Breath & Shadow
Volume 12, Issue 1
"Absurdity for Drum and Glockenspiel" and "Reliquary"
Robert L. Smith
While I've never actually seen
the offending instrument,
I've heard it often enough:
the high, metallic stammer
of the glockenspiel, like the oddly
disturbing song of some solitary child, wafting out of the JROTC room,
accompanied by a single faltering drum, as I leave campus by a basement
door at the end of the school day.
Doug's stomach flip-flopped. The official last day of summer before he started junior year was over. Now all he had left to do was somehow manage to get to sleep.
Well, there was one more thing.
He reached out, running a hand over the buttons on his backpack. Some of them could stay-- like his dorky yellow peace sign, and the second one he had gotten that said Breathe Peace with a pair of lungs on either side of the sign, because why the hell not?
"Songed to Silenced"
My father and I played and replayed the scene in the Little Mermaid
in which Ariel relinquishes her voice.
"Has she lost it?" I would ask.
"Not yet," my father would say. "Shhh. Listen."
And then we'd find that exact second
where the singing would cut off-
a mercifully sterilized transition.
I drove by the place three times before catching a glimpse of the overgrown path, barely visible through the tangles of honeysuckle. Perhaps it was my time in the city, but I was expecting a driveway, even though the parched mud flat I was driving on could hardly qualify as a road.
I pulled off into some tall grass and parked, still a little uncertain as to why I was here. I turned and got out only a wee bit slower than normally, my protruding belly no more than a minor hindrance at this point.
"The Alphabetical Prescription for Living With A Chronic Medical Condition"
During college I worked in a public library. The first five years of my teaching career were spent teaching kindergarten. In both instances, the alphabet was a large part of each of my days. As a result, I now tend to look at the world and want to alphabetize it.
Living with an autoimmune disease is unpredictable and uncontrollable in many respects. Yet, I am a person who strives for order. So, I have written the A to Z Prescription for living with, and coping with, a chronic medical condition.
A. Acknowledge that your disease won't go away. You don't recover from an autoimmune disease like you do from a cold.