People are coming out of closets everywhere. I have not thought about coming out for years.

Single black sleeveless dress on a hanger. An empty hanger is to the right of the dress.
Single black sleeveless dress on a hanger. An empty hanger is to the right of the dress.

It is June, Gay Pride Month.

People are coming out of closets everywhere. Blogging, emailing, revelations on Facebook groups.

I have not thought about coming out for years.

Pride parades feature drag queens in sequins and huge wigs, stilettos, the Unitarians with their homemade signs, all wearing masks. We are having a pandemic after all. The drag queens’ masks are color-coordinated, like Nancy Pelosi’s, and the Unitarians have the blue utilitarian style.

People coming out as non-binary, trans, gay, asexual, omnisexual. Children come out…


All the mamas trying to protect their children, all the children not allowed to just be

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

If all the mamas in the country had 15 minutes advance notice and superpowers, they would have swept him up. All the mamas in the country would have linked arms, plunged to the street, and grabbed George Floyd before his head ever hit the pavement. All the mamas in the country would have cradled and flown off with him before he ever uttered Mama in his dying breath. All the mamas had their hearts cracked wide open as they heard their children crying when he cried, Mama.

I am a mama, a white mama of a girl with gleaming chestnut…


Employees googling pandemic, bereft children leaving college, new Lesbian Widow, giving leftover opioids to nuns, disorder abounds.

Pandemic early days — — office

My staff is frantically pandemic googling. What will happen? Close the office? Take children out of school and daycare? Cancel all our trainings and site visits?

Emails, texts and calls to me, Leadership, are fraught. Exclamation points, frantic emojis, tearful voices. Leadership is a moniker I have been assigned, usually invoked when unhappy. Reserved, soft-spoken, short, oldish, I do not understand the title. Nevertheless, I, Leadership, do not know what to do. I, Leadership, was not alive…


My staff is pandemic googling. My children are distraught. I’m a new lesbian widow. Nuns have leftover opioids. My desk composts my life.

Three nuns in habits walking ahead of you on a street.
Three nuns in habits walking ahead of you on a street.

Pandemic early days — — office

My staff is frantically pandemic googling. What will happen? Close the office? Take children out of school and daycare? Cancel all our trainings and site visits?

Emails, texts and calls to me, Leadership, are fraught. Exclamation points, frantic emojis, tearful voices. Leadership is a moniker I have been assigned, usually invoked when unhappy. Reserved, soft-spoken, short, oldish, I do not understand the title. Nevertheless, I, Leadership, do not know what to…


The Triumph of the Will; US and German forces celebrate the 4th

Our class made a grid, lines, and boxes, for the archeological dig

Trowels scraped the hill’s moss to history, began to excavate the outpost

The townspeople watched, said it had been an outpost for ancient battles

I watched Leni’s Riefenstahl’s The Triumph of the Will

Thousands of baby-faced men marched, precise lines,

Heil to horror, Heil to hell, many soon dead

The city cheered, clapped, Heil to heroes

The Thunderbirds fly overhead, wing to wing, precise turns

Six F-16 Fighting Falcons, smoky trails in the sky

A joint US and German show

The Us Air Force marches, baby-faced men

sharp…

Elizabeth Barnhill

I have a Serious job, a lot of adult kids, and write for fun.

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