Aphelion Issue 287, Volume 27
September 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Rod Stroked Survival with a Deadly Hammer

by Michael Lee Johnson

Rebecca fantasized that life was a lottery ticket or a pull of a lever,
that one of the bunch in her pocket was a winner or the slots were a redeemer;
but life itself was not real that was strictly for the mentally insane at the Elgin
Mental Institution.
She gambled her savings away on a riverboat
stuck in mud on a riverbank, the Grand Victoria, in Elgin, Illinois.
Her bare feet were always propped up on wooden chair;
a cigarette dropped from her lips like morning fog.
She always dreamed of traveling, not nightmares.
But she couldn't overcome, overcome,
the terrorist ordeal of the German siege of Leningrad.
She was a foreigner now; she is a foreigner for good.
Her first husband died after spending a lifetime in prison
with stinging nettles in his toes and feet; the second
husband died of hunger when there were no more rats
to feed on, after many fights in prison for the last remains.
What does a poet know of suffering?
Rebecca has rod stroked survival with a deadly mallet.
She gambles nickels, dimes, quarters, tokens tossed away,
living a penniless life for grandchildren who hardly know her name.
Rebecca fantasized that life was a lottery ticket or the pull of a lever.

© 2007 Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelancewriterfrom Itasca, Illinois. His brand new chapbook, From Which Place the Morning Rises is now available at www.lulu.com. He also has two previous chapbooks available at www.lulu.com

He is also the author of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom . He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland,Turkey, Fiji, Nigeria, Algeria, India, the United Kingdom, Republic ofSierra Leone, Israel, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Finland,and Poland internet radio. Michael Lee Johnson has been published in more than 280 different publications worldwide. Audio MP3 of poems areavailable on request.

He is publisher and editor of four poetry flashfiction sites--all presently open for submission:


Author website: http://poetryman.mysite.com

Find more by Michael Lee Johnson in the Author Index.

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