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Quick Work No. 7

Quick Work: Short Takes on Epic Truths

Here, in micro-flash nonfiction, writers make quick work of compelling stories.

water color of swirly marbles

On Becoming a Writer at 60

by Peter Welch

Words, birthed, tender and pink, 
welcomed into the world.
Words, at first whispering,
emergence only possible
because I love them all, 
or learn to. 
Words thrill me
as they roll off my tongue: 
Evanescence – Erudite – Equanimity
Gorgeous and tenacious words 
tumble out, cascade over, 
forging new topography,
resilient enough sounds, consonants and vowels
rubbing against each other, creating heat. 
A resonating trust begins its unfolding, 
one that urges the words 
to flush and flurry into existence,
reaching into paroxysms 
that rightly bring them forth.
Ephemeral or enduring, 
Exalted in their earthly reckonings,
and essential truths.   
Words, messy and mesmerizing, 
becoming. 

Watercolor, “Cat’s Eyes,” by the poet.

Hair Story

by Amie McGraham

Newlywed: She bleached her hair, the close-cropped jet black tresses enshrouded in a peroxide haze. I only saw it in a snapshot: my mother in a high-waisted leopard-skin bikini, lifeguard tower in the background. 

Divorcee: She’s 40. I’m 12. She’s sporting the Toni Tenille bowl cut, Frye boots, my great-grandmother’s mink coat, and a NOW bumper sticker on the bright blue ’57 Chevy pickup she later traded in for a Volvo station wagon.

Resident: She wheels out of the salon on the memory care unit, and I almost don’t recognize her beneath the poufy, all-white bouffant. But she knows me.

Photo of Monica Vitti, via Flickr


About the Writers

Amie McGraham grew up on an island in Maine. Her writing has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines including Brevity and Wild Roof Journal. Currently writing a novella-in-tweets, Amie also produces a weekly 100-word newsletter, the micro mashup.

Peter Welch is currently enrolled in the MFA Writing program at Bay Path University. He is also a watercolor artist and lives in Kittery Point, Maine, with his partner Michael and their rescue pup Dasher.


The Quick Work series is curated by Multiplicity Executive Editor, Kate Whouley.