Tuesday 16 March 2021

One Flash Fiction Piece by Catherine Zickgraf


I Wanted to Punch You for Telling 


I couldn’t though, knowing you’d hit me back with tucked fist of tight-bitten nails. Instead, I wrote you on Strawberry Shortcake stationary demanding to know why you told on our two am trips to the woods making sacred projects from fantasies—ours alone.  

Sometimes we needed to hide out under our arches of hard branches. We cleared brush down to the creek, setting cracked glass into a secret stoop where the water laps. We planned to slow our pursuers till we could sail away from our little port. I insisted our fort be kept quiet, ready when you needed to flee your drunkard or I, my pastor—fathers whose boats we avoided rocking, whose unbalanced bows sent us overboard anyway till we begged our betrayers to drag us back in. 


Never ask a child to keep secrets, your Momma agreed with my Momma while they nursed our sisters at the kitchen table. You and I argued hard over how hot the griddle should be to cook forty-five silver dollar pancakes for nine siblings. So you told the Moms we were middle-of-the-night worker ants, preparing our haven for the day we’d run. In their horror, they forbade us from returning to our construction site in the woods.   

But they couldn’t promise to protect us instead. For this women togetherness, this swooping children under their wings, this mid-day kitchen gathering, men at work, were their own haven from their husbands’ fragile, angry triggers.   


Two lifetimes ago, Catherine performed her poetry in Madrid. Now her main jobs are to write and hang out with her family. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press. 


Find her on twitter @czickgraf. Watch and read more at www.caththegreat.blogspot.com 


1 comment:

  1. Stream-of-Conscious! Yes..it's sad that is not seen nearly anymore. It catches people off guard. But it mirrors thought as thought goes.


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