To be published in the Elizabeth River Press Anthology in June

Gerry was steamed when his son arrived at the funeral home wearing that baseball cap. Not that it was unusual: He’d been a royal pain in the ass recently. Teen-age rebellion, Laura said. Hard to believe this was the boy who’d loved practicing baseball with his Papa.

Dozens were in line to pay last respects; more were in the foyer signing the sympathy book. His Gretchen lay there, on her right hand the claddach ring they’d bought in Ireland last year just before she fell ill. Love, loyalty, friendship. His heart ached. . . .

And here came Jeremy, skulking in and squeezing next to his sister, in cut-off jeans and a long-sleeved red jersey, his hair spilling out of a baseball cap on which was lettered Life has no meaning. At least it was turned sideways; people might not notice the words.

“We’re going to miss her,” Mrs. Murphy was saying, “If there’s anything we can do . . .”

“Thank you,” he said, trying not to sound hurried. “Laura, this is Mrs. Murphy from the food pantry.” He stepped behind her to face Jeremy: “For God’s sake, take that off!” . . . .



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