Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography
By Abbie Johnson Taylor
A hot summer Saturday,
I’m about thirteen, brother Andy seven years younger,
we set forth in the pick-up,
Andy and me in back, Mother and Dad in the cab,
drive thirty miles south from Sheridan, Wyoming, to Buffalo,
then west into the mountains,
arrive at our destination in mid-afternoon.
Once the truck comes to a complete stop,
Andy leaps out.
I, with my limited vision, wait for Dad to lower the tailgate and help me down.
We check in, find our cabin,
one room with three double beds and a cookstove,
restrooms and showers in a separate facility.
We rent a boat, row out to the middle of the lake.
Dad and Andy try unsuccessfully to fish
while Mother and I watch, enjoy the pristine lake’s beauty,
blue sky, and trees,
listen to the twitter of a meadowlark.
The above poem appears in the summer quarterly issue of The Avocet, which can be downloaded here. It was inspired by a family vacation we took when I was a teenager. You can click the link below to hear me read it.
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Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?