Dorthy LaVern Spencer McCarthy has published five books of short stories and five books of poetry. Her short stories have appeared in Meadowlark Reader, Anthology Of Short Stories edited by Jilly Snowden, From The Shadows, edited by Amanda Steele, Writer’s Cache and other publications. Her poetry has been published in many publications such as Encore, Home Life, Cappers and Poetry Society Of Texas book Of the Year. She has won over five hundred state awards for her poetry and thirty four national awards. She is a life member of Poetry Society Of Texas and is a member of several other writing organizations. She resides in Blair Oklahoma.
That Father's violin might not be lost when war began, with evil on the way, he kept it with him through the Holocaust. He played it in the ghetto every day. It calmed the dreaded thoughts of pain and doom, such music as would make the angels smile. The people listened raptly in the gloom. They sang along, rejoicing for a while. My father left his violin for me. I cannot play it well, but this I know. My son has all the talent that can be inherited. Each time he plies the bow, exquisite harmony in every score, the souls of those who perished sing once more.
Wolves At The Door
Years-of-poverty-ago, a wolf devoured our last chicken. Crouched in a swath of blood and feathers, fangs bared, it defied us. Galvanized, we bolted from the woods. screeched "Murder!" all the way home. Mama stood at the cabin door wiping her hands on a flour sack apron, sharing our terror. The chicken had been planned for dinner. I remember former chickens whose necks Mama had wrung, her upper lip turned downward like a beak, something reeling in her eyes as a scrawny meal raced its life away, out in the yard. Before, I had managed to separate the violence from my plate of drumsticks and gravy, but not that night of no meat. Shoving in collards that had not been forced to suffer on my behalf, I watched Mama brush a tear away as she tried to instill in us courage to face the wolves of our days.
The ladies at the Nursing Home Dance watch the old men watching them. The band plays In The Mood, but no one is except Mr. John in his bright yellow suit. He bops and boogies, jitterbugs over to Miss Millie. He releases her hand when she screams “Arthritis!” Music jangles against the ceiling, rains on silver heads like confetti at a welcome-home parade prompting Mr. John to pull Mrs. Smitty into a Fred Astaire whirl. They dance away fifty years. Roses bloome on her cheeks and life, on his. At song’s end, Mr. John bends his partner backwards in a swooping, ballroom kiss. Dour Mr. Smitty knocks over a chair, shuffles toward Mr. John to punch him in the mouth while Mrs. Smitty giggles fanning herself like a high school girl on her first important date.