by Beth Saint-Martin

Underneath the mantel clock the old man snores in his Lazy-boy chair, the rickety throne of his domain. Crumbs from the evening snack rise with the heave of the hefty belly and scatter with its fall, tumbling over coffee stains and down into the depths underneath the cushion where they top off little piles from yesterdays.

His wife, head drooping over a puzzle at the kitchen table, stirs at the sound of the furnace awakening. "Don’t forget to wind the clock, Otis." Warm air sends dust spiraling (microscopic particles: an army hat, a wooden piccolo, a letter from Ireland …) And then settling once again, slipping down the faces of loved ones in frames,

And onto the floor where earlier slippered feet remembered how to waltz.

Beth Saint-Martin earned a B.A. in English Literature at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She also pursued literature and language studies in Swansea, Wales, and Strasbourg, France. Before moving to Montreal from the Boston area where she was born and bred, she taught English literature and coached drama at the high school level. She currently resides in Saint Lambert with her husband and two teenaged children. Writing short fiction and poetry is one of her passions.