Color Me Sad by
(64 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Holidays

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

Turkey Green Beans Salad Cranberry Sauce Sweet Potatoes & Pumpkin Pie

Growing up Thanksgiving meant dinner with two parents

five of us kids three grandparents one aunt one uncle

one cousin one great uncle one great grandmother 

laughing loving kissing hugging drinking

thanking jabbering gobbling 

spilling over,

no distance between us. 

 Now comes Covid rising with masks and elbow bumps 

six feet here six feet there sanitizer everywhere 

what we have missed and are missing and might miss 

more in the air than

what’s there.

An elder now with a family I can’t touch

this year it’s a table for two

with all the trimmings 

but none of the




100 words


Profile photo of Barbara Buckles Barbara Buckles
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.

I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.

As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.

Visit Author's Website

Characterizations: moving, right on!, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Another beautiful, poignant tribute to what was then and what we’ve lost. I love you Featured image, Barb; the colors representing the traditional food on the table. The starkness of your words drives home the point of your message.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Perfect, Barb. As usual you capture in 100 words what most of us are feeling and struggle to express in much longer form. Yes, dinner for two this year.

  3. Ah Bebe, 100 words that pack a wallop at the end!

    At holiday dinners I never bemoaned those red stains on the tablecloth.
    Here’s to a vaccine and a future with lots more spilled wine!

  4. A poignant and poetic summation of what many millions of us are experiencing this year. I like the suggestion (from the visual image) that this year we can represent through art and drawing the connections and festivities that we are no longer getting to experience. I also like looking at the “shape” of your poem. Not quite sure what you thought, but it made me think of a dreidl spinning.

    • Thanks, Dale. I was vaguely going with the feeling of abundance spilling over and finally dwindling down to a mere drip, although it doesn’t matter whether that came thru. I do like the thought of the spinning dreidl so maybe I’ll revisit the shape for another occasion.

  5. Suzy says:

    I love this so much! Of course you would have those wonderful pastels in all the colors of Thanksgiving dinner! And your contrast between the spilling over in the before-times and no spilling over this year is such a good metaphor for the whole pandemic Thanksgiving experience we are all having. I love the shape of it too, and now that I have read Dale’s suggestion that it looks like a spinning dreidel, I have to agree, even though that’s a different holiday.

  6. Marian says:

    Wonderful flash, Barb, and you have expressed the regret that all of us feel. As we eat our dinner for two, I will be thinking of those completely alone and trying to reach out as best I can.

  7. John Shutkin says:

    What a beautiful use of RetroFlash, Barb. Each word is perfect. Indeed, even it’s shape is, as I see downward arrows — perfect for mourning this year. And yes, we could all do with some “spilling over” soon!

    • Thanks so much, John! For me the fun of RetroFlash is bending it to my will in terms of format, content, and even shape…all open to interpretation, and the restriction of 100 words makes it eminently doable. I love that you see arrows pointing down.

  8. Bee-you-ti-ful, Barb! Wonderful and skillful variation on the flash form, and such a musical piece, swelling at hugging, kissing, loving, drinking, then dwindling down to the final, wistful note. Just loved it.

  9. Joe Lowry says:

    Nice description on the changes through the years, and the changes this year.

Leave a Reply