Catherine’s Grove

Picking out the family Christmas tree hadn’t been the same since Catherine passed away. She was the best at finding just the right one. Truth be told, he knew he was the muscle of the pair—it was she who had the eye for design. To him, they all looked the same!

That first year, James and Catherine’s son and his family made the trek home from Miami to try to help bring some holiday cheer to the now-quiet home. And he appreciated their effort – but it just wasn’t the same. Robbie picked the first tree he came to and insisted it was the one Mom would have chosen—James knew it was more because his son had become too accustomed to the warm beaches, to stay too long in the Colorado cold.

As the years passed, Robbie’s visits became fewer as his growing family got busier. And James found himself standing alone among the evergreens, hatchet in hand, missing the love of his life. Being in the mountains with Catherine were some of his best memories of their time together. He could almost see her excitedly darting from tree to tree, talking about how many more lights she planned to add to their tree that year.

James wasn’t entirely certain of how much time had passed before he realized it had been snowing. The cold air stung the corners of his eyes, where tears had formed. Blinking and squinting, he didn’t know if he could trust what he was seeing. It looked as if ALL of the trees in front of him were filled with lights.

Catherine had just sent James a gift from heaven. The beauty of the snow-covered trees, filled with more light than he’d felt or seen since Catherine’s death, gave him new inspiration. Instead of his annual trek with a hatchet to take down a tree, he returned to that spot each year with cords and generators and more and more lights, as a gift back to Catherine.




Shared at Flashy Fiction Friday


Love, So Elusive


Where’s the place where lovers escape,
and where plans of the heart take shape?
Where is undying love supremely crowned?
Is it found just in dreams?

It’s as I sleep, tucked in my bed,
that’s where I dream of being wed.
Where’s this undying love deemed to be found?
Sound asleep, in my dreams.

P. Wanken

Written for Poetic Asides Form Challenge: Byr a Thoddaid

Transformation — An Ovillejo Poem

Robert Lee Brewer is an editor for Writer’s Digest, and hosts their poetry blog Poetic Asides. He provides weekly prompts, facilitates two Poem-A-Day (PAD) challenges each year (in April, for National Poetry Writing Month; and November, for a chapbook challenge that coincides with National Novel Writing Month), and throughout the year he introduces new poetry forms and often hosts a challenge for those new forms. The April and November PAD challenges, and the form challenges, result in a winner (or winners) being chosen.

In June this year, we were introduced to the Ovillejo form, and the subsequent challenge. Robert’s explanation of the form is here: OVILLEJO.

Today, August 1, Robert posted his selections for the top 10 Ovillejo poems. And for the second time in three months, my name was on the list! (See the list of winners here.) I had submitted five Ovillejo poems, and here is the one that placed in the top 10:



We’re in desperate need of more grace
in this place.

Have we been reduced to primates,
filled with hate?

Guidance can come from God, above;
He is love.

In the end, when push comes to shove,
we’re family to each other:
sister, brother, father, mother.
In this place filled with hate, He is love.