KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 160 words

Postcard from the Loire Valley

by Kathleen McGookey

Dear Mother, there’s a castle every time we turn around, never batting an eye, its smooth upswept grandeur named after illness or lace. Our breath catches several times a day. Sleeping in one hasn’t changed us: Edith still thinks the coffee is too strong and I want my hot water bottle. Damp is damp in any language. Edith thinks a dab of Chanel is the answer to the cold water in every stone bathroom. Yesterday she spilled milk from the thermos on my gray scarf and didn’t apologize. Every statue we have seen was missing a head or an arm. Also, some windows are cracked, and not in a pretty way. She likes to be the only person crossing an eight-lane avenue, but she’s always been that way, hasn’t she? The children on this tour crouch in the courtyard dirt, scrape up piles, and kick them. Even the French ones smudge the mirrors and tiles.


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