My father was a smart man, perhaps brilliant. He was a scientist. I’d tell people that and describe visiting his research lab where a white rat bit my finger when I tried to pet him. If they assumed he was working on a cure for cancer or inter galactic travel it wasn’t my fault. I never told them… Continue reading My Father the Spy
Before I leave work, I exchange my pants for a skirt. There is no dress code for preparing a body for Baha’i burial, but for Esther, we will follow the Native American tradition of women wearing dresses in sacred ceremonies. Those ceremonies are the only time Esther wore a dress. There are instructions for the… Continue reading Departures
My son and a friend went to Canada for a week-end workshop to contact aliens. Before he left, Nathan asked me to not tell Grandpa Nesbit. I promised, but he didn’t have to ask. I would never tell my father, but I had my own reasons. Nathan and I agree it is more logical to believe there are… Continue reading Visited
On Fridays in French class our teacher let us choose a topic to discuss. It could be anything as long as we spoke French. We started with pets, TV shows, and the Beatles. We tested her by talking about disrespectful teachers, and went on to parents and Vietnam. When we got mad and reverted to… Continue reading Compliquée
4lbs. 13 oz.
“I think I’m getting my period.” George makes tea. I gather heating pad, books and the remote. The bonus of pregnancy and breastfeeding is no periods. It’s been over two years and I don’t remember it hurting this bad. I fall into a nightmare. I can’t breathe. I think I might die, but the pain… Continue reading 4lbs. 13 oz.
My father picked me up from the bus. I was too busy talking about semester finals and problems with my landlord to notice his silence. When we pulled up to the house, I knew something was wrong. No wreath on the door. No electrically lit candles in the windows. Inside there was nothing to show Christmas was… Continue reading The Gift
It is getting late, but I don’t tell the kids it’s past bedtime. Not tonight. I wish George could be here, but he’s out of town. When I told him about it, he laughed — the laugh that makes him take off his glasses, wipe his eyes, and then bust out laughing again. I wash… Continue reading Moon Dance
Let me listen… Help me hear the stories… Make me speak the truth… My cell phone rings in the cabin and I jump to answer. It feels like a dream. Cell phones don’t work here. The ring tone is the waltz; the one I assigned to my parents. The deck of cards icon pops up… Continue reading Gifts
My mother was a housewife. She claimed it without pride or apology. She spent hours cleaning and cooking and received nothing in return, except for the annual Hallmark Mother’s Day card claiming we appreciated everything she did. Once, and only once, she demanded acknowledgement. Every week she vacuumed the venetian blinds, but once a year… Continue reading Assumptions
I wrote this essay eleven years ago. This year my daughter came to visit for a couple weeks (she now lives in Las Vegas) and left early Christmas morning with her five kids to drive back home. During the visit here-she flew back home for a few days to have a mini “stay vacation” with… Continue reading Kwanzaa-revisted
My Father’s Names
I called him “Daddy” when he taught me to ride a bike, and baited my fishing hook because I heard the worm scream, and whisker-scratched me good night. I still called him Daddy when he talked about his college track days and set up the high jump in the yard. I have my mother’s short legs instead of his long ones.… Continue reading My Father’s Names