the cat has taken up a new spot in the window
arching his head to watch the lazy swing
of the Venetian blinds as afternoon breezes
coax them to sway and sing a buzzing song
a tidy row of tulips clings to the stone wall
where the children used to build forts;
father planted them for mother not long after
he had returned from the war; I remember
him reminiscing about the gardens he had
seen in Europe, and how he wanted to replicate
them on our patch of Earth; some years he
spent more time with his flowers than he spent
with his family, making personal sacrifices to
gods of fertility he fashioned out of his
imagination; trying to bury all those
winters that made him shiver in the night
now I tend the garden, though I have
no memories of Europe to inspire me;
the cat watches me from his window as
I weep for Tammuz amidst the flowers
BIO: Lee Clark Zumpe has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy and speculative fiction since the late 1990s. His short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications such as Weird Tales, Space and Time and Dark Wisdom; and in anthologies such as Corpse Blossoms, Best New Zombie Tales Vol. 3, Steampunk Cthulhu and World War Cthulhu. His work has earned several honorable mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror collections.
An entertainment columnist with Tampa Bay Newspapers, Lee has penned hundreds of film, theater and book reviews and has interviewed novelists as well as music industry icons such as Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains and Alan Parsons. His work for TBN has been recognized repeatedly by the Florida Press Association, including a first place award for criticism in the 2013 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest.
Lee lives on the west coast of Florida with his wife and daughter. Visit www.leeclarkzumpe.com.