Posts by Jan B. Parker

Not a Sin

He turned his back to her, not in a mean way, but a natural one, because the machine beeped and he loved his coffee fresh-brewed. He loved his wife, too, but on days when she woke up cranky, and he reckoned she wanted to take it out on him—whatever it was—he put into use what he’d learned over the many years: it often pays to be a little deaf.

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The Orchid Tree

He hung the orchids on the dogwood tree in small crates he’d made himself, meticulously cut, precisely nailed, seventeen wooden bars in a four-side, repeat pattern. There were eighty-three orchids, and they all appeared to be dead with weird, snaky roots gnarling out like wicked fingers, but he dipped each into a warm bath of special water and talked to them sweetly. He hung them from the flowering tree, no matter their stage of death or dying.

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