thrift shop

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A row of books, leather spines crumbling
but clinging to yellowed pages, a whiff
of eau de library stacks
A fur coat, pelts aligned but becoming
disorganized, the hides waging
disputes over property lines
A cedar chest, void of contents,
key taped fast inside the lid, mourning
the long-absent trousseau
A worn and faded album – big band, jazz?
gramaphonic stereophonic vinyl tinged with the slight perfume of mothballs
A silver platter, blackened with tarnish
amongst greening brass candlesticks and
every-paling silk bouquets
These things
are just things but once were lives,
some cast away, some stolen, some lost
waiting to be found again

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

roots and wings

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Deep in the riotous midst
of raising children,
I am told
about roots and wings
in tones
of absolute
obsessive
necessity.
Sure, I will give them
roots (to grow, of course)
wings (to fly, indeed)
and for a moment
I imagine two beautiful trees –
majestic oaks perhaps,
well-formed and mature, snakes of
roots embracing the earth
while enormous leafy wings
protrude from each gnarled trunk.
The moment of flight comes; wings
flap in synchronic desperation,
straining, straining to lift the
oaken bodies, tethered fast
to the soil.
Perhaps I am a literal thinker,
but this sounds like
a really bad idea.

by Melissa Kro.

Trust me, we really do give our kids “roots and wings”.

via Daily Prompt: Roots

thoughts on the color gray

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there are flowers of yellow,
daffodil and dandelion, splashes
of violets, violet! and white,
nestled amongst emerald green geometry
and unforgiving gray walkways

there are streams, brilliant waters
sparkling blue and muddy brown,
some green and thick with algae
teeming with life within, along
shores lined with gray granite pebbles

there are skies, far above,
mostly ordinary blue, but clouds
roll in, pale wisps of cotton
and at times, there are storms
mounting powerful gray thunderheads

gray is hard as concrete, a
handle of pebbles, a stone,
formidable as storm clouds
and a darkening sky, but
my heart sees gray
in the downy breast of a dove, the
fluff of mouse fur, the
tiny soft things of life.

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Gray

celebrate the letter z

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Let’s celebrate the twenty-sixth letter,
the dazzling frazzling Zed,
a letter whose buzz brings a clench to the jaw
and zithering hum to the head.
To love the Z is to hum merrily
on a kazoo for hours infinite
Watching buzzards zip by, seeking bright azure skies
over zebras on Zanzibar’s inlets.
Without the brave Z we would not be abuzz,
hear a campfire sizzle and pop
(but you might see a grizzly bear’s brown furry fuzz)
a bizarre camping tale, hard to top!
Hooray for the Z, always last, wild and free
It’s zany and crazy, trailblazing –
the first letter A may be common, you see
but his most distant cousin’s amazing!

by Melissa Kro.

Today was a lot of z-words: doozy, crazy, fazing. That, and I felt pretty silly.

via Daily Prompt: Zip

spring

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The desire was there,
sunshine-fueled momentum, high
blue skied exposed skin vitamin d.
We, the citizens of the north
peeled off layers, not quite
hot yet (just right) a
breezy whiff of pollen,
gleam of mercury, one
mote in the eye of
this summer-to-be.
We are avid weathergoers,
wanting, needing change
embracing the turn, amid
studious extrapolations
involving patterns
and jet streams, multitudes
of precipitation
as evidenced by outerwear.
We exist in this vernal moment,
squint into cloudless skies, feel
the prickle of sun rays, hear
robin song, see
the tug of worm from
the warming earth.

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Avid

harmony

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The spotlight finds his gaze and
he stands, pale and questioning
eyes downcast, searching his worn leather shoes
for strength or a sign
And then, chin lifted,
he begins to sing, a sonorous blessing
offered to all who will hear, but
a lonely sound, alas –
Ah then, in thirds does weave
the duet voice, can you hear
a lovely sound – see her there in the light?
she stands, back straight and harmony true,
each note, each tone
a finely wrapped gift
Their voices together, rising, swell
in beautiful mathematic precision
meant to be, meant to be heard
together

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Harmony

mystery meat

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“How do you like yours?” he asked, scrubbing the worn jackknife blade against his tattered jeans. He squatted, slowly, surveying the struggling campfire, stabbing the darkening embers with the knife. His words felt forced and tired, heavy.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, she thought, what would the others say? They were 62 days out and the last surviving members of the party. Any hope of a rescue had long faded away.

“Well?” He gazed downward at the gelatinous pink mass and carved a thick pale slice. Their eyes locked in a sodium-saturated stare.

“Fried” she replied. “Fry, baby, fry”. 

By Melissa Kro.

100 word story
Fry

lighten up, please

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An innocent slip, a small tee hee hee
a burble from tightly pursed lips,
which without much provocation becomes
a giggle, in dribbles and drips.
Make way for a chuckle! a chortle! a peal!
a head-to-toe all-out guffaw,
an uncontrollable, knee slapping laugh
fueling curious spectators’ awe.
To break out in laughter and let it all go
is a part of the human existence
so please – crack bad jokes, pull sight gags, tickle toes
and spread the joy. Trust my insistence!

Today’s prompt word came at the right time. We all need to laugh.

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Chuckle

opacity as a coping mechanism

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She asked me if I could feel opaque
and the words rolled in my mouth
hard candies, glass marbles –
transparency
opacity

known for sight and
proven for obscurity
She closed her eyes, tipped her head
back, way back
breathing feel the wind
does it go through you, or around?

I sighed,
much like that breeze
knowing the wind
as thoughts
as words
as stones

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Opaque

insomnia, part deux

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many a night
when sleep is fickle and elusive
i turn (gently, of course)
one shoulder
one hip, smoothing covers just so,
my heartbeat simple and sure
accompanied by an ensemble
of many-pitched respirations.
many a night
the quiet hours
the dark hours
become lonely hours
beget angry hours, and
i must make peace with my child-self,
demand that she retires, petulant
and glassy eyed,
sinking back into her night ship,
willing the lulling waves
to return.
there are nights
(thankful few)
when my heart leaps with a visceral jolt, all
jangled chest and panting breath
my frightened frame folding
upward, swiftly, the taut snap
of a closing penknife.
these moments of chaos,
of fear, (thankful few)
threaten the
quiet
the dark
the lonely
the night-time calm, and must be forced,
pushed into the choppy, frothing sea
the midnight depths
while i remain abed
awake or a-slumber, real
and realized.

by Melissa Kro.

via Daily Prompt: Jolt