My daughter sleeps horizontally on the bed, a problem in and of itself, exacerbated by her position directly beneath the headboard and on all of the pillows. So, while I let her catch up on her needed and innocent rest, sigh at my own selfishness and exhaustion, I stand at this motel window, curtain drawn, imagining I have a cigarette in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other, while I look upon a college graduation in progress. Children in red caps and gowns are moving down the street or are thronging to do so amid the commencement notes. It is difficult to discern any individuality in them; you can’t tell one from the other, notwithstanding their uniform vestments and headwear, compounded given the vast number of parked cars, which can suck the blood out of any vista. In the distance is a museum modeled after the Louvre. The glass pyramid gives it away on grounds that were once a section of proud prairie. You don’t have to look it up, though what kind of collection it houses is another matter entirely. I suppose we’ll get to that, go there. There’s time for that. Where are we in relation to food? To restaurants? We are in the center of things. I can picture myself at a chicken and waffles place just as plainly as I peruse the menu at a sushi bar. Everything that looks good … is on sabbatical while my kid sleeps, horizontally, beneath the headboard, on all of the pillows, as I have said. The mattress must be very uncomfortable. This long day will make for a longer night. What choice does a longer night have?
Richard George 🔈
A Prayer for the Prairie
Video by Dave Hyer
About the Author
A Tulane graduate, Richard George’s work has appeared in Mystery Itch, HASH, Toho Journal, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, SIAMB! and is forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys, Litro Magazine and The Bookends Review. When not writing, he works as a probation officer in New Jersey. Find him on Instagram @richgbooks.