she puts down her pen at 5:30 a.m.

she picks up a hand mirror

suddenly there are no reflections

no remembrances

no bookmarks

nothing at all but fragile glass words

she leaves

walks to

the bank

the library

the drugstore

the supermarket

returning with only a few items:

one oil removing mud face mask

one audio book

some weekend cash

baby carrots

chopped spinach


and a package of sunflower biscuits

the street is dark and quiet

except for a screaming man

across the street

in a bus shelter

his arms flailing

she walks faster

eyes scanning the immediate area

for signs of others walking

there is no one around

even the basketball courts

have no players

she looks down at her feet

new gray and white sports socks

orange Keds

she picks up the pace

eyeing the freshly-trimmed hedges

trimmed unevenly

the man’s screams

eventually drowned out

by a sudden surge

of noisy traffic

arriving home

she notices that

her neighbours’ children

are no longer playing tag

on the front lawn

though it is still quite early

such a strange night

passing through the lobby

she has a few words with security

requests that he make a phone call

on behalf of the screaming man

then heads upstairs

takes the staircase

hoping the six stories will benefit her

each with a beginning, middle and ending

but of course there is only a middle

she turns the key in the lock

turns on the light


puts on a soft night gown

makes coffee

reads about the benefits of white tea

takes her stomach pill

her pain pill

puts in her eye drops

sets the alarm for nine

knowing all too well

that she will awaken at

two, at four, then again at seven

or something like that

sitting at the table

she thinks of earlier on that day

how children had found a

well-feathered bird’s nest on the ground

how they had thrown it back and forth

laughing gleefully

as for the birds

come to think of it

she’d seen no birds at all

no gulls, no pigeons, no sparrows

no butterflies

only the tiniest of ants

feasting on bread crumbs

the words logical illusions

come to mind

she dismisses them

the words

logical exclusion

come to mind

she ponders this for a while

then stretches out

her head resting on a cold, plump pillow

she awakens at two

and again at four-thirty

her thoughts free

of all but fragile glass words


“i’ never had one of those,” she thinks to herself

“if the required word had been faithful, i could have written much”

faithful…it has such a beautiful ring to it”

she ponders the next word, expectation

a tear falls from her eye

at least she has something to post now

by mary ann blinkhorn

59 thoughts on “she puts down her pen at 5:30 a.m.

  1. mypenandme says:

    I forgot to mention that I wrote this for Three Word Wednesday at: This week’s words: affair, free and expectation

  2. poignant and brilliantly produced

  3. “she picks up a hand mirror

    suddenly there are no reflections”

    I have felt this emptiness and despair. I think baby carrots taste and feel like rubber.

  4. Jae Rose says:

    What a journey in the darkness that clings to us..even if we try to cheer things up with orange shoes..sometimes it would be better not to have a post..but everything is a story..(in a way).. beautifully told..jae

  5. spool2spool says:

    A journey we all tread or touch upon at one time or another. Thank you.

  6. Your writing brightens my day! Thank you.

  7. This story was told vividly, I felt and saw her despair and her fear and her disgust (at those kids with the bird nest).

  8. Wow! That is so beautifully sustained, with a great kick at the end. I really like your poetry anyway, but this is great.

  9. 4joy says:

    a lovely journey….nice ending words…

  10. I really like this. Holds interest throughout. Good ending.

  11. oldegg says:

    What a beautifully written, sad and lonely post. There are many of us who are going through this introspection. It is as though we need company to prevent us from thinking too much! Every mundane observation is magnified and pondered over.

    • mypenandme says:

      I can sympathize with your comment. There are a lot of lost and lonely people in this world.
      For me, I cannot write or create unless I do feel alone. I have to be in that headspace. Sometimes this is challenging. I have a very busy and active full-time day job that requires me to be constantly interacting with others. I have an elderly mother who comes over to visit every Sunday. I have very dear, precious friends who call me on the phone regularly–almost all of them highly creative individuals who require the same amount of alone time as I do. Then, there’s my screenwriting. If you gave me a choice between going on a twenty thousand dollar vacation, or having one month of uninterrupted time to be able to work on my screenplay–I would choose the latter. If I won a million dollars, instead of going out buying and doing things, I would quit my job and stay at home all day working on my screenplay. Poetry for me is one form of self-expression that I enjoy because it is highly riddled in metaphor and allows me to express myself fully without revealing all. Almost everything that I write has multiple meanings. I could be writing about a tree and the whole poem could be about my Aunt Martha. I could write a poem that includes a tea kettle, and that tea kettle represents a lost love in my life. This is the way I write poetry. Thank you for your wonderful comment. I do appreciate hearing your thoughts. Best regards, – Mary Ann

  12. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful writing!

  13. sedge808 says:

    and a package of sunflower biscuits….Yum!!!!

  14. betweentruthandhope says:

    Great poem. You have a gift!

  15. perlesink says:

    Amazing. Had to read it more than once. Thanks.

  16. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Wonderful imagery, Mary Ann.

  17. Ritva says:

    Lovely, simple words that paint a true image. I must admit I envy you, I could never produce metafiction so effortlessly! 🙂

  18. Very nice. It reads like a stream of consciousness almost, but it’s also so punctuated. Sunflower biscuits and the oil removing mud face mask, weekend cash…I really enjoyed it.

  19. ManicDdaily says:

    Oh dear – very sad story. Well told. k.

    • mypenandme says:

      It’s not that sad, really it’s not. I usually enjoy a nice evening walk to pick up a few things after dinner. Usually the atmosphere is much nicer and the walk invigorates me so that I clear away the day’s cobwebs and get reading and writing much sooner in the evening without having to unwind as much. I felt very bad about the man. Something was terribly wrong. It gave me a creepy feeling for the rest of the evening and I was a little annoyed with myself (to say the least) that I was such a chicken shit that I couldn’t even bring myself to go across the street to see if I could assist him. Ten years go, I would have gone, but times are changing, the daily news is often quite sickening and my freedom of being able to go out somewhere with a pen and pad and feel comfortable with finding a place to write is quickly disappearing. Such a shame. The rest of the poem is about a nerve-wrecked self, carrying on with the evening as best I could then trying to come up with something for 3WW using the three given words. I’m looking forward to a wonderful three-day long weekend–much peaceful rest, a bit of fun, and much writing. Hope your weekend is all that you want it to be. 🙂 M.A.

  20. hemouse says:

    An interesting story…

  21. nightlake says:

    The narrator’s feelings touches your heart

  22. Daydreamer says:

    Vivid! Lovely write!

  23. Raani York says:

    Very special. Easy to read but vividly impressive!

  24. kineticprose says:

    Lovely! Would love it if you’d submit to The Light Ekphrastic sometime. 🙂

  25. I wondered, at first, if the trip to the end would be worth it – scrolling all the way down that long page – all those line breaks, all that white space – ” . . . her thoughts free of all but fragile glass words – affair . . . ” Amazing and worth the trip.

  26. This is beautiful. A ramble that is tight and makes sense. It all comes together at the end.

  27. A great poem – one where the reader is right there with you because of how you express yourself. My poems also have more than one meaning…glad you had a lovely day after the unusual night! 🙂

  28. “no bookmarks” Upon second read this caught my eye – a life unlived.

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