Small Conceits

Musings. Stories. Poems.

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Breathing In




one leg tucked beneath her,

chin resting on the bent knee of the other.

Her hands rest, one palm up

     to receive,

one palm down

     to give.

From her fingers flow



               of calm.

Knowing is not all.

Understanding is not enough.



woman sitting cross-legged

photo courtesy of Imani Clovis via Unsplash

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crab apple

1.  any of various wild or cultivated trees (genus Malus) that are cultivars or relatives of the cultivated apple and that produce small sour fruit


Having characteristically not thought it
all the way through,
we had a house full of guests
and nowhere to be alone
the day we sprang our wedding
on our families.

Because we were living on my stipend
and whatever you bashfully collected
from carpentry and guitar repairs,
a few sympathetic dears
took up a collection
and sent us to a hotel for the night.

As we crossed the lawn to our rented room,
almost shyly holding hands,
you paused and cocked your head.
“It’s our wedding night,”
you murmured,”you should have flowers.”
And you reached up and broke a branch
from a flowering tree, laying it
tenderly in my hands
as your offering.

It was May
and the blooms were still sweet.

crabapple blossom

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Conversation before getting a massage. Except there was more laughing. 

Friend: “Wasn’t that tilapia the other night amazing?”

Me: “Oh, man! I couldn’t stop eating it.”

Friend: “I don’t know what they do to it. It’s like crack!”

Me: “Oh, I know what it is. It’s that damned brown butter. You could put that stuff on toe, and I’d be chowing down on it.”

Friend: “Did you just say ‘toe?'”

Me: “Yeah, I’d be all <nom-nom-nom>, and you’d be like, ‘What’s that?’ and I’d say, ‘Toe.’ and you’d go, ‘Ew!’ and I’d say, ‘Smothered in brown butter.’ and you’d go, ‘Can I have some?’ and I’d share my brown-butter toe with you. Because you’re my friend. And  I love you.”

Friend: <pause> “Where do you go…y’know…when that happens?”

Me: <thinking> “Not sure. But it’s not as far as you might think.”