The box

by laurie howland

She put the memories in a box.
She locked it.
She tossed the key.
To a place where she thought she could not get to
She then abandoned the box, precariously walking away
But then unexpectedly, the box burst open
It was not from the key that she tossed.
No, it broke open from another pain
Simply too much internal pressure
A pain that meant the hurt from long ago could never be undone.
That nothing would make up for it.
Her carefully constructed and hidden box shattered 
Splintering into pieces
Just like her life.

Into Your Cells

by laurie howland

It moves past your heart
You can feel it
Sometimes it even steals your breath
Claiming the air in your lungs as its own
The feeling
The deep emotion
Moves into your cells
And once it is there
Occupying you at your core
You cannot discard it
Nor ignore it or move past it
For it is part of you
If you were to look into a mirror
You could see it
In your eyes
In your expression
The wrinkles that mark your face
For it has taken up residence in your soul
If you quiet yourself
And let yourself be
You can sense it moving through your veins
No, it isn’t a disease
Though we often fall victim to such things
No, this is all the things that make you- You
For only you have all these things
Coursing through your body
It is all the memories
The emotions
The fears
The hopes
The sadness
The joys
All of it is in your cells
For it is life
It is your life
It is you
 

Happiness

by laurie howland

“Help me,” she said softly
Her voice so gentle and low
Yet so pleading
“Sure, sweat heart,’ I replied
And bent down to assist.
I could smell her as I got closer
She smelled of love and happiness
And it showed on her face.
A smile as big as her heart 
And as big as the love between us
Graced her beautiful face
“Thank you, Mommy,” She said
And with that my own heart
Leaped with love and happiness.

Pictures from around downtown

by alex walter

In the clouds
13th and Vine Cincinnati