Never Give Up

I believe there is great strength in the ones who fight to not abandon. I think we all carry levels of pain. Some scars we can all easily see and help to care for and caress back to a version of functional health. Others are buried so deeply they’ll never be seen or fully understood. I find weakness in the ones that abandon. A selfishness that destroys itself in final completeness.

Not Their Void – A Poem

My grandfather was orphaned
While in utero
His father committed suicide
Before he was born
His mother gave him,
Along with his siblings
To the state

When he was 18 he joined the Navy
And never looked back
I wish I could have known him
He held me once
When I was six months old
He was 41 when he died
I am told I’m a lot like him

Our neighbor’s husband is moving to Florida
They have a young son and daughter together
And both are now stuck with abandonment’s scar for life
I hope he enjoys his new life
And that he eventually realizes his flesh
Is worthless
It infuriates me to know there are people in this world
So void they rip holes where hearts beat
Hearts held in place by tiny frames
And little feet with little hands
Please little ones, understand you are not their void.

-M. Taggart

A Child Hopes

A Child Hopes

Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

 

A child too young to crawl had no parents. A man placed the child in a crib and walked away while listening to its suffering cries. The infant had no understanding of the fading footsteps, but fully felt the abandonment.

Near the crib, carved into the cold stone wall, was the saying, ‘These stones wash my mind.’ A smiling face was left as a signature.

A nine-year-old had created the message.

Etched into the wood floor beneath the infant’s crib was another, ‘My thoughts are new this morning having never been thought before.’  Another smiling face was left as a signature.

**

‘What are you doing?’ Nick’s grandfather asked.

‘Reading.’ Nick replied. He held onto a nail. He was helping his grandfather in the garage.

‘Oddly, I never read much. But, when I did, it changed me.’

Nick’s grandfather was a large man. He wore grey work pants and a white t-shirt with suspenders.

‘Grandpa, what does this means? “These stones wash my mind.” That’s what it says in the book.’

Nick’s grandfather stopped fidgeting with the bird feeder he was building. Looking at the rafters, then his boots, he shook his head, ‘You might want to find another book.’ He reached a window with his eyes, and noticed how the sunlight spilled around the clouds.

Nick didn’t want to find another book. This book was too important. And he didn’t miss his grandfather’s face when he’d asked. He saw. He saw fully. Nick looked at the nail in his hand. It was metal. It smelled like metal. It looked like metal. It tasted like metal. But these words didn’t taste, or look like anything, but words. Though, he felt them.

‘Why didn’t you read much? That doesn’t make sense. If it changed you, was it for the better, or worse.’ Nick asked.

‘They were fluff. So much fluff. And the eyes reading them never cared. They read because they read. But, a few, changed me because they were meant to be written. And when I read them they made me to see.’

‘To see what?’

‘That’s not really the question. ‘These stones wash my mind.’ That’s the question. Be careful to not lose focus. If you want an answer to a question, truly want it, never stop until that one question is fully answered. Then, move to the next.’

Nick felt shamed. His cheeks filled red with emotion. He stood to walk from the garage and let the nail drop to the cement floor. It wasn’t that he couldn’t focus.

‘If you had answered my question the first time I asked it, I wouldn’t have had to rework new questions to again come to the first. And if it’s too hard for you to talk about, why’d you write the book?’

Nick walked out of the garage. Sunlight lit his young shoulders.

 

***

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Can I Be – Flash Fiction

Can I Be
Flash Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

Can I Be

As seen in the nine years old boy’s diary before his death-

‘I didn’t know I was bad. I felt it once but I made it go away. Jan 14.

I found out I am not bad. I saw bad today. That is not me.  Jan 21.

I had a good day. My uncle took me to a movie. When I came home he told me he was sorry. Feb 6.

I think I’d like not to be here anymore.  Feb 22.

I did what I was told. I don’t know who else to tell. Feb 28.

Today was good. I was told I could go to school again. I want to go to school again. I want to learn and read books. March 3.

My covers aren’t enough.  March 4.’

The boy was found dead March 5. The boys diary contained notes and drawings.

(edited timeline error.)

A Mother Endures

Hadly was an enduring mother. Her twins, Peter and Elizabeth, were taking a nap. Her youngest, Jenny, was on her lap. She was rocking the baby to sleep. Her brow was set. Once all three were asleep she’d have an opportunity.

What was left of the day’s sunshine spilled through the half open window shade which shown a path of light to the opening of the closet where soiled children’s clothes lay. She would do a load of laundry as soon as Jenny was asleep, she thought.

Hadly watched Jenny’s heavy eyes. The baby was blinking and with each blink her tiny eyelids were staying closed longer. Within minutes Jenny’s eyes would shut and not open again for at least a half hour. Hadly smelled the top of Jenny’s head and nuzzled her. She told her she loved her in a soothing tone.

Hadly took notice of the changing table’s mess. She needed to remember to clean the linen and wash the wood where the soiled diaper had slipped from her hands. The baby had kicked and gotten her heal into the diaper unexpectedly. Normally she would have placed the diaper in a position where even if Jenny had kicked, it wouldn’t have mattered.

The baby took one last blink and was asleep. Hadly kissed Jenny’s head and slowly rose from the rocking chair and walked to the crib. She cradled Jenny’s head and lowered her body, gently, and smoothed Jenny’s hair as always. She again told Jenny she loved her, turned to the closet, gathered the dirty clothes, and walked out of the nursery.

While walking down the hallway, with the clothes in her arms, she quietly peered into the bedroom to view the twins. Peter was sleeping face down in an awkward position, but she could see his body rise with each breath; there was no worry. Elizabeth slept on her side, facing her. Elizabeth was small for a three year old. Her cheeks were rosy and always flushed to a degree even when inside and asleep.

Every afternoon was a variation of this. One way or another she’d entice the twins into a nap and then she’d rock Jenny to sleep. Finally she’d have a small amount of time to handle items around the house before learning if her husband would come home on time, or not at all.

Hadly stood in front of the bathroom mirror. She had started the laundry and now had to decide if she wanted to shower, or wash bottles. Her face looked stern and caring. Her eyes looked vibrant and knowing, but if you knew when to look, you’d see they were tired. She didn’t allow herself to view her tired eyes, only the vibrant because there wasn’t time to be tired. And now she needed to quickly decide, shower, or bottles.

Her husbands hands-off approach was something she took as a personal challenge. It was not a punishment. She had wanted and gotten the children she’d dreamed of having. Last night he had come home late. This didn’t surprise, nor anger her. Last week he hadn’t come home at all on Tuesday night. This was happening so regularly now that the children had stopped asking questions.

She softened her brow to view the creases ease. She let the memory of having moved away from her family and friends steal a few precious seconds. She thought of how difficult it had been to give her career away, but she had done it. Then, they had lost the first one. She endured and now they have three. She smiled at herself in the mirror and a small tear formed. She let it drop freely down her cheek and onto her chin. She had time for one tear and a shower if she hurried.

I’ve endured my entire life. Maybe enduring isn’t enough, she thought.

*

Copyright 2016 -M. Taggart

Note: I wrote this with limited time Sunday morning with my wife, Megan, and eight month old, Gavin, in back of me. They are in bed watching cartoons. Gavin is babbling at his toys and Megan is drinking coffee I had brought to her a few moments ago. I’ve never written in the same room as my family. I like this story and may develop it further. Thanks for reading, Matt.

If you enjoyed this short story you might also like my self published short story found on amazon via the link below:

 

Wash – Flash Fiction

A child too young to crawl has no parents. A man placed the child in a crib and walked away while listening to its suffering cries. The infant has no understanding of the fading footsteps, but fully feels the abandonment.

Near the crib, carved into the cold stone wall, was the saying, ‘These stones wash my mind.’ A smiling face was left as a signature.

A four year old had created the message.

Etched in the planks of the wood floor beneath the infants crib was another, ‘My thoughts are new this morning having never been thought before.’  Another smiling face was left as a signature.

copyright 2016 -M. Taggart