Nancy Machlis Rechtman

Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had poetry and short stories published in Your Daily Poem, The Whisky Blot, Grande Dame, Impspired, Trouvaille Review, Fresh Words, The Writing Disorder, Discretionary Love, and more. She wrote freelance Lifestyle stories for a local newspaper, and she was the copy editor for another paper She writes a blog called Inanities at

Missing Pieces

People swarm around me
They’re wasps
Pressing in on me
Until I can’t breathe.
Their voices echo off the walls
And buzz angrily through my head
As I try to avoid being stung
And I spin dizzily
Hoping to get away
But then I catch myself
And open my arms
To make space.

I suddenly freeze
When I hear the one voice
So familiar and beloved
Rising above all the others
A voice that has been gone from me
For what seems like forever.

I’m sure I hear my name being called
Through the missing years
And the missing pieces
And my heart leaps
As I implausibly hope
That maybe I was mistaken
About the loss
That my brain was playing cruel tricks
And it never happened.
That life is as it once was
And I’m still safe
And cherished
And not adrift in the world
But instead enveloped in hugs
And surrounded by love
That melts the protective shield over my soul
And I am home.

But then a wailing alarm signals the crowd to vanish
So abruptly that there isn’t even a trace of a footprint on the ground
Or a water ring on the nightstand
And the clamor that has engulfed me 
Releases its hold
As the singular voice calling my name
Drifts off through the clouds
Landing in the stars
And I open my eyes 
Where everything is stillness
Silent and black
And the ache that never leaves
Has once again
Overtaken what’s left of me
As a lone tear
Escapes from the corner of my eye
While the emptiness
Pulsates through night.

Life Doesn’t Wait

Life doesn’t wait
For stragglers
Who dream of better days
Without ever moving
In the direction
That might actually take them there.

Because they think there is time
For their journey
They pull over to buy garish souvenirs
And grab some greasy burgers and fries
Then doze on the lounges
By the oddly green pool behind the wrought-iron gate
But never really awaken. 

Even though they say they want more
They don’t pay attention to the signs
And continue to go the wrong way.
But mostly they just stand still
Unsure of where they should turn
Without a GPS to guide them

So they remain mired in the quicksand
Of indecision
And hubris.

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