In Stone
Jeanne Holtzman

I will never attend a motivational speech without sitting in the back eating tea biscuits from a tin and drawing flowers on my thigh.

I will never be a hippie like my mother or a tyrant like my father or a scene girl like my sister, or a brat like my brother who died.

I will never cut myself and drip blood on a pile of Gummi Bears or wax lips.

I will never try to master sudoku or kill a spider on my bedroom wall.

I will never masturbate in an attic beside a mildewed banjo and a clown doll with one foot missing.

I will never go to bed with a well-meaning guy with an ordinary mouth who won’t eat garlic and picks his nose when he thinks I’m not looking.

I will never escape to a simple cottage in a holler and raise bunnies and eat my afterbirth.

I will never fluff your pillow.

I will never overturn the barbecue because the wind blew away my hat.

I will never let my child slam onto the hard hollowed-out dirt at the end of the slides, or run in front of the swings, or eat dirty sand from the sandbox. I won’t get off the see-saw when he is high and I am low to teach him a lesson or watch him bounce.

I will never dip my toes in buckets of lemonade.

I will never surround my bed with tissues stiff with dried tears.

Jeanne Holtzman is an aging hippie, writer and health care practitioner, not necessarily in that order. Her work has appeared in Blip Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Used Furniture Review, elimae and elsewhere.