The Gift

My father picked me up from the bus. I was too busy talking about semester finals and problems with my landlord to notice his silence. When we pulled up to the house, I knew something was wrong. No wreath on the door. No electrically lit candles in the windows. Inside there was nothing to show Christmas was… Continue reading The Gift


My mother was a housewife. She claimed it without pride or apology. She spent hours cleaning and cooking and received nothing in return, except for the annual Hallmark Mother’s Day card claiming we appreciated everything she did.  Once, and only once, she demanded acknowledgement. Every week she vacuumed the venetian blinds, but once a year… Continue reading Assumptions


On Fridays in French class our teacher let us choose a topic to discuss. It could be anything as long as we spoke French. We started with pets, TV shows, and the Beatles. We tested her by talking about disrespectful teachers, and went on to parents and Vietnam.  When we got mad and reverted to… Continue reading Compliquée

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I wrote this essay eleven years ago. This year my daughter came to visit for a couple weeks (she now lives in Las Vegas) and left early Christmas morning with her five kids to drive back home. During the visit here-she flew back home for a few days to have a mini “stay vacation” with… Continue reading Kwanzaa-revisted

My Father’s Names

I called him “Daddy” when he taught me to ride a bike, and baited my fishing hook because I heard the worm scream, and whisker-scratched me good night.  I still called him Daddy when he talked about his college track days and set up the high jump in the yard. I have my mother’s short legs instead of his long ones.… Continue reading My Father’s Names

Tiny Acts

NOTE: THIS WAS WRITTEN A FEW YEARS AGO, BEFORE COVID, WHEN SITTING NEXT TO AN UNMASKED STRANGER WAS POSSIBLE. People don’t expect me to be shy because I am a performer. I cannot explain how I can go on stage to do a show for hundreds, but am shy around a person I don’t know. But… Continue reading Tiny Acts

Ambivalent Valentine

When I was old enough to understand what Valentine’s Day was it seemed like the perfect day to get married. So I asked my mother why she and Dad got married February 6th. They could have waited a week and a day, to marry on the most romantic day of the year. She made a… Continue reading Ambivalent Valentine

Math Made Beautiful

Driving to work in the morning rush hour, half listening to the radio, artsy words pop out.  “Imagination”…  “Creativity”…   “Drama”. I turn up the volume. This may be a story validating the arts. Perhaps Congress realizes artists are the soul of America and need to survive. Instead I hear “string theory”, “quantum physics”, “mathematics”–and a quote from G.H. Hardy “Beauty is… Continue reading Math Made Beautiful

My Covid Report

“We live inside historic moments, unaware of their significance.” One of my high school history teachers told us that. He said historians will one day study our time and lives and suggested we record our observations and thoughts to assist them. “Or do it for your future children and grandchildren.” The hint of sex in… Continue reading My Covid Report

4lbs. 13 oz.

“I think I’m getting my period.” George makes tea. I gather heating pad, books and the remote. The bonus of pregnancy and breastfeeding is no periods. It’s been over two years and I don’t remember it hurting this bad. I fall into a nightmare. I can’t breathe. I think I might die, but the pain… Continue reading 4lbs. 13 oz.

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