We kept the boy in a shed out back until he turned thirteen. Then Pa let him roam the yard inside the wire. My job is to set his meals out the back door. He’ll squat for hours under the Chinaberry tree playing with his food, then he’ll be wanting more. But Pa won’t allow it.
I can see the Family in him, what with his hair and nose, that want-something grunt. My poor momma used to call it The Persona. To me it’s Pa’s Hard Way.
Lately the boy’s been tugging at the fence poles and plucking at the wire till his fingers bleed. I reckon that old yard is getting smaller by the hour.
Pa’s going down for a nap. I know what Momma would have said:
Get the wire snips and be done with it.
Dennis Spiker left the world of civil service management and now pursues the sporting arts of poetry and prose. His work has appeared in Right Hand Pointing, Mikrokosmos and Spectrum. He’s been seen sparring over coffee and wrestling in writer’s workshops. He’s hopelessly obsessed with the challenge of squeezing his thoughts into words, a truly sentential addiction from which he seeks no cure.