By Rita McDermott

Life in a Bottle

I could always rely on you
To be there for me
Through thick and thin.
You celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births, 
And many other special moments with me.
We even celebrated every day of the week for fun.
You were there on somber days too
To comfort me.
When I lost a loved one
You were my crutch to lean on
You got me through.
You took away my shyness
Through the years.
You made me the life of the party
You were always good for a few laughs and jokes.
My constant companion
Waiting patiently for me to pick you up.
You would be ready for me anytime of the day
Waiting to be held and cherished by me
As much as I cherished you.
Easy on the eyes
Smooth going down.
Friends and family say I spend too much 
Time with you
Neglecting them
Because of you.
My best friend...
How can they say I need to set you free
To stop making you, my priority.
They don’t know you as I do
How could leaving you be best for me?
Even though I try
My mind and body won’t willingly let you go.
They are putting up a fight.
They know what you mean to me.
My body sweats and shakes
When I try to stay away.
Fidgety and restless
Tossing and turning at night.
Sleep is not the same
Without you.
I want to reach out to you.
I never knew it would be so hard
To not have YOU.

The Road of Life

Traveling down the road of life, I have learned there are no guaranteed destinations
Except for the final one.
A straight and narrow path can become curved and wide, bumpy, zigzag, or double back.
Forks in the road force us to decide which tine we are going to bite onto.
At times the road is sunny and bright and easy to navigate
Then there are times when it is dark and cloudy, and we have difficulty finding our way
We look for light at what seems to be the end of a very long tunnel.
Taking my first steps it seemed simple and carefree
Taking bigger steps I explored many travel options
Traditional rules of the road, unique ones, rebellious, some of my own invention. 
The roads I have traveled  are now weathered and worn
I am grateful I had the freedom to choose and to enjoy the scenery along the way.
Travels have provided me with many experiences and emotions during the journeys.
As the road comes to an end
I hope my wheels scream it has been a helluva ride.
As for travel advice...
Breathe in, take it easy, and enjoy the road along your way.

A Coal Miner’s Story

The whistle pierced the quiet calm of the morning.
It is time for our band of brothers to make our daily trek.
Dismal faces adorn our pack.
There is a heavy mist of our breath as it rises in the air.
Quiet prayers are said in our heads and in our dwellings
For our safe return come day’s end.
Down, deep into the bowels of the earth we go
Into the pitch black
Broken by the light of our headlamps.
Like tunnel rats trudging through stagnant water
Hunched and crawling in these cramped shafts.
The musty coal infested air creeps up our nostrils
The free-floating black coal dust coats our garments and camouflages our skin.
We are here for the black gold to power the industrial revolution
We are here for the survival of our beloved families above
Whom anxiously await our daily homecoming.
Today the timbers held
Keeping us safe in the belly of the beast.
Elusive gasses did not stop the canary from singing.
Explosives did not bring the beast to life 
To exact revenge upon us.
Today we are able to climb out of the belly once more
Returning to the loving arms of our families.


Is in the air.
Fuzzy sweater nights.
Snuggling under warm, fleece blankets.

Radiant rays of the sun
Drying the morning dew
From the lush green grass carpet.

Majestic oaks and maples
Displaying a brilliant array of color.
Swirling leaf shades...burnt orange, golden yellow, deep red, and russet.
Carpeting the ground.

Straw sentinels watch over the farmers' field.
Orange pumpkin patches.
Waiting to be gathered.
Decorated and carved.

Apple orchards.
Plucked and savored.
A warm mug of apple cider.
Fresh baked apple pie and dumplings.

Whiffs of cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, and pumpkin.
Yes indeed
Fall is in the air.

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