Winter 1982 • Vol. IV No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 1982 |

The Lap of Peace

It is the end of the morning, a hot Saturday in June. Richard and Claire are having an argument, of sorts. Now there is a breathing spell. Claire, seven months pregnant with their second child, is dozing in a rickety lounge chair on the unweeded terrace. Nearby, beneath a blooming mock orange bush, Jeffrey squats over a cluster of ladybugs, stick in hand. Richard, having showered after a four-mile jog out of town and back along the county road, steps to the open bathroom window to towel down his young, healthy body and beholds his wife and his three-year-old son below, on the verge of the tangled yard, a still life in the midst of a thicket of unfinished projects. Breasts and belly rest in the curve of Claire's body like fruits in a basket; her arm dangles; her head is tipped to one side. The primary matter of the argument has been the ninety-year-old, unfurbished house and its ten acres, which run back from terrace and garden and half-dead orchard through timber choked by multif

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It is the end of the morning, a hot Saturday in June. Richard and Claire are having an argument, of sorts. Now there is a breathing spell. Claire, seven months […]

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