Three Short Pieces
In the City of Ruined Cathedrals
She puts on white makeup, a white gown and shawl, then leaves her room in the pale early morning. Like some virgin specter, she drifts past the abandoned kaserne, searching for movement at empty windows, certain of enemy soldiers lurking there.
South Oak Cliff
Four of us kids in my weedy front yard. Mayes and Fergie, a year older, watch Jimmy Pickard pound my left arm as I circle, try to keep my guard up. We wear boxing gloves my father gave me last Christmas, thin maroon leather. Make a man outta you, he said. I skirt the shade of the chinaberry, move steadily away from Jimmy's fistful of asps. He grunts, lunges again, his eyes rat fierce.
How to Make It Through the Night
Don't answer calls from your ex-husband. Hold yourself in your arms, rock gently. Hum something soothing. Don't think about Bobby on his tricycle behind your van that day.
© Barry Basden 2011
Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country with his wife and two yellow Labs. His writing has appeared here and there. He is coauthor of CRACK! AND THUMP: WITH A COMBAT INFANTRY OFFICER IN WORLD WAR II and edits Camroc Press Review.