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Ron. Lavalette's work has appeared in these fine publications:

Friday, July 31, 2020

Life – A Sentence

Months To Years (Online & Print) July 2020

He’s almost an hour early
for hemo/oncology, waits
with a coffee and the other
early arrivals, watching 
the white coats come and go,
counting the turns of the lab’s
revolving door, and attempting
to calculate the likelihood
that his particular marble
will fall on either red or black,
odd or even, hoping that
when he’s finally released
it will still be Spring
and he will have
hit the jackpot once again,
can stop one more time
at the bookstore’s cafĂ©
for a second cup of coffee
and a couple of macaroons,
can bask in all the tentative 
reassurances that modern medicine
can offer to an iffy, aging scribe.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Leaving Eden, Unmasked

The Drabble (Online) July 2020

After a couple hours bobbing in brilliant lakewater, there are grapefruit margaritas on the sundeck, or maybe a couple of cold beers out under the shadetree. Everybody’s full-throated, half-naked, sunburnt, and totally shot by three o’clock, even though happy hour is still several hours away. Everyone’s already as happy as anyone can be, thanks to their lengthy lounge, chips and dip in a darkened bar, and their spirited but friendly debate about the current sad state of affairs no one’s paying any real attention to anyway.

Eve snaps up a Tupperware filled with applesauce, steers Adam toward the back door.

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Fewer Than 500 (Online) July 2020

Sal’s only job was to make sure the saltshakers were always filled. Full. His boss told him on his first day that he knew exactly how much a perfectly filled salt shaker should weigh, and if even one grain of salt was missing, his ass would be grass, and, by God, the boss would do some serious mowing.

He watched the tables and booths like a hawk, and when the customers stood up to leave, even before they could put on their coats, he’d rush on over to check and fill the salt, even if the customer had only inadvertently brushed the shaker with a careless elbow.

He kept the job for years, kept the shakers filled, kept the boss happy and the customers salted to within an inch of their lives. No one ever complained. Most people never even noticed; no one except the boss, who frequently conducted random weigh-ins but never found even a single crystal missing.

When he finally retired, decades later, his diligence was duly noted: corporate executives decreed that a memorial plaque bearing his name and photo and extolling his contribution to their success be mounted in the employee’s lounge, though (to be honest) no one ever really lounged there much.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

One Of The Flock

Verdant (Anthology)
Truth Serum Press (Vol. 5) July 2020

He never really knows which curve
will hide the flock of wild turkeys
that almost every morning
struts and pecks its way across
from field to field, either
oblivious to or ignorant of traffic,
intent on only what can be
found and eaten, whatever it is
that turkeys, long before sunrise,
         All he really wants, driving
away from his bed, driving away 
from anything bedlike and restful,
is another day of certainty about
anything; another reassurance
that goals can be obtained; 
that, like him, the sun will rise;
that grass can indeed be greener.

Saturday, July 11, 2020


Cabinet Of Heed (Online) July 2020

He works the phone all morning, calling to remind his clients to take their pills and drink lots of water, and to reassure them that the voices aren’t real. Some of them he calls and calls again, hoping that on his third or fifth or eighth attempt they’ll give in, pick up, and maybe even recognize his voice, hear and heed his advice.

By noon he’s pretty toasted from the effort, buys himself a burger and a Coke and goes down to sit in the shade beside the lake, contemplate its smooth surface like it’s a giant crystal ball, and try to divine what comes next. The only other beings he encounters are a few ragged gulls scavenging the shoreline for scraps and a pair of loons forty or fifty feet out, bobbing and diving for whatever it is loons dive for. He watches them for the longest time, thinking about how quiet it must be just below the surface. He wonders why they come back up at all.

He can hear the snarl of a revved engine on the bank far off to his left, somewhere out of sight. He can’t tell if it’s a chainsaw or a dirtbike, only that it’s small and angry sounding. It echoes across the water and comes back at him almost a full second later, only slightly smaller but just as angry. When he can’t stand it anymore, he heads on back to the office.

When he gets to his desk, the phone is ringing, but he can’t bring himself to pick it up. There’s a meeting going on in the conference room; he can hear voices through the wall.

Family History

Cabinet Of Heed (Online) March 2020

My father always told me
his father always told him
that my father’s grandfather
died just like my father’s father:
rolled over in bed, sat up,
probably sat there a minute
thinking about the weather or
whatever it was that lay ahead,
reached down for his slippers,
groaned slightly, keeled over,
face-first onto the hardwood,
gone. Both of them, gone
in the lack of a heartbeat, gone
forever, before they got old,
regardless of what “old” was,
way back then, when they died.

My father broke the pattern:
managed to hang on longer,
managed to avoid the floorboards
until his pancreas ate him alive,
slowly, letting him spend his
last few ancient days in his own
drug-comfortable bed, dreaming.

I’ve still got a few dreams coming,
I think; but these days, now that
I’ve clearly made my way to ‘old’
and ‘ancient’ seems unlikely,
I wake up, roll over in bed,
look at my slippers on the floor,
and feel like I’m flipping a coin
when I reach to pick them up.