Change happens to everyone. How we react is the key to survival. The authors in this anthology—ordinary people—took a hard look at change in people’s lives and wrote about their journeys in poems and short prose.
Some of these pieces step back in time; others are set in the future. All remind you of a related experience in your own life, and cause you to reflect on how your whole life changed from a single, sometimes insignificant, choice that you made.
According to author Jack Lindy, basketball is the smell and feel of sweat, elbows in your ribs or his, and the taste of blood. In “David and Goliath,” Jack weaves a fascinating story of two high school basketball players—one a friend, and the other an opponent by the name of Wilt Chamberlain—and how they changed his life.
Walter Bunker’s “Growing Up With Uncle August” tells the story of a young boy’s view of his beloved uncle, a man who gave him everything—a home, an education, and a career in his plastic paper clip business. Uncle August stuns everyone with his late-in-life announcement.
Losing a parent at any age is difficult. In Mo Conlan’s “Rosemary Climbs Up,” Rosemary and her brother Charley are both single and living with their mother when she dies. After talking about life and death with a seven-year-old girl who is wise beyond her years, Rosemary devises a plan to confront Charley and change her own life.
For a flat-out humorous look at how to deal with change, “Mother Goose 2014─Cincinnati Legal” and “CSI (Miami Ohio)” by Harry DeMaio will keep you in stitches.
Fourteen poems, interspersed throughout the anthology, enrich the collection as the poets crystalize their life-changing experiences into a few select words.
Talented student artists from Cincinnati’s AIC College of Design contributed striking illustrations for many of the works.
Examples of the poignant themes throughout Change Happens are the following:
I Am Young
It was a steamy August evening, the air heavy. My best friend and I along with our husbands had brought our lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray to settle in for a concert in the park. We were going to hear a local band playing rock and roll from the 60’s and 70’s. The sky, now dusky, would soon be dark. In spite of the scorching day, a gentle breeze cooled the humid evening. We were in a valley surrounded by lush, green trees that turned black as the sky darkened.
The music began─loud, but rock and roll should be loud. I enjoyed the performance; the more the group played the less aware I was of my surroundings. At some point our husbands left. They had been talking, not listening to the music, anyway. I am not sure when they left─I wasn’t paying attention.
As I became transfixed by the music, I started singing along─I knew all the words. Maybe it was just my imagination, but each song seemed to take me further and further from the present. I was a young girl in high school. I had clearly left this century and had been transported to the 1960s. Who says there’s no such thing as time travel?
Before the concert I promised myself that I would leave at intermission; I had so much to do at home. Instead, the music transformed me into a teen-aged girl whose biggest worries were what to wear to the Homecoming dance and whether or not my parents would let me have the car for senior days. I stayed until the very last note was played, and I still didn’t want to leave. I knew that sooner or later I would have to come back to today, but I thought, can’t I stay just a little bit longer?
Wheels of Time
Pushed by mother
Against the hill,
Slightly over the hill,