NYC Spring 2020

My mother called today. She’s 86. She’s called, she says, to touch base, to make sure I’m okay. She tells me about the moles who’ve built an apartment complex in her front garden, how she’s tried everything but will need to call the rodent guy her hairdresser recommended. Her hairdresser, she says, has a space downtown near the post office.  They’ve had a lot of rain and snow; she had to get a guy out to lop the broken limbs off some of her trees. She lives in a place where it’s possible to say “my trees.” She tells me about her neighbors – the ones who live across the street and always shovel her driveway when it snows – they run a carwash downtown and likely will have to close down, car washing’s not really a priority right now. They’re homeschooling their grandson now that the schools are closed. She asks me about using Zoom – she’s on a committee at her university and had trouble running a meeting. Her church, she says, is doing services via Zoom but she doesn’t like it much. She worries, she says, about some of her friends – how will they cope without visits? She reads books to one of her friends whose sight is going. They’re reading a book I sent her by Ursula K. Le Guin. My mom quotes, “Old age, it’s not for sissies.” She tells me about lines at Costco and we joke about toilet paper. I think, I tell her, I can send you a care package if it’s needed but she doesn’t respond, instead, her voice full of joy and surprise, “It’s snowing! All over my trees! It’s snowing!”

YVONNE C. GARRETT holds an MLIS, an MFA-Fiction, two MAs (NYU), and holds a Ph.D. (Drew) with a dissertation focused on women in Punk.

She’s been published in a wide array of journals & magazines & has published five poetry chapbooks. Senior Fiction Editor at Black Lawrence Press, she also edits the weekly publishing newsletter Sapling. Originally from the PNW, she lives in NYC. Twitter: @yvonnePRB website: