At the end of the midway stood the giant wheel. The ticket-taker was old and thin. The man stooped under a stained blue cap.

A woman walked to the gate. She stopped and smoothed her slacks. She adjusted her handbag on her shoulder, then handed her ticket to the attendant. The man made a guttural sound, and he punched a hole in the ticket.

A second man guided the woman to her seat. This man wore a red bandana and a black tee shirt. The man didn’t look up. “Just one of ya?”

She slid into the car. The man…

Photo: Josh Webb on Unsplash

“Synesthesia. I have synesthesia.” She pulled her sunglasses away and leaned forward. “You know, the senses thing?”

“No, not really.”

“It happens to some people. Two senses become interlinked. You know, tangled together. Like hearing sounds when you taste certain foods. For instance, when some people associate a sound or color with objects. Like the sound of a voice might be orange? Some people envision numbers in colors, like me. I guess other people hear Mozart when they eat a banana.”

She giggled, and her coal-black eyes softened. “It’s kind of cool. I like to think it lets me see…

Ramona Zepeda on Unsplash

He loaded the trunk first. Packages neatly wrapped — parcel post-ready boxes in dull brown paper with tidy strings tied squarely around — were gently set down next to the spare tire and a small toolbox.

A frayed Raggedy Ann doll was placed in the back seat, her worn yarn face staring forward. The painted head of an old rocking horse was laid beside her where at one time two young girls swung their legs impatiently, unconcerned about scuffing the seat in front of them.

The man sat behind the wheel, reached across the front seat, opened the door, and…

the oleaginous,

the craven,

perched on tree stumps,

hands shading eyes to better

see the pitchfork tines,

the dancing torch flames,


assessing the frenzy

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

some imperious, red-lipped, salty-mouthed,

others drift in gimlet-eyed diffidence,

all gossamer now, clarity only to be

found in the reels of Morpheus

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

I remember no words,

only the sting of hot coffee,

a hurried gulp,

so not to speak of your leaving

Photo: Robert Bye on Unsplash

the people,
the tide of people,
the swarm hurrying across gargantuan
sun-streamed rooms as
they rush in a glide along golden handrails
before descending through smooth marble stairwells,
the people,
some tense, and cross, and expended,
brows furrowed, forlorn with unrest
while others,
the people
who walk brightly with anticipation,
their comings and goings
each a new adventure,
life not waiting to be lived

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

and now we wait on sharply bladed tenterhooks

as news sparks kindle hope,

yet the chasm widens

Two, side-by-side, standing, silent,
awaiting our decision.
We choose the smaller, the younger one.
Excitement, commotion, a readying of things.
Congratulatory words alight upon us.
A marvelous choice, you are perfectly suited,
the kids will adore him.
The gate unlatched, whisked into another room.
A bathing, inoculation, presented flawless.
A modest sum tendered, a signature penned.
A dizzying, back-seat free-for-all.
We speed away.
New family member, new best friend.
Each of us curious.
How big will he grow?
What tricks will he learn?
Who will be his favorite?
The questions abound, except for one:
What of the other?

hair grown white

brushed straight away

gnarled spine

shoulders unsquared

padded stool

red leather tome

pencil scars

yellowed borders

crooked finger

brittle leaves

blurred mass

rimless descent

old friend


comfort alights

Philip Lawrence

Writer, poet, bibliophile, animal lover

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store