At the Library (for Grace Paley)

Mandy Clark

My son wants me to ask for the one about World War II

with a piano and a girl?

On the cover a kind of bird: white, he says. 

After eleven years, I tell him to go ask himself

But the young woman, typing in a search for 

another, lifts her finger to wait his turn.


A nickel short on the meter costs me a ten dollar ticket.

Today I found myself between the self-help and the children’s section

At the edge of cartoon covers with teddy bears and 

calico kittens whose parents drink too much.

There I was in the pictures, mother and daughter at once

Like paper dolls we wear each other’s dresses.


And later, after a second bottle of cabernet sauvignon, I say

good job on finding the book you wanted.

He says, they didn’t have that one. And your teeth are


Mandy graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in August of 2012. Her fiction has appeared in Whitefish Review Literary Journal and 100 Word Story. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon. She loves rain and pizza in no particular order.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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