The Cure of Madame Zelenska

Claire smiled. “But how did you know?”

“How did I—give me a break. You’re riding on stories. Prairies and plains, right outside the window, and you’re looking at neck wrinkles? It’s a no-brainer, dear.”

Needing to Feel Thankful

The road map is also red, and it will cost me if I’m late for my presentation. With two boys in college, I’m counting on the promotion and raise. We need a larger apartment and a car worth more than the gas in its tank.

Mother’s Teeth; Shopping List

In the prairie across from My mother’s apartment, We find, in the moonlight, Bones, laying humble On the black ground, More ash than dirt, From the controlled burn The firemen had to set.

The Giant of Abilene, Texas

The house, a simple box nailed to a concrete slab on the flat surface of West Texas, had fallen into disrepair in the years since he was a boy. A window on the side was punched out and the jagged center was patched with cardboard; the masking tape had released its hold long ago. The window had once been the window to his bedroom. He got out of his rented red Ford and went to look. The houses on the left and right were close; the rock fights had been in earnest. The cheap siding, a dirty white vinyl, was cracked in places, probably from the hailstorms that came every summer. There were broken children’s toys in the yard. No one was home.