by Anne Anthony
Daddy hands me a folder thick with papers.
“What it cost to bring you six kids into the world.”
I’m fifty-one. Daddy’s a hoarder.
“Put in the stack to keep.”
The goal is to clear out his basement. The cans stocked on the floor-to-ceiling shelves bear long expired used-by-dates. He lived through the Depression. That hunger sticks.
“Enough for today.”
He shuffles in his boxy shoes, breathes heavily.
“Get off my mother’s trunk!”
I jump, feel clumsy like an elephant, then pull off piles of blankets to reveal the aged steamer trunk.
“Can I have it?” I ask, wanting some piece of his life.
He nods. “No place for it in Assisted Living.”
I hold my breath, but he doesn’t say it. Where they send you to die. His lips quiver, press together, and he smirks, like I missed the punchline of his inside joke.
About the author
Anne Anthony is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelors of Arts in English and Carnegie Mellon University with a Masters in Professional Writing. She is a full-time writer living in Chapel Hill, NC.