First prize winner of the 2nd Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.
My party begins and ends in the yard between the two birthday elms. Paul bicycled balloons home this morning and they float above us now, green and yellow, but nobody’s looking. Paul’s freckles frown when he smiles at me and watches Mama bring out trays of tea.
Nana refuses to come outside. Since Grandfather died it’s been all sad songs on the gramophone and the gentle clinking of glasses of gin. Aunt Agnes knocks on the closed door and Nana breathes deeper on the divan; rings slip off her skinny fingers.
We eat strawberry cake anyway and relatives worry about the wars that will come just as the calves do in spring. The hard pushing of cows on the rarest nights, a surprise to Papa every time.
There will be guns guns guns and no more young for anyone. They are saying nothing new. I know—I have the smallest ears; I can hear the bumblebees moaning.