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Snapshot


by Maura Fitzgerald


 Front row. Terrence stands alone, his right hand reaching across and gripping his left wrist as if to keep it still. Back row. His father, forever squinting, the one who still asks Terrence to “toss the pigskin” although in thirty-seven years Terrence has never said yes.  Next to his father stands his mother, always last to join the family photo, her hands reaching behind, struggling to untie the apron she never gets off in time.  To his right is Rob, the brother who sails Whimsy out of Sakonnet Bay and Charleston, his arm around his father's shoulders, tugging him closer, while his eyes pull the other way, towards Terrence. On the end is his sister Rosemary, the only one he lets visit, her choppy black hair and noisy neon leggings interrupting Wednesdays and relieving the suffocating paleness of his surroundings. Behind them all, in the background, a tray of vodka tonics waits on a glass table, the limes losing color as they drown. Just beyond, pink impatiens line the blacktop driveway that leads into the garage where rows of tools arranged by size hang above the workbench. Except for the felling axe, Terrence's favorite, the one he used some years ago during a particularly embarrassing break to unsuccessfully sever his left hand, and which now leans against the wall, its weight too much for the peg board to support.

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