by Dawn Promislow
They started in September, at Smethport, meandered to Kasson, passed Marvindale, then Hazel Hurst, where nothing was, then detoured to the iron Kinzua Bridge, in the valley, where they ate their sandwiches (turkey on baguettes, not enough mustard he said), looked again at the map, cicadas continuous in the still air, then went on, letting a buzz of Hell’s Angels by, to Mount Jewett, Lantz Corners, Kanesholm, its cemetery, East Kane, Ludlow, a white steeple church, to Sheffield and the thrift shop, buying the White House Cook Book, bible-thick, printed 1906, for 15 dollars, in a thick plastic cover: boiled apple dumplings, suet dumplings, preserve dumplings (dumplings and pudding section), Rochester jelly cake, layer jelly cakes, sponge drops (cakes section), then on to Saybrook, Weldbank, its iron wrecks (and widows, I mean willows) in weeds, Clarendon and its liquor store, sullen in the afternoon sun, then meandering, an argument, once, about Abraham Lincoln, she doesn’t remember what, and coconut cake slices from the ladies’ auxiliary in Warren, four square (doorstopper) wedges, white frosting with coconut flakes, they didn’t buy them, but late, tipsy peaches at a roadside stand, then afternoon failing, they drove, cutting off and away, away.
About the Author:
Dawn Promislow’s short story collection Jewels and Other Stories (TSAR Publications, 2010) was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2011, and named one of the 8 best fiction debuts of 2011 by The Globe and Mail (Canada). Her poem “lemon” was short-listed for the 2015 Berfrois Poetry Prize. She lives in Toronto.