Dying by a Lake in England

THE MARRIED COUPLE came into my office upset.  He was about fifty years old and looked like somebody had switched his head with a skeleton’s skull. She was pretty and younger, but her eyes were two black tunnels drilled into the side of a German mountain. There was probably no way out of the darkness […]

¡Feliz cumpleaños! Tia Lieca

Guac and chips on the kitchen table, salsa and humus. Grandes sobrinas chase their children and their dogs down the endless halls. Wasn’t there a cat once? Tia shuffles through the busy kitchen, inspects the rellenos and posole, reaches for a baby and is told to sit. “But I only want to hold the baby, […]

33 and 1/3

That first record of yours, my child name scrawled across it, a Christmas present Meet the Beatles (they’ll never last…) sits in the closet well preserved.  Upon the blustery, forbidden moor, you wander, free from wanting hands, but wanting hearts still search you out. You strike in defense “Leave me be – you didn’t know me.” […]

The Circle at the Top of the Hill

Dottie would have never let this happen, Gram thought as she said goodbye to the house she was born in, her son calling impatiently from the back door.  Oh, Dottie might have said many times “when you’re too old, Gram, into the home you go.”  But she would have never followed through. “Ma, hurry up […]

Three Clueless Virgins

 We drove into Montreal from a farm fifty miles north of Ottawa where in early October communion water had already frozen in the unheated chapel where nuns and novitiates chanted at 5:00 am every morning. Life with the “B” hadn’t been nearly as idyllic as C had led us to believe. In fact, K thought […]

Reno is so close to Hell you can see Sparks

I never liked my stepmother but now she’s dying and her surviving children have closed their eyes and she reaches out to me.  She puts a fragile hand over mine and unexpectedly I cry.     “How lovely that your roommate is Mrs. W!” I am thrashing about in frigid water like the Liberace-style piano […]