Flower as Big as the Sky
by Matt Dennison
Early one morning near the beginning of summer, Mister Jones opened the back door of his house and stepped into the light. He angled the brim of his hat to the sun, lit, tamped, and relit his pipe, then picked up the shovel that leaned against the house and continued on to the far corner of his lot. Once heâ€™d begun, he dug without pause, stopping only for lunch and the lemonade that Mrs. Jones brought out every hour or so, for it was, I recall, a frightfully hot summer. Our backyards were separated only by a low fence that Mr. Jones had put in several years before, and we had a full and easy view of this seemingly commonplace event.
â€œLooks like Mister Jones is putting in more roses for Mrs. Jones,â€ I remember Ma saying as she looked out the window by our breakfast table.
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"Flower as Big as the Sky" is roughly 6300 words.
Matt Dennison was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana. After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans (psych tech, steamboat worker, street musician, legal secretary, house painter, and door-to-door poetry peddler), he completed his undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University, where he won the national Sigma Tau Delta critical essay competition (as judged by X.J. Kennedy). Dennison currently lives in Columbus, MS, where he continues to write and publish poetry and fiction in journals such as Cider Press Review, Natural Bridge, Main Street Rag, and Rattle.