AFTER THE MAN WHO FINDS A 100-YEAR-OLD BOTTLE MADE BY HER GREAT-GRANDFATHER’S COMPANY, WITH HIS NAME STILL ON IT, WON’T SELL IT TO HER
She dreams she breaks
into his basement, where he
told her he would keep it
so the label wouldn’t fade. It is
too dark, she cannot find it.
She dreams she sees him
take it, well insulated,
for a walk along the shore. She tries
to bargain. He, enraged,
flings it into the waves.
Years later, she dreams she is
inside it, at the bottom
of the sea. How comfortable, how easy
she breathes, his great-granddaughter,
no matter it is filled with water.
TANIA HERSHMAN is the author of two story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008) and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014). Her poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, won second prize in the 2015 Fool for Poetry competition and will be published in February 2016. Tania is curator of ShortStops, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Bristol University and a PhD student in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.