Personal Day
David Ebenbach
  The fever’s not much, but enough to keep him home from school
  and in the same pajamas for twenty-four straight, popsicles all day
  because there’s nothing else he wants. I remember being home,
  laid out in front of the TV watching whatever came by, game shows
  with giant playing cards and ferris wheels you spun and those long
  microphones, and sit-coms I didn’t understand. But my kid can
  choose what he sees, so for hours it’s the clamor of Power Rangers
  while I try to read things other people wrote and have thoughts
  about them. Then he gets bored like I never did. So we play cards,
  play until I finally see that this game, which I used to love, is actually
  just luck. Somehow that doesn’t get old for him. By lunchtime he’s
  ready for toast with butter, which is a good sign. We play cards while
  we eat, his hands slippery dealers, and then it’s back to our corners—
  heroes striving with monsters in the living room, the slow read in
  my office. He drinks mango lemonade. I remember ginger ale and
  English muffins. I remember the sound of my mother, downstairs,
  the noises of remote grownup obligation. Afternoon, my son’s up for
  grilled cheese, his appetite coming back in layers.
David Ebenbach is the author of seven books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, including the poetry collection We Were the People Who Moved (Tebot Bach) and the short story collection The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy and other stories (University of Massachusetts Press). Ebenbach has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Find out more at

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Personal Day