Nov/Dec 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 6 FictionNovember 1, 2020 |

The Zimmerman Trees

It was Friday in late February, and Henry Zimmerman and his wife sat in front of the fireplace. Ginny had the TV on. She was watching one of those afternoon shows. He never looked up unless there was singing. That caught his attention. He liked singing, any kind. The chatting stuff was white noise to him. He could do without the TV on. He’d carried in all the firewood he was going to carry in, and now he sat. His big country body snugged into the easy chair. He was in his seventies and earlier and earlier in the day that empty easy chair started looking like a teddy bear whose soft furry arms were calling for him to keep it company. So he kept it company, plopped right down in the teddy bear’s lap. There was a time for sitting. And it was Friday afternoon and it was past four o’clock. He was going to sit. Maybe a song would come on that talk show. Ginny didn’t even make a move to start dinner. They were both tired. Long week. Their farmhouse had two bedrooms upstairs; the

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Nancy Zafris’s latest book, The Home Jar, a collection of short stories, was published in 2013. She has also written The People I Know, winner of the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction and the Ohioana Library prize, as well as the novels The Metal Shredders and Lucky Strike. She has received two National Endowment for the Arts grants and has taught in the Czech Republic as a Fulbright fellow. She is the former fiction editor of the Kenyon Review and former series editor of the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction.

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