Spring 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 2 NonfictionApril 1, 1963 |

A Piece of Lettuce

George P. Elliott A PIECE OF LETTUCE THE DAY I TURNED THREE I LEANED HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS that I had been born on my mother's birthday. Mother made the fact an occasion for delight, and of course I enjoyed it too. But I was already my father's son and felt this coincidence to be heavy with a significance it nevertheless obscured; somehow I had been destined to be uniquely close to Mother. We spent that day on a train on the way to Oregon, and, though I was old enough to expect a big birthday cake and a party, I did not feel cheated at having no more than a piece of dining-car cake with one candle on it and a book of paper doll cutouts for my only present. Mother made these seem special just because she and I were wonderfully sharing birthdays on a train. I cannot recaUl my father's being with us, though in fact he was. A few months later, in a stormy twilight, I went with my father to feed the chickens. A gust blew my black umbrella inside out and pulled me over. He picked me up, as

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.