The coat rack that once held the jackets, hats, and mufflers of her children now danced her across the room to the salsa beat of her Argentine roots. Her husband had been the last to go and still did not understand why he had gotten booted from the family home. The children, now with children of their own, called daily begging her to visit, but in such invitations she saw dirty diapers and meal-making, duties she had fulfilled and did not wish to revisit. While a bit stiff, the coat rack asked for nothing in return for its companionship, never once interrupting her tales of the more attractive suitors who had ignited her girlhood passions, or expecting dinner on the table at any prescribed hour. It did not leave cigar ashes on the rug, laundry on the floor, or demand its rights to her flesh. In its arms, she was the fiery Latina of her youth, hips gyrating, her long, thick hair tossed back, the center of attention in every dance hall that still lived brightly in her memory. In the quiet evening hours, they shared stories of tiny, snow-covered coats and how quickly they had been outgrown and knitted gloves that had lost their mates. And she bought the coat rack a fine, long wool coat with a crimson scarf like the one her father had worn when he had given her in marriage to the suitor of his choice believing with all his heart that it was for her best.
Jayne Martin is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions nominee, and the 2016 winner of Vestal Review’s VERA award. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Literary Orphans, Spelk, Crack the Spine, Midwestern Gothic, Barren, MoonPark Review, Blink-Ink, Blue Fifth Review, Bending Genres, Hippocampus and Connotation Press. She lives in California where she drinks copious amounts of fine wine and rides horses, though not at the same time.