Your Inheritance –for my daughter Madelyn Inheriting my affinity for books and blues music I guess wasn’t in the cards. I didn’t have any interest in poetry either until junior year, so you still have time. Since your mother can’t even draw stick figures, your artistic ability definitely did not come from her. But I always hoped you might avoid the obsession with weight my mother passed down, especially considering the dark place it put me in around your age. Watching you at the restaurant wipe barbeque sauce off your chicken reminded me of when I used to do the same thing to avoid a few extra calories. I would nibble off only a couple bites and convince myself I was satisfied. Of course I was always hungry. It was the control I craved, though, the thrill of registering a pound fewer than the day before. I paced like you, but without the FitBit, and scoured your grandmother’s cookbooks for suitable meals like you do the internet. You seem to be adhering to the nutritionist’s prescription. Hopefully it won’t be long before the scale’s needle points to a number above room temperature and we can again banish the word “anorexia” from our vocabularies. Milk, Eggs, & Bread The predicted nor'easter has for a day trumped the candidates and another shooting. Network ratings soar when it's likely a storm will clobber financial sectors and instigate disaster. Our attention must now turn to supermarkets with panic lines drawn all the way back to deli counters, desperate families preparing to weather apocalypse on just milk, eggs, and bread. If I too were concerned about my own potential frigid demise, I should think I'd prefer to indulge a bit more. After all, how long can one subsist in darkness on French toast? It's the perfect opportunity to rekindle that old flame so close to Valentine's Day. If I had a fireplace, I'd spread a blanket before its crackling coals, chill champagne in the snow, and wait for her to ascend the basement stairs brushing off the cold. We'd live on the larder on which I spent a week's wages and on the pentameter bards memorialized across countless ages. If The End came crashing in, we'd offer up our extravagance, and perhaps he'd stay awhile before returning to menace the Eastern seaboard. Enough of the old bubbly, he might teeter off into the lonely Atlantic like a groggy sailor, confounding experts. Since I'm not really concerned, though, I ought to at least hope the route to Try-n-Save is dug out day after tomorrow when I can have the whole place to myself before all hell breaks loose.
About the author:
Ted Millar teaches English at Mahopac High School in New York. His poetry, flash fiction, and essays have appeared in many publications, including English Journal, 50 Word Stories, Third Wednesday, Caesura, Cactus Heart, Aji, and Warp 10. He lives in the apple and wine country of New York’s Hudson Valley with his wife and two children.