Winner of the Renwick-Sumerwell Fiction Price, The Crescent Review, 1997

EXCERPT  |  During the sermon, I try to decide what it is about Mom that Dad doesn’t like anymore. Mom is still beautiful in her floral sundresses and white sandals, I think. But she doesn’t seem to be the same person in the old photographs Dad took before I was born, where she is standing behind Tod at his first birthday, holding him up before the glow of birthday candles. It’s a huge sheet cake with chocolate frosting. Her face is soft in the candlelight. Everything seems so hard now.

My dad extends the offering plate at the end of the pew. While the silver plates weave through the line of hands, he stands with his hands folded together and his eyes upward, reverent. In stained-glass light, he is yellow. I feel a burn in my heart, a burn that is the beginning of hatred.

-Published in The Crescent Review