Tuesday, April 21, 2020


I know I haven't written in ages, but this aching feeling won't leave. John Prine died last week. It hurts my heart to know he is gone. And I’ve been thinking about Mike, my cowboy, gone now for over eight years. Sometimes I miss him with an ache that feels as fresh as yesterday. So this is the story I wrote in my head.


She sat at the kitchen table, staring at the screen door, its latch broken as it opened slightly and slammed shut in the humid stirring of wind. Maybe there was a storm blowing in. The sky darkened and the air hung heavy. A fly buzzed past her ear and landed on the cold eggs on the plate in front of her. The fly had more interest in her breakfast than she did.

She stared at the screen door, the vacant stare of one whose mind was many miles, many years away. She tried to remember the melody of that fiddle tune they played together—he on guitar, she on banjo. There was some gimmick in that tune that was distinctive, a slide from the 2ndfret to the 5thand a hammer-on to the 7thfret. But the melody was lost in the quicksand inside her head. Maybe she could pull out the old recording of them playing together but it required more effort than she could muster.

What was beyond that screen door? The years had flown by leaving her a mottled string of emotions. Like her mother’s old recipes, scribbled on bits of paper, torn envelopes, and the back of Christmas cards, yellowed with age and stained with nearly a century of splattered food. She remembered how she felt when she once had dreams—hopeful, significant, young—but she tied the memories to no specific events. Nothing happened but she once felt young.

Big drops of rain began to fall as the screen door blew against the broken radio that had been sitting on her kitchen floor longer than she could remember. She knew the rain would come in and soak the kitchen but still she sat and stared. Ten years ago, just after he died, she stopped smoking. But now she wanted a cigarette.


  1. AnonymousMay 08, 2020

    Hello In There ...

  2. Wow. Donna- you need to keep writing!

    1. Just this morning I started the book I'm going to write about my mother. I need to figure out how I'm going to structure it, but threw myself in and I'll sort it out later. Thanks for the encouragement.