She’s balancing her checkbook, a dinosaur
in this age of apps and online banking, when
I point to a photo on the wall behind her,
a glossy black and white of WWII era bathers
posed on a beach, and say, Anne asked
if that one was a magazine cover.
She turns and looks and says No,
it’s my ex and his siblings, eleven altogether.
He’s the youngest. The only one left.
She turns back to the ledger
and totes up more numbers. Him
and the one on the end, maybe.
Robert L. Dean, Jr. is the author of The Aerialist Will not be Performing: ekphrastic poems and short fictions to the art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020), and At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). A multiple Best of the Net nominee and a Pushcart nominee, his work has appeared in October Hill Magazine; Flint Hills Review; I-70 Review; Chiron Review; The Ekphrastic Review; Sheila-Na-Gig online; Shot Glass; Illya’s Honey; Red River Review; KYSO Flash; MacQueen’s Quinterly; River City Poetry. Dean has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.