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Morning recess, Dewey Elementary: Wendy’s father left circulates the sandbox. I saw her mother later clutching a gristled Brillo pad, bent over at an angle as she tackled the kitchen sink. Wendy at the table not allowed to come play, quarantined till bedtime with a basket of flashcards. This was how I learned that fathers could vanish, but didn’t learn I shouldn’t ask why her father did. The word divorce so ashamed it hid one of its own vowels; made a mother in stilettos and an apron with white ruffles scrub porcelain so hard it simply had to shine.

 

 

 

Shoshauna Shy‘s narrative poetry has recently been published courtesy of IthacaLit, Hartskill Review, RHINO, Gulf Stream and Sliver of Stone. She has flash fiction in the public arena or slated to appear thanks to 100 Word Story, Fiction Southeast, Literary Orphans and Prairie Wolf Press Review.
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