Yellow Mama Archives II

KJ Hannah Greenberg

Acuff, Gale
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Burke, Wayne F.
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dorman, Roy
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Garnet, George
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hohmann, Kurt
Holtzman, Bernice
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Koperwas, Tom
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Prusky, Steve
Reddick, Niles M.
Robson, Merrilee
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schmitt, Di
Short, John
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, K. A.
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zimmerman, Thomas

Alive Another Day


by KJ Hannah Greenberg



A senior citizen protected by a large straw sun hat and elsewise covered from wrists to ankles, makes her way among tombstones. She pauses at one.

“Larry, it’s two months, one week and six days past my seventieth birthday. Why aren’t you here to rejoice with me? We agreed I’d go first.

“I’m so miserable without you. The insurance money’s keeping me afloat and the kids visit . . . sometimes, but life’s no good alone.

“You nasty piece of work! You promised to outlive me.”




“I’m alive!”

“Yes, Ma.”

“I’ve been granted the gift of waking up again!”

“Yes, Ma.”

“That’s three months, two weeks and five days past my seventieth birthday!”

“Yes, Ma. Yesterday was three months, two weeks and four days past your seventieth birthday.”

“Oh Honey, you’re keeping count.”

“Don’t have to—you do.”

“You bet! We’re only guaranteed seventy years and I’ve been given a reprieve to live longer.”

“Not so amazing; the average female life expectancy, here, is eighty-two.”

“You don’t say.”

“I don’t. I read it in Statista.”

“For everyone?”

“Nope, for first-world countries, mostly. You were born in the right place, at the right time.”

“Counting COVID and other nasties?”


“Well, no matter, Scripture gives us seventy, so I’m living on bonus time.”

“I know, you call me every morning to let me know.”




“Good morning, Dear.”

“Hi, Mom! How come you’re not dialing Jerry?”

“His phone number isn’t working.”


“Did you know that three months, three weeks and four days have passed since my seventieth birthday?”


“I’m celebrating!”

“Lunch with the girls? Manicure? Signing up for a new app?”

“No, most of them are on a cruise. I don’t like nail polish. You didn’t forget? Besides, I’m happy using dated technology. No new apps for this grandma.

“So, I’m celebrating by calling you.”

“Oh . . . Did you know I got to the office two hours ago?”

“The early bird . . .”

“Mom, you can’t call me every morning.”

“I see.”

“Maybe, after the kids are asleep, I can Zoom with you.”

“Sure. ‘See’ you in fourteen hours.”



“Do you always have to make me feel guilty?”

“I just called to wish you a ‘good morning.’ No guilt attached. Hanging up, now.”




A senior citizen fights against snowdrifts in boots, a parka, and assorted cold weather gear as she makes her way among tombstones. She pauses at one.

“Berel, you were supposed to outlive me. I get it that your father caved, but a son ought to respect his mother. I wanted to read to your children! I wanted to meet your wife! I wanted to clap at your college graduation! You didn’t let me do any of that.

“Did you know that today is four years, ten months, one week and two days past my seventieth birthday? I would have gladly given you my decades, instead, if it had been possible.

“Anyway, the docs say the cancer’s returned. I wanted to tell someone.”




“Mommy, Teri told me you’ve been calling her at work. You shouldn’t do that.”

“If a mother can’t say ‘good morning’ to her children, what’s the point of motherhood?”

“Carpool is picking up in five, so please just tell me today’s count.”

“I’m five years and a day past my seventieth birthday.”

“You’re ancient.”


“Oh, there’s the horn. Gotta go. Love you. Kisses and hugs.”




Three adults, their spouses, and their children make their way among tombstones. They pause at a fresh gravesite.

“Five years, six months, and four days since her seventieth birthday.”

“I shouldn’t have changed my phone number. Her calls took only a few minutes.”

“I shouldn’t have told her I was busy at work when all I was doing was sipping my second coffee and checking my Facebook account.”

“I should have been honest and let her know that carpool was a lifeline for me after Peter was diagnosed. I never told her about his illness—I didn’t want to add to her burdens. Now, I realize it would have been better to have had her involved. At least the surgery worked and Peter’s clear.”

“Five years, six months, and four days since her seventieth birthday.”

“Which do you think was worse for her, Berel’s death or Dad’s?”

“She was really afraid of dying. Her calls were her way of celebrating each droplet of life.”


“Seriously! It must have been awful to live so many hours, days, weeks, months, and years alone.”

“You sound like Mom.”

“Good! Expect calls from me if I pass seventy.”




KJ Hannah Greenberg has been playing with words and images for an awfully long time. Check out her poetry and art book, One-Handed Pianist (Hekate Publishing, 2021).

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