m i c h a e l    k    m e y e r s

Canoe

 

During the funeral service with relatives taking turns lying about his father’s accomplishments blood flowed from his nostrils. Women rushed toward him with boxes of tissue. Latter, nostrils plugged, his mother led him through bramble to the stream. Though he needed no assistance in stepping over the lines she’d drawn in the sand, when she offered her hand he took it. Once seated behind her on the sand, his mother identified the circumscribed area as a canoe and began scooping sand back, instructing him over her shoulder to do the same. He had just begun, when his grandmother came running toward them arms and legs discombobulated and looking like a scarecrow might if empowered to leap off its stick. As a young girl his grandmother fell down a chimney, and when she got close enough to make out what she was saying he recognized the rudiments of the story, the need to tell it, often rising in her. By the time she was close enough to be heard she was nearer the end than the beginning, the scary part. Standing over them, pausing in the telling to catch her breath, she raised her arms above her head to show where blood once was. The chimney story had no end, or rather as one remembrance became another, many. With his grandmother miming her rescue by firemen, his mother resumed scooping, now faster, and with sand flying past him he did the same, some sand striking his grandmother’s legs, who stopped talking then perhaps startled to find herself so near water.

 

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MICHAEL K MEYERS's fiction appears in Quick Fiction, Work Riot, SmokeLong, Nano, Bound Off, 2River, Chicago Noir, Chelsea, Fiction, The New Yorker, Eclectica, The 2nd Hand Journal & Required Journal. His audio works can he heard in Fringe, 2River, Mad Hatters Review & (forthcoming) in Drunken Boat. His videos can be viewed on the Ninth Letter website as well as on his own; michaelkmeyers.com


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