September 24, 2014

Ray Scanlon

Modest Expectations

I never expected to prove my doctors fallible, but I decisively surpassed my prognosis of death by age forty. And as if death could not happen gradually, I supposed I'd be here one minute, fully functional, and dead the next; I never expected to join the cohort of at-risk snow shovelers. When I used to shovel, I'd make an exactly one shovel-width path across the yard to the compost pile, demonstrating my sloth, or, if you will, inborn parsimony with labor. Certainly I never expected three grandchildren, or for that matter, one marriage, let alone two. Yet I have a grandson who shoveled the compost path for me after the last storm. Out of animal spirits he dug it four feet wide, just for the sheer joy of flinging snow, and that gives me inordinate pleasure. I do love that boy.


Ray Scanlon. Massachusetts boy. Has grandchildren. Extraordinarily lucky. Recovering assembly language programmer. Not averse to litotes. No MFA. No novel. No extrovert. Published in Cleaver Magazine, Apeiron Review, Journal of Microliterature, and other fine places. More at

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