Beautiful Ashes: Jen Grow

Presented by Jen Michalski for [PANK]

“Lawrence Loves Somebody on Pratt Street”
~by Jen Grow

When I come to the door, Aunt Gloria’s got her rosary in one hand, thumbing through it like she’s shelling beans. She says she saw it on the T.V. about Lawrence’s unit. “They been hit over there in that big sand pit,” she says. Then she wipes at her eyes with a tissue. She rocks forward in her chair for momentum and leans all her weight on her cane to lift herself up. She hobbles over to the T.V.

“Aunt Gloria, don’t you get up. Make JJ switch the channel for you. He’s sitting right there.”

Aunt Gloria don’t say nothing. She changes the channel and waits for the next news to say something different. She wants the first news to be a mistake. I stand there in the doorway and watch the news with her. We don’t speculate much out loud but inside I know we’re both wondering about Lawrence and if he’s still alive. But we’re quiet with JJ in the room. JJ sits in the corner on the floor looking at his car magazines and telling stories to hisself. He can’t read except a few words and his mind’s not right on account of huffin shoe polish when he was little. Now he’s thirty-six but that don’t mean nothing. Continue reading