Winter 1945 • Vol. VII No. 1 Fiction |

The Lovers

He used to come to see us one summer when we lived on the Island. As I reached the corner of the house wheeling my bicycle, which I was not permitted to ride on the lawn, dirty and hot in the late afternoon, he would be the first person in view if he was there, sitting stretched at full length but hardly at ease in a beach-chair just at the edge of the tulip-bed, balancing his drink on its wooden arm, with his head lifted staring out towards my mother and listening to my father, who sat invariably a few feet away in an angle formed by the house and garage, also facing the cannas bordering the lawn at the back. No matter how quietly I approached, my mother always heard me and had turned from her care of the cannas by the time she came into sight as I advanced, her face pale above the blooms, her inexhaustible brown hair blowing, her garden glove dark against the orange sky, raising a hand to me. I never waved in reply without a twinge, an impulse of remorse for my absent day, the anx

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In 1945, John Berryman won an early KR contest for short fiction, cosponsored by Doubleday, Doran & Co. Berryman achieved his greatest renown as a poet with the publication of 77 Dream Songs in 1964, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

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