Retelling a story in Wexford County for thirty years
My brother promises me he’s seen a legend on a night he snuck out without me. I want to believe him, but I imagine him so drunk on sleeplessness he mistook a bear for folklore darting out of the woods where he should not have been. The problem with legends is that the gun will never really go off. The dog stands upright, but never comes close enough to the children. I think of this while reciting my brother’s story, wide eyed as in a classroom ninety-eight miles and twelve years away while a gruff voice plays over a radio. One child shakes her head, that ain’t real. I want to believe her. I want to displace her fears to something we both know to be unreal. Instead, I go on to say this is not the seventh year and am interrupted by the sound in my memory of my brother sneaking back into the house.