“Loretta’s Poetry Career”: Flash Fiction from DIFFICULT PEOPLE (watch your step, you never know)

Loretta’s Poetry Career

 (remember, nobody gets out alive…)

          Loretta stepped off the curb. Downtown traffic. Backwards. Not looking. She was killed immediately. The delivery truck trying to make the turn before the red-yellow still, meaning –“go” in Boston—she was gone. That quickly, poor thing. Literally, never knew what hit her. Top of her poetic prose publishing arc. Latest book a cultural breakwater—Raisins in the Looking Glass.  To those friends and admirers, a dozen or so devotees there on the corner of Crown and Sheffield…well, consensus was Loretta’s smile, triumphant after this final city reading…this backward step into eternity was as elegant a departure as typical as her sudden leaps of transcendence in her poems, stories and essays….she had reached her full powers and like a meteor arced the zenith with her glorious flame of truth and joy. As one friend from college days put it…she had no more to say on the downward slope. Her life arrowed up into infinity, going ahead, leading us always into unmapped terrain. The blow to her head knocked her soul clean free…The body surprisingly unmarked, no visible sign of trauma, stepping off into the Void, as a critic put it in Poetry Now, she achieved monistic unity with the unseen she had learned to gift us mortals ordinary, gravity bound. She was now in retrospect a kind of astral messenger, barely of this world by the end of her artistic journey.

“I tell you…” she said in her last interview, “There is progress. We do learn and truth and beauty and freedom are ours. Poetry has taught me joy because of its essential transcendence of the world of linear tedium and chronic pain. Poetry has set me free from fear.”

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