For the next few weeks, we are sharing writing that happened during AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, Write Around the World.

We offer this in appreciation for the workshop leaders and writers who joined together to raise money for AWA. What a vibrant celebration of the community we make when we share our words with one another!

Thanks to you, we are able to launch a new initiative for veterans and their families and to, as always, offer scholarships to make our training and affiliate programs more accessible. We are grateful to all who shared their voices throughout the month of May and who gifted us their writing to be shared here.

If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!

From B. Alexandra Kedrock’s Write Around the World group in Norfolk, VA

Lemon Water

            I open the refrigerator and stand staring, having forgotten for a moment what I was looking for.  But then it comes to me, a whisper, “get healthy.”  I’m looking for a lemon to put in my water, my mason jar of detox, just water and fresh lemon. “ Drink regularly and you will feel better” comes the whisper again.  Who told me that, I wonder idly.  Everything seems idle these days.  Rudderless, as if I were a boat that needed direction; purposeless, not purposeful.  I am treading water, biding my time until…what?  I have no idea.  I need a lemon at this moment to put in my jar.  Later, as I walk from my car to my destination, trying to balance bags and jars, I will ignore the whisper in my ear saying “put the jar in your bag” and the jar will fall and break, and I will have to stop to clean up the broken glass and lemon halves , finding purpose in the moment, needing to pick up all the tiny shards, splintered and spread across the pavement.

            But for right now, it is enough to find the lemon, to squeeze it hard and watch the juice cloud the water, and sip, tasting the tart, fresh lemon floating in the water.  I do feel better.  Healthier.  Power of suggestion?  Perhaps, but maybe that’s all I need.  I sip again and listen for the inevitable call from the bedroom.  I wonder if lemon water will help her, the woman in bed, dependent on me for the simplest of tasks, getting up, getting to the bathroom, getting dressed.  Eating.  And drinking.  I will make her some lemon water when she asks for something to drink.  And we will toast our good health and happiness.  And later on, my lemon water will burst out of the jar I put it in and spread over the ground as I pick up all the glass shards, and wish that everything had turned out differently.

—Boomie Pedersen

An afternoon

Chilled lemoncello
An Italian Veranda
A scent of Freesia
She waits
The breezes whisper
Once again a broken promise.

—Alexandra Kedrock

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