I remember my father in fragments: the way he dumped cinnamon instead like creamer in his morning coffee, the burs that clung to his leathery skin like moles. How his laughter sounded like a wild boar, how that laughter came to embarrass me as I grew aware that it was not cool to have a father.
I was almost thirteen when he was deployed. I don’t remember the day he left, it was sunny or storming or if he kissed me goodbye. I like to tell myself I hugged him, but the week before we’d argued over a boy I wanted to date, a boy he insisted I was too young for.
My mother tells me, twenty years after the fact, that I told him I loved him before he left. It is a lie I have allowed myself to accept.
We were not told the details of his death. Only that his hands were in fists when he died. But I like to think that he was praying.
Sometimes in the dewy mornings, the type of mornings he used to love, I’ll nurse my son on the porch swing, pretending I am instead with my father.
The most beautiful thing about the sky, he used to tell me, is that it never ends.
Erin Jamieson received an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University and currently works as a content writer for Diamond Bridal Gallery. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Flash Frontier, After the Pause, Into the Void, The Airgonaut, Blue River Review, The Aquarian, Mount Analogue, Evansville Review, and Canary.