A flighty friendship tale

Picture of white mug that says, “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide…Infamous Red-Winged Blackbird” with picture of red-wing blackbird perched on tall stems.
Author’s friend’s photo of commemorative mug (gift from author)


The Taste of Chicago
lures us from our dreary cubes.
Smells of street corn, sweet churros
and spicy meats rolled in tubes.

Pockets full of tickets
Ready to sample
Deep dish pizza
Tiny scoops of key lime gelato
Jumbo turkey legs — way too ample.

Bellies burst
Cheeks hurt
Warm sunlight
sitting in pure delight.

Time to head back
to agendas
flashing lights
staff plights.

We feast on dessert
ignoring loud chirps
from emerald thickets.


A black-feathered mama spies
two clueless lasses
smacking on spoons of peach pie.

She bursts from the bushes
beak open wide. …

Remembering and forgetting events that happened on 9/11

Chicago skyline with view of Millenium Park in the foreground and Aon center behind it. A bright blue sky above.
Photo by on

A harried female voice answered the phone.

“Photo department.”

“Hi. Someone left me a message about some photos. But I don’t think they’re mine. I — ”

“Name, please?”

I gave her my name and listened to her open a drawer and shuffle papers around.

“Parkhurst, right?”

“Um, yeah.”

“Well, we’ve got photos here with your name on ’em. Ya want ’em or not?”

This makes no sense. Was this some weird joke? I hadn’t used this Walgreens to develop film since my nephew’s birthday. And that was two months ago.

The irritated woman sighs. “Hello? You there?”

“Oh, sorry…

I wrote this poem after my first 5K training session

Late summer day with black paved road surrounded by tall trees. Bright blue sky peeks out behind the trees.
Photo by on

Hands on hips
look to the sky.
I gaze through
slivers of blue.

Canopies of oaks
buffer the sun.
Their leaves sigh and sway
coax my breath away.

My chest burns
my shirt sticks.
I lick the salty drips
from my lips.

My heart slows
then bursts of pride.
My first run
now, all done.

Poetry and running eluded me most of my life. Poetry intimidated me. Running irritated me.

Until this year. Now, I’m a poet and a runner.

Okay, writing that sentence prompted my brain to say, “Slow down Sparky. No, you’re not. You’re a newbie. …

Last year, I binge-watched Netflix. This year, I binge-read The Daily Cuppa!

Not only do I love Katie Michaelson’s semi-monthly posts for their wit and kindness, but I use them to binge-read our Cuppa writers!

At first, I thought Katie was crazy to list all of the posts twice a month — they’re a lot of work ya’ll. Now I see why she does it — it’s for her writers. She loves us and wants us to grow like her beloved cucumbers.

She envisioned readers grabbing a cup of joe and binging our stories in small bursts of time. And boy, was she right!

I save her posts to a Daily Cuppa list and read any that I missed in an hour.

She’s a genius!

Adrienne Parkhurst

I’m passionate about personal and professional leadership. I write about lessons learned from managing teams (and myself) for 20+ years.

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