Durable Power

By Ann Gelder
I found the form giving me durable power of attorney for my father’s health care. He died eleven and a half years ago.

First Run

By William O’Sullivan
I was an only child my 15th summer—my brother away acting, one sister abroad, another home but waiting tables, dating, college-bound.

Immediate Family Only

By Laurie Ann Doyle
The very least he owes me is a body. A thumb, a wrist bone, the big barrel of his chest. But there my father sits: gray soot in a gold cube.

The Fish Room

By Jennifer Anderson
I snuck down there evenings he worked at the sawmill, to the lath and concrete room where he gutted perch, tossing tails to the cat.

Required Summer Reading

By Kimberly Tolson
My grandma kept her pocket paperback romance novels in the scary spare room on the second floor, directly to the right of the J-shaped staircase, the one we’d ride down on the old dishwasher box.

Calling Mom Home

By Elizabeth Boquet
I call my mom once a year, on the day she died. Five times I have pulled up “Mom Home” in my contacts. Five times I have pressed the phone icon.

You Couldn’t Wait...

By Jennifer Handley
Concrete steps rise from pebbly cracked sidewalks, but go, absurdly, nowhere. Into the boards of a fence, or the sunless dirt beneath a low tree limb.

Backyard Aristotle

By Leonard Kress
In this morning’s backyard drama the tiny green bird has crashed into the glass of the sliding door and lies feet up and claw-splayed on the brick patio.

Lil

By Stephen D. Gutierrez
Our neighbor Lil looked like a TV Indian, all sunbaked and leathery. She wandered the streets brokenly, ill dressed, barely attuned.

Cornflakes of Compassio...

By Janet Hommel Mangas
Head buried between cradled knees, I sobbed rhythmically with the clacking India railway train.

The Postman

By Elisa Jay
I’m surprised to see the postman’s face at last. The wrinkles parenthesizing his lips and eyes are soft...

The Size of Memory

By Merrill Sunderland
Once upon a time, you loved being big. Your bone-smuggling classmates reminded you daily...

AGUR Is the Last Way I ...

By Clare Boerigter
Javi cuts the morcilla, flipping it into the pan. It is de casa, the pig. Homegrown.

I Was Furniture

By James McCready
I can’t recall much from my childhood. For all I know, I was a piece of furniture—an inanimate object. A cactus in its pot.

What Might Not Happen

By Nicholas A. White
Blood-red eyes, a forearm against the light, meetings and deadlines to attend. Mouths to feed, cars to buy, doctors to pay. And politics.

Beer Pong at Tiffany’s...

By Misty Ellingburg
Last night, a girl asked about my name—why it's Misty; are my parents hippies? I said no, they're Native American.

What I Am Not Saying

By Emma Bogdonoff
Once you knew a boy and you loved him though you never said. Through so many years, you never said. It made you irreplaceable; who else could say so much with so few words?

Three Flash Metafiction...

By Pamela Painter
They want to know why some characters get long stories while they get Micro, Sudden, Flash. Why some characters get cities or towns, streets, homes with dog houses and dogs that howl in the night.

Danny Boy

By Dinty W. Moore
My father was known throughout our neighborhood for his honey-rich tenor, his mastery of Irish-American songs, and Sinatra standards.

Nostalgia

By Deborah Rocheleau
Why does everyone patronize mice? They’re always “unwanted guests,” or “the new resident.” Never “the prisoner on death row” or “the vessel for deadly diseases you would rather avoid.”