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Story Too Short for Its Box

Taking Care of Mother




































Story Too Short for Its Box

 

Something was singing. I suspected my grocery bag. I suspected my tomato. It was the kind of song you hear the heroine singing when sheís in trouble on a mountaintop. Accompanied by a flinging of capes and two or three plain-looking sisters with amazing harmony.


I tried on a different four-cornered hat.


I didnít understand how there could have been a sinking boat in the headlights but there was.


My comedy shoes were bleeding. It was not quite ironic but leading to, and distended and hooked and intimated. It was the space above yesterday that I was missing, but today was filling it in. It was beautiful and it was an army training ground, and I was qualified. I didnít want to have to kill anyone, but I knew for that kind of beauty I should.

 

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Taking Care of Mother

 

The children could no longer understand their mother, so they decided to take her to a nursing home, where the manager offered the mother a live-in job with free room and board and a modest stipend. Not having heard this offer while they were arguing over the finances, the children carted her off to her new room, visited her once a week, picked her up on holidays and treated her with great consideration to assuage their guilt, and they marveled at the nursing homeís poor accounting practices, which had overlooked billing them for their motherís care. They used the savings to see that the mother had everything she could possibly need. The mother could not believe her good fortune. Her children were treating her better than they ever had before. She continued to take care of people, although they were different people now, and she received a check promptly every Friday, which she spent on fine chocolates and gifts for everyone in the home, who, as a result, treated her as if she were their own mother, which, it must be admitted, confused her at times and served to reassure her real children that she was where she belonged.

 

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RICH IVES is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. The Spring 2011 Bitter Oleander contains a feature including an interview and 18 of his hybrid works.


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