Bare, revisited

Fire, small and mean, spits at me, its red darting flames just like my daughter’s tongue when it protrudes from her mouth to scorn me. I scowl back. Fistfuls of smoke pour over the cauldron; howling winds grab the steam and fling it out on the high prairie beyond the grove of trees encircling me. […]



I needed to get up but couldn’t. Rather, seated and frozen, I willed the clock and my children to stop moving. If these would cease their audacious advance, I might, in the ensuing silence, locate the courage to cherish them. But there, hands clutched round cool, faux wood-grain, I remained resolute, squarely bound in my armchair, […]