Tiny Truths 78

Micro-essays about interior monologues, conversations overheard, and the voices of those no longer with us

Deceased Matriarchs. Gram. Mom. As I move deeper into the dirt of terminal cancer & the disabilities it brings, I hear frustrated voices, scowling faces, because no one understands. I see shoulders & backs hunched over walkers & canes. I shuffle by the mirror. It’s me.

@charligirll • 4 JUNE 2021

I was the girl who couldn’t speak. I was so shy, so afraid, I remember clearly the first time I heard my voice. My high school boy friend had asked for his class ring back, and I said no. It shocked us both. He let me keep it a few more weeks.

@ConnieKuhns • 14 JUNE 2022

Undiagnosed autistic, I masked so well I couldn’t see it. My last fifteen years of essays aren’t false, though they rarely fully felt like me. Now, mask down, the words I put on the page are what I mean.

@rebawrit • 6 JULY 2022

The whine in my ear when I’m feeling down is different from the drawl that appears after two glasses of pinot is in marked contrast to the lilt of excitement when I learn something new. Her-She-Me. All of us saying the same thing, only differently.

@LeScribbler • 21 JUNE 2022

Lakota voices murmur above the crowd at Rushmore, saying we’re still alive and still lay claim to what’s ours. The mountain weeps at the words below; pines scream as jets above sear them. I awaken and realize it was a dream. If you yearn for change, dreams matter.

@RuthNasrullah • 4 JULY 2020

Until I was 10 my mother worked as a secretary. She answered phones all day. Some evenings, exhausted from work, she’d answer our home phone with her work voice: “Kelly Building, this is Sandra, how may I help you?” I can still hear the timbre and tone, the tiredness.

@PaulCrenstorm • 18 JUNE 2020

Sandhill cranes chatter in soft, plastic voices, angle past on bent-stick legs to dig in the hard, bright dirt. Mountains behind, snow-tipped peaks, and over us the errant moon abandoning night for this bright blue-eyed morning, and who among us can blame her.

@rgummere • 12 JAN 2020

Called Dad early this morning, as I watched the men across the street cut down a tree. Said he was driving to a childhood lake, to float out on the water—and as we talked, the tree fell. His voice cut out—“Might lose ya, in the hills”—and the men picked up the pieces.

@chesleycade • 25 AUG 2020

My father died, my brother wrote the story. My mother opposed the telling, when search engines were still young & hun-gry for words & found your kin, wrote their history in algorith-mic. His words haunt the ether & my voice—two inconsolable souls, shouting now.

@VecereT • 14 JUNE 2022

My critique partner told me to stop writing about grief. Such a downer. “Write a thriller,” said the writer of thrillers. “Write about a nurse who kills patients.” I found a new critique group.

@evorbachcollins • 23 JUNE 2022

I crave for moments when the crumbs and droplets of my being behave as an animated whole. That’s when I dance to the rhythm of discovery, sing the lyrics of experience, and meld in the yoga of creative expression.

@LiliPrice3 • 31 MAY 2018

Grandpa’s place smells like pro-pane and Avon cologne. In that old kitchen with wavy linoleum, we stir flour gravy in a cast-iron pan. His food & ways belong to a wood-and-leather age. My 16-year-old self absorbs them. One day I will summon them for a communion.

@buddy_smith199 • 13 DEC 2021