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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Micro-Fiction: 196 words
By Roberta Beary

Watching Needles Grow


I went berserk when Eddie tossed my case of beer. Put his Ford pickup on Craigslist. Twenty minutes later a man drove it away. When Eddie came home from work and saw his truck gone, he didn’t say a word, not at first. Just packed his bag. Then he put his hand down my bra and said he was taking the truck money. Cause I’d use it to buy booze. He doesn’t know squat. Beer is mother’s milk, Daddy always said. Still, Eddie’s not all bad. Planted all them big green cactus out back last weekend. Succulents, like me, Eddie said, because my drinking sucks the life out of a man. He doesn’t know squat. Beer is mother’s milk, Daddy always said. The doctor says I need to relax. Which is why I’m sitting out back with these spiky green plants. Watching needles grow. Sipping my beer and waiting for Eddie to come back. Eddie thinks he knows me. He doesn’t know squat. I haven’t even told him I’m late. I hope I get to keep this one. I’m already taking care of it real good. Beer is mother’s milk, Daddy always said.

Roberta Beary’s
Issue 4, July 2020

second collection of short poems, Carousel, is co-winner of the Snapshot Press 2019 book award contest. Her first short-form collection, The Unworn Necklace, received a finalist book award from the Poetry Society of America. Her collection of prose poetry, Deflection (Accents Publishing, 2015), was named a National Poetry Month Best Pick by Washington Independent Review of Books.

Long-time haibun editor of Modern Haiku, Ms. Beary is also co-editor of Wishbone Moon: An Anthology of Haiku by Women (Jacar Press, 2018), and she recently judged the Sable Books Haiku Contest for Women Book Award.

Her writing has appeared in Rattle, KYSO Flash, 100 Word Story, Cultural Weekly, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and The New York Times, and is also featured in A Companion to Poetic Genre (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) and Haiku In English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton, 2013).

Ms. Beary lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, Frank Stella, and tweets her photoku and micro-poetry on Twitter [at] shortpoemz.

Author’s website: https://robertabeary.com/news/

You can also find her on Facebook:

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Tiny Love Stories in The New York Times (8 January 2019); scroll five stories down the page for Roberta Beary’s “Now It’s All Fresh Fish” and her photograph of lobster traps in Clew Bay, Ireland.

The art of brevity, an interview by Ciara Moynihan in Mayo News (22 January 2019)

Lunch Break, a haibun by Beary in Rattle (#56, Summer 2017), Tribute to Poets with Mental Illness; includes audio (17 July 2017)

Barfly, one of more than a dozen of Beary’s works which appear in KYSO Flash; for a list of others, see the KF Index of Contributors.

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