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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


Jail Time

Here's the scoundrel, my father said.
He was in my shed smoking.
I've got gasoline cans in there.
The police sergeant looked at me
with eyes grey as gun barrels.
I was nine. My father had already
taken a switch to me.  This way, boy,
the sergeant said.


"Ok, son, this is your home
for the next few years."
The cell's closing door rang
like stones dropped
into a metal bucket.
"You'll be a man when your father
comes to retrieve you," he said.
I burst
into tears. My father
begged the sergeant to give me
one more chance. He relented
and I went home as somber
as a stone. I never
lit a cigarette

 An Aging Bachelor
 I'm 52, and the attractive women have been harvested.
 What have I got to offer the few stragglers
 who are the single scene?
 My scalp is receding. My nose wanders like a fence in sand.
 I have a sympathetic ear, and my pockets empty
 for my friends faster than outpourings of advice.
 "What girl wants that kind  of man?
 A woman wants security," the widow Lucy says. 
 "Not someone digging under cushions for rent money.
 Why are you angry? I ask.  "I'm not," she says and storms off.
 What was that about,
 I wonder.

Her Scent

Always there is the hint
of perfume on his shirts, 
lining the pockets of his coats.
The same brunette hair clinging
to his sleeves. 
But after all some things one picks up 
innocently. Like the scents
of Passion flowers fawned off on you
by the wind's quick hands.
Or the scent of a cigarette from the bloke
next to you at a watering hole
who disappears into his drink
and leaves his smoke
on your clothing.
Maybe the other woman no one speaks of
will drift away, become no more 
than a dusting of snow in the air.
Maybe tomorrow you won't harbor the suspicion
that the underwear you slip on carries
her scent, the scent of wet leaves
that cling disgustedly
to you

Copyright 2008, Loretta Sylvestre. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Loretta Sylvestre, who spent her early years in Southern California, now lives in the green and wet western half of Washington State – a beautiful place to grow stories.  She received her BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, with major emphasis in music theory and cross-cultural communication.