I’ll continue to live to create impact rather than be a memory which is unable to be recalled. – M. Taggart
‘Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.’ -For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway.
And today I edit chapter 27 which contains the best line I feel I’ve written to this point. Hemingway continues to guide me and is the best teacher I’ve had.
Considering the current events I think this poem is fitting. Emily is among the best of poets. I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of her poems yet hadn’t read this until a close colleague shared it today. Enjoy.
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
He had said much but much was said without seeing. He wasn’t my friend though he thought so. In fact he thought we ought to be best of friends. Mud has a funny color and at most times we cannot see it. A hole deepens and we approach and ask if we might want to follow it down to see what’s to find. We ask, ‘Should we?’ and wait and the trees care very little about our question. However, the frog is again here and replies, ‘If you were to lay your small face against the mud and listen you might know before asking.’
You move often. Your mother made the determination that you hold a baby dance party a few times per day. You kick hard. Sometimes you kick hard and your mother flinches and draws breath. She doesn’t mind because she says she likes to feel you. Last night she said she can’t wait to meet you and to hold you. She held her hands out to show me how. Soon, she’ll be holding you and later you can read this.
I often stand in front of the refrigerator looking at your ultra sound. I feel it with my hand and tell you hello. And a few nights ago I held your mother’s stomach with my right hand and felt you. You were active for nearly a half hour and your mother was sitting upright in her pillow fortress. She uses the pillow fortress to help her sleep. First she positions the arm chair pillow and then the side pillows. She crawls into the middle and then adds additional side pillows. Then we watch you move. When she’s covered with blankets you can only see a portion of her dark hair and sometimes you can’t see her at all. I sit up at night while she’s sleeping and wonder if you are also sleeping. I used to tickle her ears to wake her if I wanted to talk, but now I let you both sleep and I watch and listen to her breathe. I think we accidentally woke you this weekend. We lay in bed talking about what we would have for breakfast and you must have heard. You became very active and nearly held an early morning dance party but instead decided to switch positions and kick your mother.
Yesterday your mother told me you held a dance party during her morning meeting. I replied that you knew how boring morning meeting would be so you felt it was your duty to make something of interest take place. You entertained her and she thanks you.
Your mother is seven and a half months pregnant. Her eyes are vibrant blue and soon I’ll watch you look into them. She is beautiful and she carries you in the front very well. She likes to pat her stomach and talk to you. I listen because she talks in a soothing tone and it eases me. It eases me because I can feel in her tone her love for you. She also likes to think she understands which food you like. Between you and I chocolate ice cream comes up often and I’m not sure I can take her word for it. I’ll ask you.
Don’t have please. You weren’t suppose to have been. Knowing more and that’s because. Sound off means little when time catches. Here take a long pull then we’ll see. Forgiveness has already taken place. A man tells us yes, we ought to, and we ask why. He answers with eyes shut.
Let us not-
We’re in a fine cadence-
To awaken is most unkind-
A fine one-
This trained leader-
A short story written by Matt Taggart. Aka –M. Taggart
Her Flower – Fiction
The flowers were drenched in sunlight. They grew close to the stone wall in the front yard. They built the stone wall when they purchased the house years ago and now he watched the flowers grow.
Their lawn was green and the driveway was free of debris. It had stormed the night before and he picked up broken branches and left over bark. He’d taken to the driveway with his broom and pushed and pushed in a rhythm he’d known most his life.
He walked to the flowers and touched a yellow petal and said, ‘So it goes.’
‘Grandpa! Can we go to the market? I want to see the deli case with the large pickles. Can we?’ his granddaughter yelled from within the house. He turned to see her standing in a yellow sun dress with her hair in a ponytail.
‘We may. You’ll go in for me?’
‘Oh, of course.’ She said with a serious brow. ‘I’ll go in and I’ll get the milk and I’ll get the eggs. I’ll do it all. Just sit in your truck please and thank you.’ She swayed and smiled.
He straightened himself and told her to stop looking aloof and to move along to the truck. His grass was green and he didn’t see any reason to put more fertilizer down. Not yet.
‘What’s a-hoof?’ she asked.
‘Aloof. Aloof, is nothing like a hoof.’
‘I don’t know what aloof means, but I know a hoof and I’m no hoof. I’m a little girl.’
‘That you are, sunshine. Whatever you do, do not become a hoof. That would imply that you’re a large mammal, such as an Ox.’
Her blonde head stopped and turned to her grandfather with a serious look, ‘I’m no Ox. Grandpa, take that back.’
‘You’re no Ox. You’re aloof.’
He looked toward his truck and marked the small amount of rust building on the frame under the wheel well. He’d need to get to that before it was too late. He opened the door and felt the familiar hitch in the hinge. ‘Get in, sunshine.’
‘Thank you, Grandpa.’
The truck felt fine and the road wasn’t wet from the storm. They passed the intersection where he once pulled a man from a large snow bank who had drank too much and had driven in the snowstorm anyway. He had told the man that maybe next time he’d remember to not drive at all.
Then, they passed the farm that had the brown cows. He’d once told his granddaughter that brown cows create chocolate milk. They were all together that day and she had wanted to get out and try the cow’s milk. That was a fine day.
Padding his mind, he watched the road pass as though it were the same as the previous hundred times he’d seen it. He looked to see his granddaughter watching out the window; looking stern and with seriousness and he knew where he’d seen that look before.
The road ended and they sat at the intersection waiting for the green light. He noticed how the traffic was already heavier. Summer had started. The light turned green and he crossed the intersection and shortly after, turned into the market.
‘I’ll be right back.’ His granddaughter explained. She felt for the knob.
‘We’ll both be right back. Do you think I’d let you walk into the market by yourself?’
‘It’s nothing really. Just eggs and milk. I know.’
He tucked his chin to his chest and counted.
‘I’m sorry, Grandpa. I’m sorry.’ She leaned into him and hugged him.
The market was busy. People had come early. They made quick progress and the eggs and milk were paid for. The cashier said it was nice to see them and smiled large and wouldn’t stop. They both said thank you and she took her grandfather’s hand and left the store.
He felt her hand in his and the pressure wasn’t much. He loved her and was thinking of how he might help her through whatever she may become aware of. They walked hand in hand around the bread truck that had parked near the front of the store.
His truck was parked facing them. His saw the steering wheel and was fine. He looked at the passenger’s seat and fell to his knees. His granddaughter hugged him and told him it was alright and that she would help him and that she loved him.
‘So it goes.’ – Kurt Vonnecut, Slughterhouse-Five.
This morning Megan told me Happy Father’s day. I’ve never been told this. It’s just after seven in the morning and her dark hair was falling over her naked shoulders. Megan is seven months pregnant and she is beautiful. And now with her naked shoulders and her dark hair and her arms reaching for me to come hug her she tells me happy father’s day.
I am toasting my ornery looking picture. To myself, and to all this applies, Happy Father’s day. The photo was taken a few weeks ago at a winery located in the hills of CT. It’s among our favorites. We walk to the edge of the winery and sometimes we stand on the rock wall and watch the cows graze. The only issue I take with the picture is that Megan is not with me. She is holding the camera and there was no one there.
Now I sit at my desk with a coffee and a bit of red. I will celebrate this morning and I will write my 23rd chapter and I will think of the day we meet him.
She sits, reading to my niece, awaiting her turn.