HOPE AND HEART by Gregg Williard

It was when she started to walk that I lost my sense of smell. Then when she began to run I lost my sense of taste. When she took her first swimming lesson I became mute. Then she learned to rollerblade and I couldn’t walk. Ice skating paralyzed my right hand. When she showed talent in ballet I became deaf. When she went on to the Olympics and won a gold medal in gymnastics I stopped breathing on my own. She visits me every day, washes me and brushes my teeth. I can taste the toothpaste. They say it is a hopeful sign. I don’t have the heart to tell her I hate this brand.

Gregg Williard's fiction, essays, poetry and visual art have appeared in Diagram, The Collagist, Your Impossible Voice, decomP, All The Sins and Sein und Werden, among others. He teaches ESL to refugees in Madison, Wisconsin and produces the spoken word radio show Fiction Jones/Under the Radar for WORT community radio (wortfm.org). His novel with graphics, The People in Tubes Motif  is forthcoming in 2019.

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