Jacqueline Cioffa – Author of The Red Bench, The Vast Landscape & Georgia Pine

Concealer Bare

I’ve mostly been embarrassed by my looks, I never outgrew the gawky teens years. The fluke modeling career, false impressions people make about you. I downplayed it for half my life, hid in a corner for the benefit of others. There no longer is the need to pretend play that part. As I embark on a more satisfying, terrifying career, I jump. Headfirst. I thought I had to compartmentalize, distance myself

Dance Party

We talk about it. Yeah, we do. In my house, we talk about a lot. The mundane living stuff, movies, books, music, groceries, even the weather. And, death. We talk about that, too. Well, I do most of the talking. The persistent, detective’s daughter, ever annoying and inquisitive. The fervent need to know what comes next, how it should look, the driving force. The uncomfortable, inevitable last chapter. Well, you

Measure of a Man

Rummaging through junk, I rediscover hidden treasure. Time and distance put fresh perspective into meaning. An antique chest of drawers once belonged to my grandfather. It had secret compartments and a pullout desk, to store his important things. His rubber coin purse that gobbled up change, never to be seen again. Papers, letters and pencils filled the now empty spots. I was sure they were awfully important. I thought that

The Coolest Thing About Me

I have arrived, at the supposed highway, halfway mark of life. That’s a median guess based on statistics, there are no guarantees. I have learned a few lessons along the way. I am no more special, prettier, richer, smarter than most. Sure, I was granted a great big superficial life for a brief moment, filled with stuff, lots and lots of stuff. All disposable. Today, it sits in a closet

Baby it’s Cold Outside

My friend always says, “can’t go backwards, only forward.” It’s super annoying. Duh, I know that. I don’t want to go back, but sure as hell would like to head south. Too busy for a staycation, I’d settle for a long week-end. Six, seven days for optimum unwind and relax. Meet me in Miami debauchery, cafe con leche, black beans and rice, hit the old haunts, sea salt brittle in

Hey Red.

Yesterday was not a good day. No, in fact It was a very, very bad one. Crap, we all have them. Not exactly like mine. My bad day started out fine, until out of nowhere, it wasn’t. Frenzied, panicked, the emotional turmoil requires a great deal of work. They tell me ride it out, it will be fine. It won’t. My mother sits across watching, as my eye droops, I

What I Saw

The traffic light turned red. This time, I could not avoid the person standing at the corner. In his spot night after night. I pulled over in a knee-jerk, impulsive instant. I looked at the once handsome man, hiding beneath the desperation and guilt of unlucky circumstance. I noticed the man with razor-sharp blue eyes, scraggly gray beard and sorrow stamped across his crinkled forehead. He immediately looked down when