KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
CNF: 192 words

My Strong Brave Boy Is Coming Home to Die

by Melanie Dunbar

I never thought I’d be sad to make the last trip to the hospital. At 7 p.m. on a Sunday, the parking ramp was eerie—the only other people were nurses migrating from their cars to the hospital with their ponytails and lunch bags and water bottles. There was no camaraderie, as if each nurse was conserving her strength for her 7pm-7am shift. The lobby and halls were deserted.

Last night I dreamed about Michael. I climbed up on his lap, facing him, put my head on his shoulder, and he held me.

My son and his friend were playing a new game. They dealt me in, and we played until dinner was delivered. I stayed while he ate; his friend had a 2½ hour drive home.

Tonight after chores I sat on the porch step, facing the Christmas tree. It’s outside because suddenly I’m allergic. I was comfortable with a throw from the couch wrapped around my head and body. Thought I heard an owl in the ambient night noise, but when I tried to focus on that sound it was gone.

Melanie Dunbar
Issue 12, Summer 2019

tends flowers for a living. She writes her best poetry while weeding someone else’s garden. Her poems can be found in Gargoyle, KYSO Flash, Sweet: A Literary Confection, and elsewhere. She lives in Southwest Michigan with her family and their rooster, Mr. Beautiful.

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