Brother

My brother called a month ago to ask if I’d like to be his best man. This will be the fourth time I will be the best man in a wedding. I’m not sure how this keeps happening.

My younger brother has always been my soft spot. He was my saving grace.

He asked if I would do an old-fashioned best man’s speech.

He said, “With how you are with your words I’d like to hear what you have to say. Just please include the memory when I threw the rock through your window at 3 AM because I locked my keys inside.” He was outside drunk. Alone. Happy.

While my brother was talking about the wedding I tried to stay in the moment. I’ll admit I did drift.

With everything that’s happened in the past few months, including nearly losing my wife due to an internal rupture, and internal bleeding, I drifted. I started to imagine myself at my brother’s wedding. Me going into the old systematic fold that I’ve always used when I’m around many people. No one knows. People will tell me it’s great to see me and I’ll think something along the lines of, ‘We gain too much knowledge and we die.’ I’ll shake their hand and observe how much time I think they might have left. Some people seem to have a harder time absorbing knowledge than others. They’ll ask me a direct question and I’ll answer them very quickly. And we’ll head to the bar.

-M. Taggart

Cheers

 

poem- spliced

We rocked in a padded room
holding a single piece of fabric
which was so perfectly fine
that it wasn’t allowed to be-
It frayed and spliced
into millions of splintered ends
leaving us blank and empty-
The door to our padded room opened-
We stopped rocking
knowing it was now over-
The one thought was gone.

-M. Taggart
copyright 2018

Odd Walking Thoughts –

Anger is freedom. Tell this to a peaceful mind who’s never known, or literally felt the hand of abuse, and you’ll find a child tossed like an outcast. Alone, habitually, alone. Anger will rise- showing a path. A path the child absorbs and carves larger because no one else would. The mouths now turn toward the audience, wide open, spilling secrets of lies. And they preach, always, this emotion is wrong. You are wrong. Anger is wrong. You are unwanted. The mouths preach this untruth to the child. The lies grow from one perfectly peaceful mind to another. And the child sits alone. Carving their path. Having learned to read the most important story of all.

-M. Taggart

Thanks for reading.

Here’s another ‘Odd Walking Thoughts’
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/odd-walking-thoughts-again-the-frog/

Odd Walking Thoughts – A Wind

The boy was exhausted. Again, he picked his head to look. It hurt him to be both asleep and not. Is he alone? Soon, he knew, the door would open. Time to shower. Time to shower. Time to shadow. Time to disappear. Can we push the shadow with the whisper? Does it count to pour this down? Or, are we to always let the steam rise and the door lock and the scream shutter.

-M. Taggart copyright 2017

Odd Walking Thoughts – Die Well

He was small. Especially for his age. His stomach hurt. He thought it was his fault. Whenever he ate, he was in pain. He’d cry and ask to not eat more. The woods were dark. The boy loved the woods at night. If he listened he could hear ants crawling on a leaf. Sometimes, the moon would show the way for him, other times he couldn’t see at all. It didn’t matter. When his stomach hurt he thought strange things and never told anyone. The moon was bright. So bright it lit his brook and he could see his reflection. He wanted to know about death and life but there wasn’t anyone to ask. So he asked a large rock, ‘What do you think about dying?’ The rock took a long, long time to reply. ‘If I were to kill a man I’d do it calmly. I would kill him nicely so he might die well. Men have forgotten to die well and I’d like them to remember.’

copyright 2016 -M. Taggart

No More Angels – A Poem

Under the chair rocks a breeze
Indentured to the dirt and dust
Out of which comes a ball of hair

Further now it travels
Into the wild openness of the floor
Your floor which you keep immaculate

You see this insult nearly floating about
Seething and spewing mindlessness
This fur, this thing, it cannot be

Not on this floor – certainly not within this house
When rushing to capture this weightless debris
The chair rocks more deeply than before

Set about are three more
It must be the cat – It couldn’t be me
The mop bucket sloshed and readied

Always this – Always this – Never any more
Inside this head rests the tallest walls
So strongly built there is no out

The children’s laughter bounced from the old house-
Making the dilapidated clap boards seem to dance-
Even the sun-warped windows were beginning to smile-

They ran and shouted and cheered-
The sunshine splashed down on their hair and made angels of them-
As they mingled away, the old home was once again alone-

No more dancing clap boards or smiling windows
No more happy children’s laughter
No more angels

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: