She stared at the newsbreak,
His boots, baggy pants,
Name and battalion
Stenciled on the helmet,
Turnout coat open,
Two small heads peeking out,
And warmth started inside
Until she saw his face,
The face of tough,
Of strong, of a protector,
But it was all wrong
Because one tear,
Only she saw it,
Formed in the corner of those
Loving brown eyes
And ran down his cheek.

She ran,
Digging keys out,
Her tiny blue car raced
Most of the way
Across town,
Engine shrieking,
Radio dumping news
Faster than she could listen.
It didn’t matter,
Her mission was clear.

The huge red truck
Carried him back,
Mumbling its guttural rumble.
She knew he sat hunched,
His crew unable
To ease his pain
It was their pain,
Heads down,
No siren,
No talking,
No waving.

She was in time.
She stood on the sidewalk
As they parked,
Where everything would
Return to normal.
He slowly dropped off the side,
His shoulders showing

She ran to him,
Her perfume fighting with
The stench of sweat,
Her makeup pressed against
The soot still on his cheeks,
Her silk blouse pressed against
His sodden cotton shirt
As he wrapped her in his arms
And trembled.

She held him like she might a child.
His voice was high and clear
As he sobbed
“I could only carry two
And there were three.”
And it was clear
She would hold him
For a long time
Because for him

Once was enough

Haven’t written poetry for a while – needed a fix

OK – fair’s fair. I need to preface this by saying I am sick – fighting the flu and barely sane. Somwhere (Sunday night here?) I saw a tweet go by from our leader ensuring me (apparently only me) that the topic for the week was #clear. Not only am I sick, but I am trying to indie-pub my first story. So the ww hung in the back of my head until tonight when I absolutely had to file it (or getoff the pot) Imagine my suirprise when I went to link in and found that we were, instead, writing about #once.

This is part of the #wankwednesday group run by Ruby Kiddell. To look at all the entries look here

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Judy was laying back on the setee reading a bodice-ripper when the door to the motor-home slammed open and Ronnie stomped in.

“God damn Enzo Ferrari.”

That was all he said as he unzipped his fire suit, then pulled the Kevlar undershirt over his head and threw it in the corner.

“Damn those assholes, anyway.”

She didn’t understand – today wasn’t a race day, not even a practice day – all they had to do was make themselves available for the media. If it were anything else she would have been out there next to him, standing by her man so to speak, but he was so well-spoken and so confident she didn’t think she had to do the adoring girlfriend number.

“What happened?”

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Our Captain

The captain walked down the aisle, slowly, stopping to talk with a few people before she reached the cluster of flight attendants. Step one – evaluate the emergency. She took a deep breath, moved in as the wall parted for her. Harris. What was her name? Pamela, she thought, the latest addition to her crew. She leaned toward her.

“He seems distraught, Captain. We were worried. He isn’t talking, he just seems really upset.”

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A Worthwile Conference


Damn she hated these things, the meeting of the minds in her chosen field, which usually degenerated into a bunch of well-educated adults engaged in the kind of name-calling she’d thought she’d left behind in fourth grade. It wasn’t quite “Did So – Did Not” but the equivalent – “It should be obvious to the meanest intellect…” wasn’t much different. Her specialty, if you wanted to call it a specialty, was deviant behavior. Well, it used to be deviant behavior. Since the changes in the DSM the most interesting people to her – BDSM lifestyle advocates – were no longer so classified. She sighed – they were undoubtedly happier without interference from the medical community, but were they neglected? She was more concerned that her world abandoned them.

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Loving Scents

The damned woman had finally left – Kristina thought she would never go, and the smell of her cheap perfume remained behind, a constant irritating reminder. As if her sore bottom wasn’t enough. Her husband seemed really taken with the new teacher and it was aggravating. She sighed deeply. Even though she hated Miss Collins and her ideas about time-wasting piano practice she had to admit that after she had painfully worked her way through the piece repeatedly it started to sound the way Mozart intended. She was sure Jack would really enjoy it if she applied herself and learned to play it well. She had never applied herself to anything in her life other than sex. Which reminded her.

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Sometimes having a husband who was older and controlling was difficult to handle. Like now. Kristina stood like a little girl, shifting from one foot to another while Jack held the printout of the email in his hand.

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Cooking Utensils

Rosanna was orderly. When she set out to cook, all the ingredients were present and accounted for, every bowl and pan needed was clean and ready, lined up at attention along the back edge of the food preparation island. Kitchen utensils hung from their own private rack above her head, waiting to be pressed into service, proud of their role. Recipes… well, recipes were the cowboys of her universe, sometimes a single index card, propped against a canister, sometimes a cookbook pulled from her extensive library, open to the correct section, spine against the unforgiving tile. Once in a very great while it was a sheet printed from the computer across the room, the fruit of an internet search. Those she had to tape onto the light above her empire.

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