Why Don’t Men Stay by Melissa McEwen

She talks to herself — and most people do — but she does it all of the time. You got some nerve doing me like that she said to the mirror once, perhaps pretending that her reflection was one of those men that did not stay. I was peeping through the cracked bedroom door. Why don’t men stay? she sang to her mirrored self. I was peeping through the cracked door and her fingers tugged hard her un-braided hair. She sung to her mirrored self for most of the day. This incident happened after Marvin, but before Oscar. She was seeing this singer who calls himself Maggie, but his birth name is Yusef. He is known around the neighborhoods as Magnet, Maggie for short. I remember he had thin wrists like a woman (but he hit like a man). That one, too, got away from her even though she wanted him to stay. He said she was too passive for him and so he ran off. When he comes around sometimes, my Mama spreads her legs easy for him. I pray in the morning and at night that some man’s love for her someday will be more than spread legs and Oh, baby!


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11 responses to “Why Don’t Men Stay by Melissa McEwen

  1. Randal Houle

    Oh, liked the use of the men’s names to create a “floating” in the narrative. And what yearning.

  2. Jim Valvis

    So good, Melissa. Kudos!

  3. Len

    great title. complex with the back and forth. i reread it a few times. nice.

  4. The ending seemed different from the rest of the story. The flow of men and then the sudden jarring of her child thinking of her in such a crude way. Ouch.

  5. Melissa

    Thanks y’all for reading and for the comments.

  6. A very disturbing piece on some level…with a complex outlook on characters within a family. And information that most offspring are not privy to in a parent. Unusual and intriguing, made me want more.

  7. Kim Hutchinson

    Sad and touching. Great characters and a lot of story in a short space.

  8. Wonderful voice, here, yearning and disdainful and sad. Read it three times, got more on each read. Peace…

  9. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  10. Missy

    Thanks Robert, Linda, Kim for reading and the insight!!

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