Literary Orphans

Three Pieces by Michele Rappoport


Last Gesture

The wind was already blowing hard

Bending everything acrobatically

Giving the junipers a new right to dance

Zero-gravity lounge chairs empty now

Filled when he was here last

With the weight of his healthy body

Everyone looking toward the stars

The Milky Way showing up

For the first time because we saw it

Cause and effect, captured

In the same diaphanous movie

We’re watching now

As the wind picks off the third chair

The one he sat in

And throws it to the ground.

O Typekey Divider

The Hearse in Retirement

You rest at the end of a quiet block

In sunny Arizona

White as a word before speech

The sign says FOR SALE but

No one can own you now

You are so done with funerals

You are ready to do your own sweet work

Roam about, low center of gravity

Carting you in a stately way

Through the desert, up the mountain

To release your natural camper

In the loading bay counting the stars.


Maybe you’ll take up a hobby

Photography, or astronomy, perhaps

Laying tripods and telescopes out carefully

In the back of yourself like bodies of light

Take your rebuilt Corvette heart

And pump around some green field

Play a round of golf

Roll down to Baja, pick up some surfer

Who admires your lines and

Waxes you down like a board.


You’ll find your 1960’s ambulance friends

Sitting on a corner playing cards

You’ll mock their uselessness

How they showed up the hero of every heart attack

Then did nothing for the stricken but drive

You, of course, were always the hero of the

Saddest day in someone’s life

One hundred eleven thousand three hundred

Miles of sorrow

It’s time to take your well-earned ride

Add a few convivial miles before

Dusting off your sleek white suit

And, like the best of us,



O Typekey Divider

Dear Microsoft Word

I hate your editor.  I’d shoot him but he wouldn’t bleed.  I’d choke him but he’d still prattle on with useless advice, missing the subtleties of language.  Even if he has nothing to say (spelling and grammar ok!) he hangs around to the right of my screen, waiting brightly.  I cried on his shoulder once at 2 a.m.  Spilled out the pain, related everything in great detail.  He told me to be more concise.  And to resolve the disagreement within the noun phrase.  But at least he was there.  Cybernetically, irrationally, steadfastly in the breeze until I closed the window.


O Typekey Divider

Michele Rappoport enjoys the small life. She lives part-time in an RV, creates small art, writes poetry and other short pieces, and has a certification in small-animal massage. Her short work has been published in High Desert Journal and Literary Orphans. She is 5’3” and shrinking.

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Dom Crossley — Artist Profile