The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Three Poems From Karen Buchinsky

Never Happened                                         



I’m not going to talk about the fires

There were no fires.

And anyway, that was a long time ago.

No keys were stolen

Or windows broken.

No cops at the door, front or back.

He never asked her to pull over three blocks from home

to go in the bushes.

Forget about the gun to the head thing-

It never happened.

And if it did it was only a lighter that looked like a gun.

A restraining order is only a piece of paper.

No, you can’t hear footsteps upstairs when

you’re home alone

Even if his motorcycle is hiding behind the grill out back.

It doesn’t mean anything when you pick up the phone

and no one answers, it’s just a telemarketer,

That’s the way their machines work.

I swear, I don’t know where you get these ideas.

Just get on with your life, for heaven’s sake.

Go to work.

Put on some lipstick and smile, Honey,











She's Telling Me A Story




She’s telling me a story,

a love story that she’s lived, and she’s telling me

because she ran into him again

after seven years.  He’s driving a truck

and she’s hitchhiking home.

And she tells me how it ended before,

not well- unfinished and that.

She tells me how they’ve talked it out now.

And they hugged and she cried and they kissed.

As she’s telling me, I can see how much

this kiss means to her and I wonder:

How can one kiss mean so much to her

when she’s sold so many of them?

Countless kisses to countless men,

Countless “dates” with strangers.

Yet this kiss means as much to her as it would to a thirteen year old virgin.

How can this be?

She’s not just a hooker- she’s a woman.

She’s more than a pregnant crack addict

battered woman

She’s a hungry little girl.

She sees me puzzling,

and playfully hits me on the shoulder.

A self-deprecatory comment on how she can be so mushy.

I just shake my head.






The boy sits behind the clear partition with his head down.

His mom can’t hug him, all she can do is sit there.

It’s all he can do to not cry.

He’s shaking from the effort of

trying to hold back all those tears.

You’re not supposed to cry in prison.

His mother aches for her boy,

She tries to send her love to him but can he feel it?

Will it go through the glass?


She was going to wait until he got out to tell him,

But he asked.

Sam is seventeen, and

his dog is dead.



KAREN BUCHINSKY co-leads the community group for VFI. She's been with VFI since its inception in 1999, co-leading the first pre-release group. She's a former trainer for Amherst Writers and Artists, and has been writing with them since 1992.

She's placed in several poetry contests, and has had short stories published in the Equinox, Mediphors and PeregrineKAREN lives in the woods, sculpting smiling crescent moons.

Click the pics to meet the members!

Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

Click button at right to get in touch.

Send to a friend

Share on Facebook

Share on Facebook