Last Will in Testament

Last Will in Testament
Lori Lopez

Glancing in the rearview mirror, I watched as the cigarette ashes bounce red against the road behind me. The empty mile-long stretch of deserted highway reminds me of the reason for the trip. The past years, I’ve been ostracized from a man who, many days as I grew up, beat me for the mere fact that I breathed easy while his was labored. Now I drive toward the coast, my childhood home, in the car my dad bought new off the showroom floor the day I was born. A few decades ago I registered the car as a historical, cost me half my paycheck. A measly sum really, for a few hundred words about a murder in Southeast Washington. Today it wouldn’t buy the six Starbuck coffees I ingest daily. I inherited the 64½ candy-apple red mustang convertible on the day I found out the man whose funeral I am to attend tomorrow was not my biological father.

Another hundred miles. I reach into the breast pocket of the tweed jacket strewn on the passenger seat and pull out the Marlboro man, lighting my next fix before mashing the remains of his pack mate in the overflowing ashtray. A grunt escapes before I can stop it. A grey hair lies on the shoulder of the jacket, another sign of the passing years. I imagine a beautiful woman sits beside me, strokes my ego, but instead, I drive solo. The last intern quit before the ink on her application was dry, figuratively speaking. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, echoes through my head as if I’d been the one to say the words, not the one to write them into an article for a major metropolitan newspaper.

I could fly free, perk of the job, but somehow I think the car a more fitting return. Mother is sure to roll over in her grave and grandmother, spit at my feet. Wouldn’t be the first time. She makes it a point to remind me each time I’m in her presence that I am a disappointment and single handedly destroyed her favored son. Not that I was the one who slept with two men, marrying one only to find out the child she carried, me,  was his brother’s. Nor was I the one to splash the headlines destroying a mediocre hope of a political career. My byline meant nothing at the time. I was less than a pageboy and though I lacked the proper emotion of embarrassment, those I had were dismissed as inconsequential.

I’m not even sure why I feel compelled to show. No one that matters is alive, but I am drawn like a moth to flame, wanting, needing to see the spectacle. The likelihood that I’ll have to crash the gates for a slim look at the man is not only probable, but near guaranteed. Fodder for my second novel, already promised to be a New York Times best seller as I expose more of the angst that is my ancestry. Perhaps.

about the author
Lori Lopez  is a military wife, mother, and postal mechanic, who manages to eke out a novel or short story now and again.


Elizabeth Schmidt

What you don’t know is buried,
our prehistory in stunning detail:
my lungs, for example,
full of arthropods.
The trilobites I’ve saved—
my mother’s mouth, my father’s back,
your eyes turning, a thousand spears.
What mammoth roars were swallowed
in tar pits and covered over
with so much sentiment.
We’re both scientists, but at night we
glow white and phosphorus.

about the author
Elizabeth Cantonwine Schmidt lives and writes in Kettering, Ohio. Her poetry has been published in Flights, and featured on WYSO’s poetry program, Conrad’s Corner. She is married with four children, and works as a Librarian at Wright Memorial Public Library.

An Ubi Sunt for the Bees

An Ubi Sunt for the Bees
by Eric Blanchard

Where did all the honey bees go? The loss
of spring flowers never stung so deeply
or lingered so long. That old folksong
about young men and soldiers and flowers
and graveyards going
seems almost apropos.
Where did they go? To graveyards? To war?
What about weddings and rice? I will
collect birdseed, instead, for the hummingbirds
who seek flowers. I will water them with
colored syrup and iced tea (sweetened,
of course). I will attract the last
remaining bees with organic honey
generously smeared on a wooden plank.
I will cover it with glass and seal it
tightly. I will hang it on my wall,
so I can watch the bees, even after
the flowers have gone to graveyards.

about the author
Eric Blanchard grew up in Houston, Texas, and later earned degrees in philosophy (B.A.) and jurisprudence (J.D.). In addition to practicing law, Eric has been editor-in-chief of an international trade law journal, and worked in the Texas legislature. Eric’s poetry has been published in publications such as Hanging Moss Journal, Autumn Sky Poetry, Oak Bend Review, Rust and Moth, Breadcrumb Scabs, and Pudding Magazine. He has been known to blog about poetry, politics and the world beyond at eric’s voices at Eric resides in Dayton, Ohio, with his beautiful girlfriend, her young son, three dogs, and two tiny fish.

Listen to an interview with Eric Blanchard on WYSO >>


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