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Literary Triathlon: Picks

By Tammy Isfeld-Petrone

Today's Literary Triathlon Pick of the Day is from Tammy Isfeld-Petrone of Port Alberni, British Columbia. 

Poetry: Zero Mississippis

Mom! Ready?
Count how many
Set! GO!
How many?
Seven Mississippis.
Count again.
Ready? GO!
How many?
Three Mississippis.
Did I beat me?
One Mississippi.
No. You can't go
faster than one.
No one can run
zero Mississippis.

Short Story: Old Hang-Ups

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Last summer, I started running.  Something I'd always told everyone I couldn't do.  Scar tissue from an old injury. I woke up earlier than I liked for two months, until the pain disappeared. Soon, I had sneakers spilling out of my hallway closet. The problem of what to do with several pairs of unwearable shoes ran through my mind each day as I left the house.  One morning, the solution was right in front of me. I tied together all those loose laces and threw them in the air, over and over until they dangled from the power lines.

Creative Nonfiction: Losing the Fight

My arm is locked between her legs and feels tight, like a thick rubber band just before it breaks. I have two choices; fight the pain until the clock runs out, or tap the mat, signalling defeat. My brother is at the edge of the mat yelling at me. How much time is left? Minutes or seconds? The only thing I can hear is the voice in my head which keeps reminding me that if Uncle Bob could make it to see this match while in the middle of chemotherapy, than I can ignore the excruciating burning in my arm.

In the hospital, I remember screaming. I think I passed out. The codeine made things confusing but I'll never forget how scared my uncle looked when he said, "I've never seen anyone so tough."

Tammy Isfeld-Petrone is from Port Alberni, British Columbia.

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