Traveling Mercies by Len Kuntz

My daughter enters the room with unborn child showing inside sweater like a tub and I am think, This is all wrong, my baby having baby, one just sixteen years and the other creature floating in fluid, a strange alien astronaut, same as ones I have seen in American television programs when handsome actor doctor says it’s girl or boy, “Look, right here’s the evidence.”

My baby is pawing her baby, a basketball player dribbling wrong who will be called for traveling. I know American basketball rules. Holding ball too long inside palm is named traveling, a penalty. And who should pay this penalty? My daughter has no boyfriend. Some lewd man just shoots his seed in my poor baby. He holds knife to her throat and it leaves a mark like this > from the pressure of the tip, an etching of his crime. Abortion is fine, I say, it is legal in such cases, but my daughter says, no, life is life.

I am crying, weeping hard as my daughter comes across the room. I think she will slap me. I have told her how hard it’s been to make something of ourselves in this country, and now this. It is a bad sign. The child will be evil. That’s what I said, such a cruel bastard I can be.

But now my baby walks up. She takes my tear-soaked hand, places it on the mound that is moving and jerking inside my palm, and says, “See?”


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Filed under Len Kuntz

8 responses to “Traveling Mercies by Len Kuntz

  1. Tragedy flipped on its ass. Beautifully conceived (no pun here) and executed, Len.

  2. len kuntz

    thanks, susan. we’re almost at the end. what’ll we do then?

  3. beautiful len. just perfect. i am such a fan. peace…

  4. That was so beautifully told. I loved it.

  5. Andrew

    Terrific as always, Len. In this case also heart-breaking.

  6. Lou

    I can just feel the fear, and love, coming off the page. Beautifully done, with such a true touch.

  7. Alexandra Pereira

    Yes, beautifully and originally told! The father’s feelings jump off the page and just hit you! Well done. :-)

  8. Pingback: Week #48 – Tainted love | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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