Happenstance

Skipping school, mittened boys skim stones as the ’58 Oldsmobile, loaded with gloved and hatted Sunset Retirement Home ladies, passes. The women wave and the boys watch their faces, hear Big Band music. What could they do, those two, but watch as the Olds slow-slides over the embankment and sinks, ladies’ mouths gaping, hands drumming, then splaying like starfish against glass? What could they do but confess truancy and try to get someone to believe they saw what they saw? What could the boys—accidental heroes of the lost—say when divers reached the drowned car and forced doors open?

Susan Roney-O’Brien lives and teaches in Princeton, MA. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Yankee, Diner, The Worcester Review, Beloit Poetry Journal and other publications.

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