Poem – painful goodbye

She cried at work

her makeup ran down her forty-something
year-old-face

she looked a bit bad

he didn’t want her anymore
The lawn guy with his own
business

Mr. Z

He came in sometimes
i guess he was done
doing that

She cried with her dress on
We worked in a store selling
silver and she was the manager

I looked at her crying

I told her,
look in the mirror
and tell yourself
you’re beautiful

she cried harder

I don’t work there
anymore

-M. Taggart

 

A Short Story

A Short Story
Written by
-M. Taggart
Non Fiction

A Short Story

 

It was her birthday. She wanted to talk. A lot. I like to listen, but had planned on reading a book. I ordered a Guinness.

She told me she was lucky to make it. She was now 60. She didn’t say the number out-loud, instead she faced me and asked me to count her fingers.

For the next half hour I listened to her story. She had lived in foster care, had been abused, physically and mentally, found herself at 18 with a vicious tongue and lost herself completely in her twenties.

She had attempting suicide multiple times. The last attempt landed her in a coma and in the hospital. During the explanation of her life she bounced from age-to-age and from addiction to health. By her mid-thirties she had once again found herself and had stopped drinking. She also stopped using drugs.

She found both again and lived another round of almost not living. She was homeless for a time. She vomited feces while she was dying. She woke up on a Monday, put her make-up on, and lived.

I didn’t bother trying to read my book. I wanted her to finish her story. This happens to me often when I sit at the bar. I don’t mind. When I don’t want to talk, I stand in the corner, alone, with a book and a beer.

She is very kind. Full of love for life and happy to have not died during her attempts to end hers. She told me this while pouring her new beer into an empty pint glass. Her eyes widened as she started a new chapter of her story.

Slowly, I entered small facts about myself into the conversation. “You lived in Turners Falls, MA?!” she replied? “No, I went to High School in that town. And Turners was a border town to my home town.” “No wonder you had anger! There’s nothing there!”

That wasn’t the reason I had anger. I love that town.

She knew the drug houses, the homeless issue, the violence, the left over edge one has after spending any length of time in that region. And here we sat, in a pub located in Maine.

She asked if I was familiar with Greenfield. “Yes. Greenfield is where I was in one-too-many fights and also where I spent time in jail.”

She told me she lived in the woman’s home in Greenfield and that’s where she got clean. It took over a year, but they were amazing to her and saved her life.

I told her I wrote a short story that had much to do with the small town mindset of that area. And there we sat, enjoying our lives in the now, talking about the past. About the very town where I’ve lost friends due to addiction and violence. The very town where I found love for the first time and where I learned driving alone late at night, with the windows down and radio off, was a form of freedom that I was only just beginning to understand.

 

-M. Taggart

Published Stories

I look at the physical copies and smile.
It’s not easy to gain traction in the industry of writing.
It just isn’t.
There are thousands of writers in different countries
that are incredible and the world will never know.
So, for me to have gained at least this amount of traction,
I am pleased. I am not done though. There is much to do.
I’ll keep being comfortably me. And I’ll continue to smile
at the two books.

-M. Taggart

If you are interested in what the stories are about, or purchasing one of the books, reach out to me and I’ll send the information. Cheers!

I’m Fine – Short Story

Short Story
Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

I’m Fine

 

His father never called him. And when he called his father, it was generally ignored. If he wanted to see his father he drove to his father’s house and knocked on the door. Sometimes the door wouldn’t open. Other times it would open before he reached the steps. He never knew which father he was going to get. He was never asked inside. His father was too ashamed of the interior of the house. They’d sit on the steps and talk sports. Or about beer. Sometimes they would talk about government corruption and always they talked about humanity. Never, though, did he step inside.

One time he drove to his father’s house to find his father passed out drunk in the driveway. He went to town, bought a six pack of beer, and came back. His father was still passed out in the driveway. He didn’t care. He loved his father as he was. Even if his father didn’t love himself. When his father finally woke, he offered him a beer. It was still cold. His father took it, drank half down, and said “Did you see who they voted in? This isn’t for self desire to love what’s to come, it’s for self duty to be what is!” He wasn’t sure what that meant, but they talked about politics while drinking beer for the next two hours.

A large cloud, shaped like a simple circle, produced shade on the mountainside. He thought it looked nice. He liked how the wind was just strong enough to push the leaves in a continuous hurry. It was easy to watch.

He used a stick to draw a circle in the dirt. He was sitting on a rock just above the water line. The riverbank mud and dirt was spattered with leaves and smelled of organic waste. It was going to get worse before better. He knew this. He wished the getting worse part would go nicely on him the way a mean dog eases up just before biting and instead of biting only shows teeth and raises its fur. Maybe death is like that. Maybe you only feel bad for a small amount of time, and then you’re free. He drew an ‘X’ in the circle.

The cloud had moved on and now he thought the mountainside looked bright and alive. He tossed the stick into the river, watched the creation of water rings disperse, and pulled his knees into his body. He felt as though he were hovering just about his body. Looking forward, searching for another kind of shade, he saw double as tears filled his eyes, then saw nothing because he would not blink.

He missed his father. He wished he’d been able to spend more time with him. Now the option of time is gone. He wanted to drive to his father’s house, sit on the steps, and talk. Because talking to his father’s steps is better than not talking at all. And he thought if he ever has a child he’ll sit on those same steps and tell exactly how everything was instead of hiding how it should be.

 

**

Contact:
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/contact/

About:
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/m-taggart/

Published Work:
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

The Old Dam – 1912

I remember the cement stairs leading down to the tunnel
I remember the dampness of the walls, the deepening darkness
It was after midnight-
I stood at bottom of the stairwell and at the beginning of the tunnel
I couldn’t see to the other side
I felt the strength of the entire river above me
along with the loneliness of the ghosts
I wondered if they were here
I wanted to believe the stories
The old dam had taken more than one-
The tunnel was built under the dam to house the pumps
which opened and closed the flood gates
I needed to walk the entire length of the tunnel
to open a valve on the very last pump
The hanging lights flickered as I waked underneath them
A few had burned out-
Water trickled down the walls
I could smell and even taste the mustiness
I was forcing myself to feel comfortable
My safety goggles had collected moisture
My ear plugs were irritating me.
I felt agitated. But mostly
I didn’t feel I was alone
I forced myself to look back toward the stairwell
What did I see?
Who knows. Maybe all of these words are fictitious
Or, maybe this is written it exactly as it was

-M. Taggart

An Ocean View

An Ocean View

Fiction: -M. Taggart

Oh- the day was nice. Nicer than most. And we kept driving and looking at the ocean as it appeared and disappears as it does. We were driving on Route One in Rhode Island. When the ocean was in view it was hard to breathe. The sun sparkled so violently it took your attention.

Things would have been alright if the man hadn’t shouldered dad. Dad was fine until he wasn’t. And when he wasn’t, things were fine for no one.

Dad had been in line, holding Mom’s hand. I saw it all happen. The man looked at mom. The way men look at women. Dad pretended to not see. But he did. Dad was looking up and away from the man. The man set his eyes level with Mom’s and smirked, thinking something. Then he shouldered dad. Clear as day.

Dad turned nicely to mom. His eyes knew so much. Mom gave the nod.

I tried watching, but mom held my head tucked in her arms. She even took hold of my nose. I couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t breathe through my nose.

It didn’t take long. We were back in the car and the ocean was again winking at us and it seemed nothing had happened at all.

**

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to read more of my writing, please consider my self published short story found via the link below.

-M. Taggart

My Six Word Story

Two babies cry, one is fed.   -M. Taggart

 

It’s no secret that Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author.  This is my first six word story.  When I feed Gavin I find myself thinking of little ones going without. Their cries shredding the night, falling on ears without care.

My grandfather was orphaned as an infant. I’m proud to say I see a bit of him in Gavin.

 

 

Our Path – Odd Walking Thoughts

There’s a path in back of the old school. We ran to it and slammed into the wood-line and then further. You laughed first and I held mine back. The woods slept while watching. We weren’t sure to leave or stay and then decided to ask a rock. We asked, ‘Would we be alright to stay?’ the rock said nothing. We jumped over the brook and leveled the ferns.  

Her Flower – A short Story. Dare to read.

A short story written by Matt Taggart. Aka –M. Taggart

Copyright 6/21/2015

Fiction

 

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.