through this one.
Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: The Drabble, The Lake, The Magnolia Review, Praxis and Softblow.
Two pieces by Suzanne Cottrell
Friends gather annually at the beach to catch up, reminisce, eat, and drink. They clean stains with therapeutic crying and laughter and create new memories.
A quilt of his favorite tee shirts was made to commemorate his life and help him remember. His family sobbed. He died before its delivery.
Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, and yoga. Her flash fiction has appeared in Dragon Poet Review, The Pop Machine and Empty Silos (Inwood Indiana Press), Dual Coast Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. Enjoying my writing journey wave as long as it lasts.
Three pieces by Joanna M. Weston
We sat around the campfire, talking, blowing smoke-rings, at peace with
who we were, the world of classes, friends, beer. What more needed at twenty?
she’s wearing a floral bikini
made of thin fabric and of string
it’s more than simply peachy-keeny
being enough to make the boys all sing
my steady pulse
sounds like a croaking frog
on the echocardiogram
the squeeze and release
of my patient heart –
sweet music to my ears
Joanna M. Weston. Married; has two cats, multiple spiders,
a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader,
‘Frame and The McGuire’, published by Tradewind Books; and poetry,
‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications.
Her eBooks found at her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/
Wet Cement by Monica Crumback
I still think
about the toad
in the notch.
Bumpy little lump.
I grieved for him
and deeply hated
the smooth new
Monica Crumback lives in Michigan, writing and teaching children how to read.