..:: CONTENTS ::..

   Volume VII, Issue II

..:: POETRY ::..

..:: PROSE ::..
..:: OTHER ::..

..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I
   Volume IV, Issue II
   Volume V, Issue I
   Volume V, Issue II
   Volume VI, Issue I
   Volume VI, Issue II
   Volume VII, Issue I


Martha Clarkson

          Two days after the bald oncologist predicts her imminent death, my mother orders a year's subscription to Reader's Digest. In the check register, I see her familiar shorthand—R.D. This is a check she's written for fifty years. They've probably sent her a pens and mugs for her devotion.
          I'm trying to manage her small finances. By keeping the brown vinyl checkbook under her pillow, she's clinging to one of the few tasks she can still do. Even in the fog of the painkillers, what she might not know alarms her. I don't tell her I've seen the entry, when hospice bathed her. There is no need to question her final transactions. Everything will soon be shredded.
          The first issue is pushed through the brass post box the day before she dies. Morphine is running our lives now—her pain, the alarming interval of doses I pour into her open mouth, the struggle of her lungs. Her life is condensed to hours. I read the small magazine by the gas fireplace, killing time. Laughter the Best Medicine. Drama in Real Life.



//   Advance   //