Lloyd Wallace

Sandwich Days

Our mother wrote her will on one translucent slice of ham. It was a Sunday, early winter. The sun was wheezing in the sky. She smelled like rat traps, I remember. When she sat me and my brother down, her smile was thinner than her hair. She slid the ham across the table, then—told us each to take a bite. She said that, while we’re young, we should take a little piece of grief inside us. She said it would inoculate us against tragedy—would make her coming death feel less severe. We sat in silence for a while. Then I tried a piece. It was the best thing I’d ever eaten. 

Lloyd Wallace is an Assistant Editor of Poetry Daily. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, the Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @jockeycornsilk or at his website lloydwallace.com.