Laura McPherson
| Memoir


Your father’s tufted rocking chair ruled the living room corner in his absence, gathering dust motes and Marlboro ash. If you insisted, it would rock with a groan that expressed the house’s exhaustion, exhaled through opaque orange curtains protecting the front windows like gas masks. The chair’s forest green velvet buttons poked your unwelcome back when you sat on it. His funeral smelled like his chair, like tobacco and dust, misplaced specks against the brilliant white satin casket lining, shining in the Thursday winter sun. You took the matching satin ringbearer’s pillow from under his hands, birthing your lifelong obsession with keepsakes. You'll always pine for the forest green velvet dress you wore that day, which your mother gave to the charity shop. After the funeral it all was swiftly packed off, donated, sold: the dress the chair the orange curtains everything. Everything but memories and the pillow you hid from that manic phase of grief. Yours to keep, to bring him back to brief and incomplete life every time you encounter it, secreted away from the years in a cedar box that has taken on notes of tobacco, though the satin remains as white as the snow that terrible Christmas, as white as his hands crossed in the coffin, frozen in time.


Laura McPherson is a student in the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop Online MFA. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including The Deadlands, Paperbark, and Five South. Her hybrid chapbook inVISIBLE is out with Alien Buddha Press.

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