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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Prose Poem: 289 words
By Guy Biederman

Rainbow Tail


This is the way we hang on, she says, letting go of her kite. We watch it soar, pink and purple, rainbow tail, against pale blue. The cat who has stopped eating watches too. On the porch of the house that’s good as new. Not ours. Street planned out. Trash at the curb. Recycle on Thursdays. March winds roar. Blast of cold, brilliant sun. Spring comes after the long, wet cold. Abundantly clear. I don’t complain. Smells, one gets used to. Kite just a dot now moving fast. Or is that a bird?

We rest our necks. Give them a rub. Stroke the cat. Books in a box to donate. Magazines bundled. All that once seemed important, now less so. She stretches her fingers. The cat stretches too, downward cat, and I stretch as well which leads to a yawn which leads to a laugh which we both share which is what we are left with, which becomes a memory, like the kite.

We take up little space. Do our spirits linger, who’s to say. Does the appetite to acquire, to win, or at least come in second, runner-up, long listed, to be named a laureate or top 10, or something, ever finally stop? We look at the cat who has stopped eating, and drinking, who still watches, still stretches, still blinks, but no longer purrs, and we know the greatest spiritual teachers, the pithiest poets, the toothiest task masters, she and I, we all have more to learn from the cat, from the kite, from the laugh, from the stretch, from the silence—vanishing in the wind, into the blue, me and you, the cat, the house, the books, the art, the words ... the kite, too.

Pierre, Tao of Meow: Photograph by Guy Biederman
Pierre: the tao of meow (photograph)

Copyrighted © by Guy Biederman. All rights reserved.
Appears here with his permission.

Guy Biederman
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is the author of six books, including Translated from the Original: One-Inch Punch Fiction (Nomadic Press, 2022), Nova Nights (Nomadic Press, 2021), Edible Grace (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), and Soundings & Fathoms (Finishing Line Press).

His stories have appeared in many journals such as Bull, Carve, The Disappointed Housewife, The Ekphrastic Review, Flash Frontier, Flashback Fiction, great weather for Media, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Riddled with Arrows, and Exposition Review, where he was twice a Flash 405 winner. His work has recently received a Publisher’s Choice Award and an Editor’s Choice Award, and has been nominated for Best of The Net.

A former peace corps volunteer, gardener, and college creative-writing instructor, Guy lives on a houseboat with his wife and salty cat, and walks the planks daily.

Author’s website: https://www.guybiederman.com/

Author’s blog: This Day Afloat: Reflections of Life on the Water

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