Friday Flash Fiction

Three Days

Earlier than planned they sought places your spirit might be.

No one could decide, so ashes were divided into thirds.

Each portion looked for you from a different place:

from skyline, from water, from earth.


I found you in Japan, one early morning in the park

where the sleepless gaijin and homeless cats wander

under lilac boughs, lost and hungry.  Far from home,

you were waving arms by the fountain, squinting in the sun.


For days we followed memories of this place.

we shared quiet evenings at the Black and White Café

over frizzled rice and tofu.  You watched me fumble chopsticks,

eat each grain of rice, drink too much green tea.


One night, back at the hotel, we lingered in the lobby

by the flower arrangement of bleached wood,

branches of bone gather white flowers,

like origami cranes, perched and waiting to fly.


You put me to sleep that third night, and in my dream

you were gathering iris along the moat at Nagoya Castle.

Clouds crossed the sun, you looked up as if remembering

a flight you were scheduled to take.


For three days you forgot you were gone,

for three days I remembered.

© Jan M. Veile

1954 -2011

In honor of the first anniversary of my sister’s passing, I submit her words.  The theme was a perfect match for this poem that has been on my mind for the past few days, remembering.  Jan’s complete work of poetry is available on Amazon.  The photo prompt is by Sandra Crook, courtesy of Madison Woods. Their stories can be found here, along with links to all the other Flash Friday Fictioneers.

© Erin Leary

33 thoughts on “Friday Flash Fiction

    • Hi Rich,
      Jan wrote this about a friend of hers who died. She felt most connected to her when she would be in Japan on her layovers – it was a chance to feel like she was still there.

      It is much how I feel without Jan. She is just away on a trip, or I’ve missed her call. I feel her with me in our shared memories.

  1. A wonderfully moving tribute. This week also marks the one year passing of someone very close to me, so I know exactly how you feel. You greatly honor your sister’s memory.

  2. This is moving on several levels. Suffice to say that I will remember your sister’s words and you for sharing them. I think that is all a writer can ask for in this world.



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