My Brother’s Guns

My Brother’s Guns

My first camping experience. We’re in Vermont over a Columbus Day weekend on the land of our absent friend Vinny. I’m keeping my husband company as the camera on its tripod records the imperceptible nighttime movement of the stars. Peace. Love. Tranquility. Until the mood is shattered by Ron’s passionate certainty that the two young strangers—unexpected intruders we’d encountered on this private land—are our murderers-in-waiting.

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Attractive Nuisance

A week after the fourth of July, my dog Speedy nipped an eight-year old kid who wandered onto my property from the subdivision across the way. Speedy was a Shepherd-Husky mix and normally pretty docile, so I thought the kid must have been teasing him, asking for it somehow. The kid went home and cried to his parents, then his father came over and said he’d called the police. He was about a foot shorter than me, and had a litigant’s righteous air. But, either he was bullshitting, or the police forgot to come, because that was the last I heard about it.

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Visitation

I was never bent on saving you. / It seemed to mean a kind of coddling language: / the easy I hear you, the unnatural You’re seen. / Anyhow, I couldn’t step away from drinking / long enough to seem credible
when it came to addiction.

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Green Mountains Review, based at Northern Vermont University, is an annual, award-winning literary magazine publishing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary essays, interviews, and book reviews by both well-known writers and promising newcomers.

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Heirlooms

Heirlooms

My mother has a box. One day she will pass it down to me because mothers are supposed to give things to their daughters. But I don’t want it.

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Yolanda

Yolanda

Yolanda, the security guard, sat in a tiny chair behind a school desk at the entrance of the rundown building on West 181st Street that served as headquarters for The District offices. An enormous woman with breasts the size of throw pillows straining the coarse blue fabric of her uniform, she wore her hair pulled up on top of her head in a tight bun; the style fit the determined expression carved into the cool black marble of her face. She hated her job, and probably was surly to everyone, but Mimi took it personally, because Mimi took everything personally.

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Realpolitik

Realpolitik

I thought talking politics with the manager at the Salt Cavern would be safe—I mean, salt therapy much? But, turns out, Gary had been held up when he worked as a liquor store cashier and had been backing gun rights legislation by way of NRA donations and bumper sticker activism ever since.

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