I got the results from the paternity test and an offer for a new job on the same day. The paternity test was positive; I was the father. The new job was cutting meat at Chives, a specialty grocery store in Boulder. On my lunch break I texted my twin sister Maria that I wanted to share two things with her on Skype. I told my coworker, Lance, the news after work at Hank’s, our regular bar.
Another surly October morning on Rathdangan Farm, the name of our rocky little homestead in the foothills of the Sugarloaf Range, and Mother Nature was in a nasty mood. Her swirling wind bossed the sycamore leaves around the farmyard, and wisps of her clammy fog still clung to the steep mountain peak in the distance. My mother—we called her Mammy— was a whirlwind of work, as usual: milking cows, feeding calves and pigs, washing clothes, holding it all together.
My wife and I are into season 3 of Victoria, the Masterpiece Theatre series that seems as long as the queen’s monarchial reign. It’s a slow-moving narrative in which a tea cup is picked up, put down. Then, for dramatic tension, the camera pans to a terrier that, on cue, lifts a hind leg to squirt on the carpet—a barbarous display in the palace household.
Winnie’s 350-square foot studio that she called home resembled a submarine, she liked to say to strangers, to offer them a quick image of what it was like to live in small spaces. A submarine was dark and hollow, challenged by gravity. Her apartment was on the top floor of a walk-up tenement building in downtown Manhattan, and got afternoon light. But at night she could squint and conjure the resemblance. Not that she’d ever set foot inside of a submarine.
We both had the morning off. We spent it walking down brick roads until we reached the farmer’s market.
Marcus Pactor’s collection of stories, Vs. Death Noises, won the Subito Press Prize. His fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Menacing Hedge, The EEEL, EAT Flash, and Heavy Feather Review.
David Weinstock (firstname.lastname@example.org) lives in Middlebury, Vermont. His collection The Amalek Poems appeared in Truck.
I’ve been wanting to ask you, Do you remember what I said at your wedding? Once you’d exchanged vows by banjo and your parents cried through their speeches; after Hava Nagila, when you and your bride flew on chairs.
Frequent GMR contributor Alison Prine has won the 2014 CPR Book Award for her manuscript Rearview Mirror.
Reeve is an artist. He’s sketching his wife Ellen, how she might look in thirty years. He is adding depth to her expression—her eyes pushed back by what she’s seen and felt, her bones more prominent.
Emily Borgmann is a poet and essayist, and facilitates writing workshops with youth in her community. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Nebraska, and the recipient of a Helen W. Kenefick prize from the Academy of American Poets. Emily’s poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Salamander, Skidrow Penthouse, and Alligator Juniper.
It was the summer after I quit minor-league ball. (“Quit” is a relative term. My arm was not up to the task.)