White Lies

Leave a comment

March 16, 2011 by The Citron Review

by Tawnysha Greene

 

When I lie about whether I’ve washed my hands, cleaned my room, Momma whips out a wooden spoon from her purse, a spoon held together with duct tape, broken many times. When I lie to Daddy, he pulls a tool from the garage, the tool with a serrated edge for cleaning the grill, spanks me fifteen times, counting under each breath, but I only lie to him once.

But before Grandma comes over, Momma sits us down, tells us to tell her that our refrigerator is empty, because we cleaned it, that our food is in a freezer in the garage, that we have a washer and dryer and the clothes hanging to dry over the bathtub are the ones that couldn’t be washed, the ones that would shrink. Momma tells us to smile, to keep her and Daddy’s bedroom door closed, so that Grandma won’t find the food stamps, the bills Momma has hidden in her dresser drawers.

When Grandma’s gone, Momma dresses us up in our church clothes, types up a speech about a charity for the deaf, asking for donations. She sits in front of me, makes me practice reading the lines, tells me to look up, makes my sister stand beside me, smile silently, sign hello for good measure.

She drives us to the mall, to the shopping outlets, tells me to ask for the manager before I give my speech, before my sister begins to sign. Momma says that checks are okay, should be made out to her, because she’s the owner of the charity, not to tell them she’s our mother. She says to say thank you, to take their business cards.

On these days, while Momma counts the money, we go to Blockbuster where we can pick a movie each, play on the playground at McDonalds, lick tall ice cream cones.

 

Tawnysha Greene is currently a Ph.D. candidate in fiction writing at the University of Tennessee where she serves as the fiction editor for Grist: A Journal for Writers. Her work has appeared in various literary journals including Necessary Fiction and Bluestem and is forthcoming in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. She can be found online at http://tawnyshagreene.blogspot.com/.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
5 months to go.

🍋 Instagram

The Center, if it holds, requires the Hole, as if the Spiral were pressed in a vinyl disk. Set the heart of Nothing on the spindle and start the record round; "Record" by James B. Nicola #TheCitronReview #Spring2019 #amreading https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/record/
Marriage! That blessed arrangement! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/white-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Now in our Spring Issue, Helen Chambers invites us to read now of forever hold our peace. https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/spring-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Knitters of the world, unite! "Turtles" is a needle-gripping flash from @kaelyhorton . March with us toward passionate prose. (Stitching now our handmade Spring 2019 Issue.) https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/turtles/ #amreading #flashfiction
Tornado of Flash Fiction Warning! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/outside-of-oklahoma/ #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears
The creative nonfiction pieces we’ve chosen for this Spring issue are about pain, they are about grief, and they are, in a strange way, about rebirth. The sudden death of a mother, a woman interviewing grieving families about the unimaginable deaths of their children, a man struggling with his boy hood role in the death of other creatures, and a woman channeling the pain of others: all of these pieces are rooted in death, destruction, and grief. But I can also say that I found the pieces hopeful, because the pieces were about confronting pain, and embracing the growth that comes with it. Perhaps they are, as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins told us, struggling with the “I can no more,” and finding your way, however painfully, to the “I can/Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.” Even as we grieve and struggle with these writers, we rejoice in their honesty and their bravery. Please enjoy our selections for the 2019 Spring Creative Nonfiction portion of The Citron Review. Nathan R. Elliott Creative Nonfiction Editor The Citron Review #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears https://citronreview.com/

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: