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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 4, December 2012

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Ryan Jessup
King, North Carolina, U.S.A.


Stories

sitting in the living room at my grandmother’s that one fall evening with my wife and family the wood stove popping with its golden ash-light the cold dark night just beyond sight everyone full from a homemade country meal of meatloaf mashed potatoes and veggies someone mentioned the word alcohol and a paralyzing silence was born and then the stories about my great-grandpa began about him being a bad drunk and how he drank a gallon of moonshine every weekend and never held a steady job and the time when he took all the family’s tobacco money and spent it on liquor and women one Christmas and the kids got nothing and about the time he came home hammered and violently grabbed my great-grandmother and started banging her head against the nail-tacks above the fireplace and as I listened I felt the room shift to a new silence that I had never tasted or touched a thickness a weight like being held at the bottom of a murky lake and then someone said isn’t there a game on and the noise of the room came back and a few of us got up to get some dessert and something else to drink tossing that hard truthful moment back into the eternity of the unsaid where we all live on as characters in other’s stories

all the things
we failed to say
night beyond the windows

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