A Purveyor of Needless Things

by Joseph Grant

Mornings are spent in sputtering, confused silences, dishes clutter the sink and countertop, while newspapers pile down the stoop like the forgotten bills upon the table and chair, all of these clouded by rented memories she no longer owns. The nighttime news of the day is a darkening mystery to her, they must make up such horrible stories she will say to herself as she forgets another dinner, all the while she remembers exactly what she wore, the meals she passed on and how much she cried the days FDR and Kennedy died. It is an odd thing, she thinks, when a familiar stranger comes to visit but never stays, saying he must get back to her grandchildren. Some days she welcomes him, but most days he just confuses her with endless questions asking if she remembers names she has never heard, about places she has never been and of experiences she has had, well maybe she did have them, but not with him, she tells the man. What she does know is that the gardening must be tended to and away from the conversation she wanders through the door to the outside and as she prunes, the memories sift and fall away like the soil and leaves in her hand that tends the severed garden. In her way, she thinks of the stranger who is apparently frustrated and leaving, as being just like you and me as we watch her, a purveyor of needless things.


Joseph Grant, whose full catalog is here, has been published in over 55 literary reviews and e-zines, such as Byline, New Authors Journal, Howling Moon Press, Hack Writers, New Online Review, Indite Circle and Cerebral Catalyst.