Sonnet: Alcoholic Christmas

christmas lights

One strand flickered while the others glowed strong,
Its off-and-on an S-O-S that signaled something wrong
With our Christmas. First the youngest said: Let’s hide it in the back
Where none of us will notice it. But even there the lack
Of light was powerful, as if the core of something grand had died.
Pass me the replacement bulbs, the middle daughter sighed
And sat cross-legged, testing every one along the twisted rope
Until the numbness in her legs made her abandon hope.
Why don’t we leave this mess? the oldest said, Let’s make a Walmart run.
We strapped our seatbelts on. I said: This sick tradition’s done.
There is no fixing of what can’t be fixed. Then bitterly I snapped
The cloying “Holly” station on, and that’s when we were wrapped
In the departed tones of Nat King Cole, who crooned “The Christmas Song.”
We left behind our broken tree. We gamely sang along.

Halloween Don’ts

maskBaltimore writer Jen Grow says she has made some of her scariest fashion faux pas on Halloween night.

Dracula is standing on my neighbors’ front porch. He’s been there for the last few weeks staring past their Ravens flag, past their excitable Jack Russell terriers, past their chain link fence to some spot across the street. I imagine it’s the same spot where my dog stares, ever hopeful, waiting to catch a glimpse of the feral cats that live in a tool shed with a man named Danny behind my other neighbor’s house. Continue reading

Shaving the Female Leg


University of  Baltimore MFA grad student Sue Loweree knows a heck of a lot about hair removal — her hilarious self-help advice might convince you never to shave your gams ever again.


Some states, such as Vermont and Maine, and northwestern mountain towns and Germany do not require shaved-legs. Female wrestlers, cow wranglers, and river guides are also exempt, unless they are going home for the holidays, are asked to be a bridesmaid, or are invited to an upscale pool party. Continue reading