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Saturday, June 17, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

Every time the phone rings she jumps, expecting it's her
father calling. She knows he's old and sick, knows she
should be in touch with him more often, but she has her
own life. She doesn't have time for all his stories about
watching Antique Road Show. Never before was he a
dreamer, but suddenly everything he owns might be worth
a fortune. The cast iron skillet and the pewter bird-in-hand
paperweight she easily found a place for. But not the coins
he gave her on her last visit – carton after carton, an old
gym bag, an even older suitcase. He wiped off the mouse
turds. He took each mint set apart to show her what it was,
most still in their shipping boxes, some in velvet cases. He
was sure there were some boxes missing.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: