Josh and Frankie and Paul loitered by the spots designated for peeing but they stayed tucked in. They also did not run out calling for Mrs. Dobryny, tattling. They watched Maddy, their soles stuck to the checkerboard floor the janitor swabbed nightly with the tarantula-legged mop.
The ghosts watch us quietly, for what else have they to do? Our lives exasperate them. The children have never minded their elders, they whisper to one another.
Hemingway wrote to Fitzgerald, his friend and competitor: “You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless—there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is to go straight on through to the end of the damned thing.”
The money went missing coin by coin. Nobody noticed silver shrinking from the glass piggy bank on Mama’s dresser. The bank with no plug meant Lissey could shake it upside down side to side and coins, if slid just right, might get free. Or she slipped a knife in alongside the coin slot, again held the bank upside down and knifed the coins out along the blade.
At the top of the world, winter winds take down so many you find them bent along the highway, en route to Schutte’s Bar, flannel spanning their trunks…