March 10, 2004

CHICAGO VOICES: An excerpt from "Silky Dream Girl," by Cris Burks

Hubby announced he was leaving me at the Labor Day barbecue. Right before my brother, LaDell, took the last rib off the grill. Right before my sister-in-law, Georgie, poured another round of her weak-butt, nonalcoholic margaritas. Right before Mama stumbled out of the house with the ice cream maker. Right before my son, Alex, dragged his friend, Tameka, into the backyard. Right before my friend, Donna, and her husband, Mike, arrived. The children (my niece, Shanna, my nephew, Terrence, and my stepsons, CJ and Darius) ran around LaDell's perfectly landscaped backyard. Hubby and LaDell stood at the grill like buddies, pals. They wore light khaki shorts and T-shirts that accentuated their muscles. Both were short and as dusky brown as Idaho potatoes. LaDell's eyes, nose, and lips gushed generously across his face. On the other hand, Clarence, my hubby, had a tight, stingy face. His dot of a nose sat between his small mole eyes and thin lips. Only his bushy eyebrows added depth to his face.
Cris Burks received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago, where she taught fiction writing for several years. Her poetry and stories have appeared in many literary publications, including Shooting Star Review, Short Fiction by Women, The Thing About Loves Is..., The Thing About Second Chances Is..., and The Thing About Hope Is....


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