by Carol Smallwood

     Fragments. The brilliant colors in the stained glass window of St. John’s I stared at while others went to communion; the scalloped edge of Aunt Heidi’s gloves; the restroom in the church basement with its stark light bulb and frayed string, the chipped porcelain sink; being startled when I saw someone with hair more gray than blonde before recognizing myself in the mirror; the angle of the bishop’s hat (what was it called?) in the church’s lobby picture; the deep satisfaction I’d felt seeing a run in Rachel’s nylons and gray roots of her Raggedy Ann red hair—hair so red that it’d looked like she’d been drinking too much Cherry Kool-Aid; Aunt Hester looking at me with narrowed eyes across a buffet table; the wedge-shaped, crew cut coach all in black except for his white socks–I remember Mark as a student snickering at his white socks.

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Excerpt from Lily’s Odyssey (print novel 2010) published with permission of All Things That Matter Press. Its first chapter was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in Best New Writing. 

Carol Smallwood’s books include
Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching, foreword by Molly Peacock (McFarland, 2012) on Poets & Writers magazine’s list of Best Books for Writers; Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (Key Publishing House, 2012); and Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity, and Other Realms (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011). Carol has founded, supports humane societies.