Mira Martin-Parker


It wasn’t sudden, the turn, the disappearance. After all, she lived next door. Moved in about 10 years ago. Only went out on occasion. And yet there was something terribly sad about the whole thing. The color of her eyes, the in-betweenness of it all. Bound to be taken advantage of. By the window. Alone. Some people are just destined to do well in this world, patted on their heads throughout their tender years, bred for success, encouraged with a wink and a smile. Others always look as if they’ve been beaten, always look as if they’re expecting a crack on the head. And with it, the incoming mail, a painted face, the new day, stockings, and a pretty coat. She left early this morning. That, or she never came home last night. We get the things we get in life. God hands them out to us, a little this, a little that, out with this, and in with that. Some get loving pats from those above, some get cracks on the head, while others get a lonely trip down the steps for the afternoon mail. Or an evening spent waiting by a silent phone. Yesterday she was there, sitting by window. Today she is gone. A package finally came for her. Most distressing of all was the name. Here, sign here, please. Sign for the package, please. Here. Your name. Here.


She reads mysteries and makes an excellent soup. She carries a can opener in her pocket and puts flowers in her apron. She has a line of bean jars on her counter and a basket full of recipes. She knows the neighbors. The neighbors know her. She wears slippers in the hallway. Her feet are dainty. Her ankles are frail. Her heels are white with almond lotion. She wears tan sandals. She wears tan house pants. She has bread-loaf hips and currents for eyes. Her breasts are wheels of cheese. She is rolled and stuffed with cinnamon and brown sugar. She smells of plum jam and lemon slices. On Friday nights, she is a decent pilsner. On Saturdays, a glass of Rhone. And on Sundays, she is Chianti with a hearty pasta dish. She is always a hearty pasta dish on Sundays. Her calendar is up-to-date. She keeps tissues in her purse. Her purse is tan to match her shoes. Her purse is well-worn, but good. And so is she.


Mira Martin-Parker
is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Istanbul Literary Review, Literary Bohemian, The Minetta Review, The Monarch Review, Mythium, Ragazine, Tattoo Highway, Yellow Medicine Review, and Zyzzyva.