Winter 2011

Table of Contents - Vol. VII, No. 4


Poetry    Translations     Fiction    Reviews   

Wayne Scheer


Old Habits

Carol watched a solitary bird fly by her kitchen window. She turned to her husband as they sipped coffee their first morning together after his retirement.
"Did you see that bird?"
  "The bird that just flew by. It seemed so alone."
  "Uh-huh," he mumbled, ruffling his newspaper.
  "Are you listening?"
  "The bird. It was alone." He folded the paper in half and then in half again.
  "You still read like you're on the subway. I guess old habits, like blocking out everyone, don't end just because you're retired."
  George put down the newspaper. "Sorry, but for the past thirty years, I've looked forward to sipping a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper without being jostled."
  Carol tried not to be annoyed. She added coffee to his cup, a drop of milk and a bit of sugar.
  "Mmm. Perfect." George returned to this newspaper.
  "If I flew away, like that bird out there, all you'd miss would be your morning coffee."
  George sighed. "Not true." He took her hand and kissed it, inhaling deeply. "I'd miss the smell of the lavender hand cream you use in the morning."
  "What are you talking about? I never knew you noticed."
  "Remember how I'd kiss your hand every morning when I left for work? Your smell stayed with me for most of the commute."
  Carol felt her eyes fill up.
  "And the bird. It isn't alone. It's rushing back to its nest."
  "Oh, that's so sweet."
  "Now can I get back to my coffee?"


© Wayne Scheer



Poetry    Translations     Fiction    Reviews   

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