Flower Song

Neighbors noticed the band teacher’s yard sprout unconventional planters over the first month of her retirement: chrysanthemums ejecting from half-buried tubas, sunflowers booming from kettle drum frames tarnished green. It was Mr. Johnson who suggested putting her talent to good use. Soon, every yard played a flower song.

Meat Wads

The alligator perched on a pile of magazines and the roof of Ava’s Barbie car, two of many islands in our basement. We discussed building a ramp to the broken window, but it was Ava who wadded up ground beef, lured the thing upstairs, and out the door.

Health Nut

My friend Ron walks into his kitchen, hooks the tip of his sneaker under the bottom drawer next to the fridge, and flicks it open.“Dude, have some,” Ron says.Inside the drawer, I see Chips Ahoy cookies, moon pies, and those Little Debbie wafer bars that I used to beg for in the grocery store but …

Merope

I had imagined pinks and vermillions, an impossible sunset contained within an industrial warehouse. I had heard the chitter of squirrels and felt spring breezes. But when I awoke to a thump, felt the vibrations through the floor of my Nomad cell, and saw the most beautiful open door I had ever seen, I knew …