Roberta Beary - October 26, 2020

THE EMPEROR OF ICE CREAM

There’s an ice cream kiosk near the lake. ‘Here’s good,’ my husband says. A little
swan’s paddling like crazy behind a giant with puffed feathers, trying to catch up. My
husband says they mate for life, like him and me. I want to tell that little swan to slow
down. I was in a hurry like that. Once. My husband hands me a cone. Chocolate drips
onto my sleeve. I roll it up. Two purple bruises stare back. My husband never means to
hurt. Afterwards he brings roses. I smile, say, how lovely. Even though I hate roses.
Always have.

Roberta Beary lives in the west of Ireland. Her work is featured in Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less (The New York Times, 2020). She recently collaborated on One Breath: Reluctant Engagement Project, which pairs her writing with artwork by families of people with disabilities. She tweets her micros @shortpoemz.