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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Laurie Kolp

Hereditary Mayhem

She sits in the recliner with her knee propped up, a bag of frozen peas on top. How does she endure such pain without complaint, her body a pretzel? Bones twisted in precarious positions, skin wrinkled linen stained with nicotine. Enslaved by pride, she refuses a walker or handicapped parking permit, although she really shouldn't be driving. A stack of old phonebooks might boost her eyes from dashboard level, but her ego won't allow it.

the camel

I stand beside her in my workout clothes. Off to the gym to pump iron, stop the piling on of years inching me closer to her predicament. I can't lift enough weights, run enough miles, pop enough TUMS to stop the process. She wants the chrysanthemums on the coffee table next to the ceramic jack-o-lantern. The same one she's set in the same spot for more than forty years. I tell her I have to go, blow a kiss.

the Harvest moon
appears each year –