★ ★ ★ ★


December 1997

My six-year-old wants to sled
at midnight, so we take out the
Flexible Flyer. I’m on my
stomach, with him on my back,
arms around my neck, as we
sled down a long, icy road,
our dachschund running beside
us, all heading for the deserted
highway, and then the frozen
river beyond. I lack a plan for
stopping. Jump! I yell, he does,
and rolls into a snow bank.
I skid onto the river, relieved
that he and the dog are safe.
He shouts something to me
from the shoreline, but I
can’t hear it over the sound
of cracking ice.

Bruce Pemberton is a retired high-school English teacher, tennis coach, and Gulf War veteran. His most recent work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Third Wednesday, Sky Island Journal, Foliate Oak, Duck Lake Journal, Ocotillo Review, Thimble, Rigours, and the anthologies, IN TAHOMA’S SHADOW and SPOKANE WRITES. He lives on the Palouse, in rural eastern Washington state.


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