By Jamey Temple

March 21, 2022


The day Papaw Laster kicked out Mamaw, just before their divorce, our pickup pulled up to their porch. Daddy worked in the bed, stacking and arranging furniture handed to him by Papaw. Mamaw stood silent, looking through boxes as they passed her, thirty-five years of accumulated belongings. I could feel the heat off their faces as if they’d been stove burners set to high. I watched as the Baldwin was rolled onto the truck bed, and I opened the bench to see the music not there. Do we take the hymnals, too? I’d asked, but Papaw threw up his hands. Take it. Take it all. She’s going to anywayMy father said Papaw’s nickname “Preacher” like when he’d scold us kids for saying too much. I don’t remember what else was said because I could only think of Mamaw’s rose bush out front, transplanted from her mother’s yard, fed with coffee grounds and eggshells. Who was going to feed it now?


Jamey Temple is a writer and professor who teaches English at University of the Cumberlands in Eastern Kentucky. Her poetry and prose have been included in publications such as Rattle, Appalachian Review, Literary Mama, and Still: The Journal You can read more of her work through her website (jameytemple.com).


Image by Brandable Box courtesy of Unsplash



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