To not hide was her objective and to think of it made bile rise in the back of her throat.  She knew with this new assignment she would be required to bring into her workplace a transparency that she had hitherto avoided.  Where would the courage come from to do it, and where would her awkward attempts at change take her?

She’d masterfully hidden from the world for decades, or so she thought. Sure, there were a few people who knew the real deal, but most of them were now dead, and those left living had departed from her region of the world.  They were off making something of themselves, serving on distant mission fields, or baking gingerbread fancies with white icing ruffles trimming the edges of their poofy ginger skirts and shirts.  Gingerbread-loving grand babies would eat those confections as soon as they cooled from the oven and had dressed themselves.  She was sure that domestic duties and sticky-sugar hugs were keeping those companions busy these days. They had no time, nor the inclination, to check in on her or pick up the phone and call to make sure life was treating her fairly.  It wasn’t, she mused, but they would never know.  Her smoke and mirror act performed these past forty years had emphasized hiding the real Sally from view, while constructing a feigned and more fascinating model to hide behind.

But this job…

This job would require a new frankness.  It would require painful truth, unmasked weakness, and an authenticity Sally wasn’t entirely sure she was prepared to parse out to strangers.  How could she do it?  What would it take, and what would it cost her?

What job is Sally about to embark upon?  What could it be that she has been hiding for so long?


Original work. Copyright LJH,  July 2016


The Hit Man

One day this week I got caught up in the spider web that is Wikipedia. There, I found a story about a mafia don that held a secret meeting of the membership at his homestead in Apalachin in the ’50’s.

Apalachin, NY, people. A quiet lil burb of Binghamton!

Don’t ask how I got so entangled in this crazy topic.

My initial search led to other wiki pages and more information about the mob and more astonishment by me that people live such violent and vicious lives while walking on the same streets that we walk.

Truly amazing and shocking stuff!

I remember experiencing a similar sense of surrealism in the past, when I realized through my work at a drug and alcohol/mental health facility that some of the folks on the streets in my hometown were vicious rapists, violent offenders, and victims of diverse addictions. I had rubbed elbows with them on my way into the diner or movie theatre and never knew. Scary!

The following is my attempt to process the inner workings of a mind twisted by sin, while living on the outside. Note: I am tremendously grateful to be living on the outside of this type of dysfunction! The following is poetry born of reason and Wikipedia facts. Scary!

The Hit Man

Tall, dark, and deadly,


“A brick,” some say.

He paints houses.



Three weeks without sleep.

Clearheaded, I’m now ready!

“You do what you feel you must.  I’ll do the same.”


Insomnia-induced Writing

A few weeks ago I endured one of the worst cases of insomnia I have ever experienced. What follows is the writing of a sleep-weary individual. Seriously, in the span of sixty-three hours I slept just under six, and those sleep periods were hit and miss.  Mostly miss; ugh!

I might have been a lil loopy when I wrote this piece, and admittedly, Dr. Who may have an influence, but hey, at least I didn’t raid the refrigerator.  😉  I also penned several poems during that time, but I realized after some sleep that most of them are gibberish. Figures.

Keep reading, if you dare.  L

The Statue

It was a statue, nothing more, but Malcolm couldn’t help himself.

He started:  “I swear, I don’t know what’s gotten into you. I ask and I ask, always the same questions: ‘What’s wrong? What have I done? You’re angry, I can see that, but you never say a word.’”

The statue stood silent.

“Your silence accuses, you know that, right? It screams manipulation. ‘You have done this. You have said that. You have walked away. You have given up on us.’”

The statue stared.

“I’ve tried being patient. I’ve tried waiting. I’ve tried confrontation. I‘ve tried getting to the bottom of it all, but you will not listen. Will not reply. Will not even acknowledge me.”

The statue didn’t acknowledge Malcolm.

“So, I’m to think what?”

The statue didn’t respond.

“I see, I see, you can’t say. Is that it?”

The statue didn’t say.

“You feel beaten down? Alone? Maybe that I’m too negative, is that it?”

Malcolm waited for a response.

“That’s how you see me?” His face flushed with frustration.

The statue didn’t see.

“I know you can speak. I’ve heard you talk to others. I’ve see you interact with them. I know you’re singling me out for silence.”

The statue said nothing.

“Are you a coward, then? Is that why you remain mute?”

No response.

“Do you not care?”


“Is this shunning practice your normal mode of operation these days?”


“Can you not forgive?”

The statue didn’t forgive, or move, or respond in any way.

Malcolm moved away. “And now I suppose you’ll blame me for leaving you.” He looked over his shoulder one last time.

“Such a pity,” he whispered. “Stone and dry bones, they’re like seeds that fall among thorns; choked off. You’ve heard my words, but you will not understand; you’ve seen what I do, but perceive not its meaning. Hearts harden, until finally ears cannot hear and eyes cannot open. In the end, they can no longer turn, nor can they soften. Stone begets stone.”

The statue remained unmoved.