When I write a book, it will be a mystery. The protagonist will be an elderly woman living alone, like in all of my novels. She will wear her hair down in the flashback. She will lose a cup – something simple like that – and then she’ll try to find it. For the whole book she’ll search; so will her niece from Philadelphia. Her nephew from North Carolina, the one with money, will not help. He will hide the cup, whose pattern tells a story. Her hands will be steady – a telling detail – until the end, when they finally shake. You will have to read the book to find out why.
A friend turns fifty today, and I recall meeting her son. He sat in their public housing apartment, bare except for her bright door-sized collages, reading a book on how to be a pimp. That was ten years ago. These days he flies all over the country and she’s not sure why. She doesn’t ask. He gets up early and drives in the dark to the airport. He wears a nice shirt and checks his watch. He is a business traveler with newspaper hiding his knees. From his seat in coach he sees ravaged sunrise, like the one last flight but different. Always through the window, on the other side of something.
Julie Gard is a prose poet based in Duluth, Minnesota. Her publications include two chapbooks, Russia in 17 Objects (Tiger's Eye Press) and Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series (Finishing Line Press), along with poetry and short fiction in The Prose Poem Project, Gertrude, Ekphrasis, Clackamas Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, The MacGuffin, Fiction Attic, and a number of other journals and anthologies. She teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin Superior.
In Posse: Potentially, might be . . .