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SmokeLong Quarterly

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I’m a Woman for Sure

Story by Kate Olson Nesheim (Read author interview) October 3, 2011

art by Vincent Van Gogh

I tell my niece they stuck me with Tony for meals, with the funny cough, the buzzer on his chair now since he’s nuts. The nurse sits him by me and he gets nervy. Takes me for his dead wife. He gets talking to her again about this one unlucky goat kid that drowned in a pond. I don’t confuse him, but I don’t know about a farm. At breakfast he sets up real cute with his grin and his old jokes. Then I got to check where his hands are. It’s okay with me he can touch my arm, but if he tries to smooch me I’ll cuff him. My Michael is dead, too, and I keep to myself. I’m a woman for sure but not for dumb jokes about Krauts.

I don’t mind so much my niece calls me but I’m tired out. She’s not even my own but she wants to chatter yada yada yada yada, when I just say to call, say how are you, and goodbye. My Michael had his throat cancer and those last months we let it at what’s doin? And sure he loved me. Thirty-three years. That’s the what’s doin.

About the Author

Kate Olson Nesheim is a doctoral student of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

About the Artist

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.

This story appeared in Issue Thirty-Three of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Thirty-Three
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