The Adirondack Review

Unintentionally, I make my family into a plate of fruit.  My mother, a mango, my father, an orange.  My brother, the kumquat, is insufferable to peel, and to be honest, we’re thinking of leaving him behind.  Before he was a fruit, he was difficult anyway.  Maybe he was always a little fruity.

My middle brother, the least interesting of all of us, becomes a small stone, like what you’d skip into the lake.  The ripples are good, but he tastes awful, so the dog, who is still a dog, takes him in her mouth and scampers off. 

My brother was not always a stone.  When he was small, he was maybe something else, trinkets of childhood, like dirt from the backyard or that box he buried one hundred thousand times, a myth of its own proportions.

He is slimy and sullen when he gets back, and too late anyway:
we’ve shed our peels and disappeared.

Emily Maloney takes classes in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa and lives in Oxford, IA.  She makes toast nearly every day.