Copyright 2021 by Sam DeLeo
Image by Jana from Pixabay
I was young, my first stepfather returned from a trip to the
countryside with bad news. He was driving down a dirt road when our
Siberian Husky jumped out of our GMC Jimmy and died under its wheels.
He never learned what made the dog jump.
He was a man who
engaged in combat during two tours in Vietnam as a Gunnery Sergeant.
But how he babied that dog. Wordless and oblivious to my mother and
me, he pulled the dog to him on the living room floor every night and
stroked its neck while watching sports on TV.
could tell he wanted to weep the afternoon it happened. He leaned
into his fists on top of our strafed wooden dining table. But that
part of him was gone.
He and my mother divorced a
after this. I donít know where he lives now. Decades later, I
have a beloved wife but no dog. And still, I canít help feeling
this strange calling exists in each of us to not only defend what we
love, but also sometimes, to surrender, to jump.
DeLeoís writing has appeared in Glass Mountain, Hobart, Paste
Magazine, Culture Matters, and the London-based fiction magazine
Talking Soup, among others. He currently lives in Denver.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
story by Sam
Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher