Flakes of Inspiration

The yellow flakes of fungi-laden toenails struck me the most.  On feet so edematous a sock could barely fit, those yellow flakes told a story.

Mr. C was an 82-year old physicist.  His bookshelf stood cluttered under piles of textbooks he no longer read.  His stories filled with details of a life immersed in academics he no longer knew.  Having retired over thirty years ago, Mr. C occasionally picked up the latest Physics publication.  More often, though, he picked up a book of poetry and sat with his cat to read.  More often, he picked up a paintbrush and canvas and stroked his interpretation of the view from his new apartment window.

“I sat on a board for animal research,” Mr. C explained, drifting into another story of his past.  “And the vote was always fourteen to one.  Should we lock monkeys in a basement?  Fourteen to one!  Should we inject those monkeys with a chemical?  Fourteen to one!”

Mr. C was always the ‘one,’ always persistent in his beliefs.  He remembered every detail of those cases, every aspect of his debate.

“Can you take your shoes and socks off for us, Mr. C?” I asked, transitioning from conversation to the extremities portion of the exam.

Mr. C was still his proud, determined self.  Even sitting in a wheelchair, he insisted on shooing away his nurse’s reaching hand, slowly undressing his swollen feet on his own terms.

“How long have you had this swelling?” I inquired, helping move his sock into his shoe.  I pushed against Mr. C’s skin, watching the pink tone fill the white indent as quickly as I let go.  “And the yellow on your toenails?”

Mr. C didn’t know the answer to either question.  With coffee dripping down his white undershirt and uncombed beard, with his sudden transition to a story about his upbringing, I could tell Mr. C hadn’t seen his feet in quite some time.

As I returned the sock to Mr. C’s right foot, I noticed a flake of yellow toenail crumble to the carpet and vanish between the shag projections.  Encircled in clutter, I knew that flake would stay on the floor for quite some time.

“Thank you for your time and for all of the wonderful stories,” I ended a few minutes later, gathering my stethoscope and blood pressure cuff into a bag.  “I’ll be on the lookout for your next painting!”

And with that, I left.  A man so intelligent, his dementia was barely noticeable.  A man so determined, his medical conditions dwarfed under his dialect.  If not for a brief cognitive assessment and a review of his flaky, yellow toenails, I never would have seen that this wonderful man’s autonomy was in gradual decline.

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed something peculiar: *crickets*

Instead of a post every day, there has been a post every few days.  Instead of poetry publications on steroids, there has been a quiet lull in poetic outpourings.


Because of Mr. C.  Thanks to Mr. C.

On days when I am so exhausted I can’t pull the cover from over my face, on these days filled with so much studying I barely find time to write, Mr. C is my muse.  Mr. C keeps me moving forward.

What moments keep you moving forward?  What experiences fill you with energy and inspiration?  Capture them.  Cherish Them.  Share them.

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Rock The Chair

because he didn’t hear that

“please” and “don’t” were separate

from “stop”


I am honored to announce that my newest poem has won Yellow Chair Review’s Rock The Chair competition this week.  To read more of this piece,


It’s time we speak out, openly, for all those moments of being caught in the gray.  If this piece speaks to you, comment on my page or on Yellow Chair Review.  Share it with those you love.  The shade of wrong must no longer read as a shade of doubt.

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

First Place Winner!

Tell me a story.  In six words.

Yes, six.

Every week, fellow blogger, Nicola, at Sometimes Stellar Storyteller challenges the blogging world to create a story from start to finish in six short words.  (Well, no one says the words themselves have to be short, but you get the idea.)

The competition prompts camaraderie, creativity, reflection, and thought, and this week, to the prompt of “Horror,” my six word story won first place!



to read my story and all the winners.  If this contest sounds like fun, join in the game next week!  New prompts come out Saturday morning.  And if you prefer to read, stop by each week and vote for your favorites while exploring Nicola’s own splendid writing.  You won’t regret it!

Who knows: you might even win your very own, colorful, first-place star!

Do Six Word Stories interest you?  Do you have something on your mind stirring to come out?  Share your micro-tale in the comments below.  Let the story unfold!

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

The Other Hijab

I am not a racist. But every time I see a head scarf, I don’t know what to call it or where to look. Every time I see a Muslim, I don’t know what to say or how to act. Just the word Muslim leaves me in mental disarray, because I don’t know what to think. [Terrorist?] And every time I board a plane and see a Muslim, I don’t know what to do but pray. But I am not a racist.


The news inspired me to write a poem, The Other Hijab, speaking to the impact of terrorism and anti-Muslim banter in the news.  Ultimately, that poem transformed into a  news article itself, taking center stage on the op-ed page of The Baltimore Sun.  


to read more of this article.  Share the article.  Comment with your reactions.  Tweet it to your friends.  It’s time we each take a part in ending our society’s racist ways.  It’s time we clear our world of inequality and biased fear for our children’s futures.

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.