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LAce Posted Monday, February 28th, 2011
Every Sunday is Game Night
Leah Browning

She never draws the blinds, even at night, so anyone out walking a dog past her house can see their family crowded around the dining room table. There are two boys and a girl, just what she always wanted, even though she would have liked just one more girl because she used to love to fix her daughter’s hair and dress the girl up in little outfits and, you know, to even things out with the boys, but he has a lowish sperm count and she’s getting too old and she’s made her peace with it. They like to play board games, though she allows cards every once in a while just for a change of pace, and even though they’re the ones who have to be dragged into the room practically kicking and screaming, she always seems to be the one who ends up ticking her nails against the table because she’s so impatient to keep going, to have fun, to make sure that her husband knows he’s made the right choices and the person walking the dog in the dark looks past the parted curtains onto the stage of their dining room with envy and after she’s dead the kids always remember how close-knit they were when they were young. Because if they don’t, what will have been the point of any of it? The oldest boy tells a joke and there’s something about it—everyone else laughs but she missed a word or a line or the entire middle section, or there’s some up-to-the-minute reference to pop culture that she doesn’t understand—but she throws her head back, laughing until there are tears in her eyes. Can’t you see the pale white skin of her throat, gleaming in the lamplight? Can’t you see how happy she is?

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Donna Levy [ donnachka@cox.net ] on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 10:24 AM
How cleverly you wove in the implications. Well done, indeed! Love, Donna

Posted by Zoe Brigley Thompson on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 10:29 AM
I like this a great deal, the way that it gradually builds up a powerful picture of a mother's follies. I wonder whether it would be stronger, if you used statements rather than questions at the end, but overall it is a really powerful piece of writing.

Posted by Lorri Barrier on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Oh, I love this. I think I know her. And sometimes, she is me--maybe she is all mothers, to a degree.



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