a+bend press


Jamen Howe
24 pages


Orange Life Jacket

Come back in an hour, dear, the sun will ruin your skin. Margaret walked a path through woods, down a cliff to the beach. Sun lunch restaurant good-bye. The tide rising, ebbing, whether she were there or not. Don't spend so much time staring, dear. You'll be wearing spectacles before you're thirty. Tiny, white clam shells, the brown hulk of a horseshoe crab. Off shore, a sailboat on its mooring. Margaret would row the dinghy out. Small orange life jacket, bobbing.

She pulled against the oarlocks. Green water, clear to the bottom. A fish jumped, and a dragonfly hovered, settling for a moment on a wet oar. Margaret, you've gone too far out! Oars slipping, water splashing into the boat. Orange light restless window.

There is no excuse, George, for poor judgement! She had listened at the top of the stairs. You were seen walking with her at the picnic. For breakfast: no eggs, only toast. A day spent shaking out cushions and bedcovers. Clean white swept wind. Margaret watched for a thunderstorm, the bending of trees, a boat washed up.