What About Love? Is There Anymore Left in the World?

3 Micro-stories about 3 LGBTQ children

Photo by Daniel TrutaI via ReShot

It is my birthday. I am five. Mommy throws a big party for me. No one comes. I eat my cake in one of the corners of our living room — tears fall. I don’t care, anymore. I don’t care. Mommy says she’ll always love me — she’ll always be there. I know the love of my mommy. I don’t of anyone else. I want to. I really, really want to. Right now would be a good time.


Photo by Monica G via ReShot

I cherish this picture of my brother and me. It was so long ago. We were inseparable. I remember the day I told him I was bisexual just like it was yesterday. The look on his face crushed me — the words that left his mouth soon after will always haunt me . . . “You’re no sister of mine.” It is a reminder of the love I had and the love I lost. I didn’t know one’s heart could break more than once. And now, I know.


Photo by Mohmmad Hilmi via ReShot

I am “It” to people. “Is it a boy?” or “Is it a girl?” No one thinks about me as a person. My family is ashamed of me. I hate feeling what I feel, but I feel what I feel, and I can’t stop it. I love my sister’s clothes. I love my mother’s dresses. I like having my hair teased and feathered. My brother kicked me in my stomach the other day — that was followed by a swift punch to my nose. I’m gaining thick skin from all of this — thick skin. It’s the reason I can still smile.


“Young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) enter the child welfare system for reasons similar to those of other children and youth — that is, their birth families cannot provide a safe, stable, and nurturing home. In some cases, families reject, neglect, or abuse young people when they learn that they identify as LGBT or are questioning their romantic/sexual orientation or gender identity. According to one study,1 about 26 percent of LGBT 2 youth are forced from their homes because of conflicts with their families of origin over sexual orientation or gender identity. Physical violence is also a concern for LGBTQ youth.”Youth.gov


Author’s Note: We must come together as one — if not for ourselves, for the children of this world. They need us. But we are often too blind to see this. I pray this will change one day soon.


Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.

World Read Aloud Day, 2022

Educators, Librarians, and Parents/Guardians of the little ones . . . Lend me your eyes . . .

Space, Time, and Raspberries

Cover credit: Turine Tran

Kate Allen Fox, has written a beautiful treasure of a children’s book, Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees. I own it and I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who reads to children or spends time with children who read. (It’s available from Leopard Print Books, Barnes and Noble, your local bookseller, and Amazon.

On February 2, 2022, children’s authors will be offering FREE virtual readings to students everywhere through World Read Aloud Day (WRAD).

Kate is thrilled to participate this year and is offering six 20-minute slots to read her science-based, nonfiction picture book, Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees, which has been named one of the best books of the year by School Library Journal and Chicago Public Library.

If you are a teacher or a librarian and would like to sign up for one of Kate’s…

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From Her Heart To Mine

A one-lined Poem

A gift from one of my baby cousins, Jaidynn. She said to me as she presented it, “I painted this for you, Tree” with a huge smile on her face. I got pretty emotional.

Love found in the simple things–she painted a world of wonder from her heart, and gifted it to mine . . . I’m overjoyed.

I Smell Christmas

A quadrille

children kick balls
on the resurfaced street,
dressed for winter.
the dog sleeps, wakes
to be walked and fed.
I watch cartoons–animated
movies with Christmas trees
taller than my building
on screen.

season of giving
crash-landed . . .
I’m not ready for it.

are you?

*The piece reads better going directly to the website: https://acorneredgurl.com. The WordPress Reader has horrible recent updates to it, and I’m about ready to haul the entire WordPress engineering crew out of a huge window.

Clover

Part V: Daddy oils the door

Photo by Steven Cutler via Redshot

I wake up to the squeak-squeak sounds of the back door swinging open, then closing. It prompts me to shoot from my bed, slip on my house shoes, and chase after the sound. It’s Daddy. He’s squirting WD-40 on the hinges of our door. He’s standing there, eyes fixed on each hinge, leaning into the sound as he moves the door back and forth. I shake my head. Daddy always has some sort of little project going on. He looks the door over, gives the hinges one more good spritz, then wipes the slippery trickle away from the panel.

He spots me watching him work. I smile and wave “Good morning” to him before finding my spot in the bay window to do some reading. Mama will be up before long and I have another request for breakfast; strawberry waffles and scrambled eggs. Yummy! I can almost taste every morsel as I daydream about it. Daddy looks over in my direction and greets me.

“Hey there, Sweetpea. What you know good?”

Daddy is a simple man with many dreams. I love when he calls me Sweetpea. I like sweets. I like peas too. He smiles a full smile and circles our kitchen sink before washing his hands. I answer his question after the water stops.

“Oh, nothing. Just waking up. I heard the door in my room. How old is this place, Daddy?”

He sits with the question for a minute or two — almost like he’s nursing the answer before sharing it with me. I watch him stumble over a way of explaining something like this to me — his eleven-year-old daughter. He opens his mouth, then closes it again, then he nods in my direction before speaking.

“Twelve years. The realtor said the family before us found a bigger place in Richmond Hill, Georgia. They wanted to sell as soon as they could and since I got the new position with H.R., this was the perfect find. I’m sure we’ll discover a couple of spots in this house that need some tender love and care as we make a life here in it.”


I can hear Mama’s house shoes skip-shuffle-skip down the hallway. She’s not a “morning person” like me and Daddy. Daddy races to put the coffee pot on. He sets up our plates and puts away the clean dishes in the dishwasher. They have an agreement; they’ve always had this agreement since before I was born. Mama cooks, Daddy makes the coffee and washes the dishes, or runs the dishwasher. Mama also does the laundry, fixes my hair, irons my clothes, and any other task Daddy doesn’t usually do. Daddy also keeps up the lawn, washes their car and truck, and gasses up the vehicles too. They manage okay, I think.

Mama’s voice is a soft yet stern one. She doesn’t use much of her voice when speaking. It’s as if she saves it for something else — something bigger. She gets on to Daddy about the squeaky door.

“Paulie, was that you I heard messing with the door this morning, or was I dreaming? I’m almost certain I wasn’t dreaming.”

“You’d be right, my love. It was me. The hinges of the back door had been squeaking, so I put a little WD on them. Worked like a charm.”

Mama smiles lightly, but there’s a hint of wonder within her smile too — like she’s waiting for Daddy to say something else, something that will stir up concern. She looks at me and blows me a kiss. I catch it and blow one back to her.

“Hey, baby. What’s for breakfast?”

Ooh! I’ve been waiting for her to ask me what I want for breakfast and I am so happy to respond. “I’d like strawberry waffles and some scrambled eggs, please!”

Mama prepares everything and signals me over to help her cook. I crack the eggs into a bowl, add a little salt, pepper, and parsley, and whisk them quickly with a fork just like she taught me. I take the shredded cheese out of the fridge and add 1/3 cup to the eggs. Mama watches me as I whisk them up once again. I place the bowl near her on the counter and wait.


Daddy checks the back door once more. He is what Mama says, “incredibly thorough.” I don’t hear the squeak-squeak anymore. “The door is saved!” I shout this to no one in particular and to all of us, I guess. Mama giggles. Daddy laughs with his whole belly. And I . . . Well, I find my spot again in the bay window and wait for breakfast.

I sure am hungry.


Originally published in The Weekly Knob via Medium.

Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.