Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Swallowing Tires

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Our father couldn't stop swallowing tires.
It was a secret, but we knew. We knew when we saw the car without tires, stranded, crippled, on the street two blocks down. We passed it walking to school.
Not another one, we said, shaking our heads. Fell off the wagon--again.
He preferred the taste of Goodyear, like a finer wine. Went down better than Michelin, he said once, in therapy.
At home we used a Pit Bull Tire Lock on each wheel of the family car, locked up our bicycles, scooters--the lawn mower even.
He was trying to quit, but even with the patch on, he snacked on rubber bands.


Jeanne Althouse lives in Palo Alto, California, and writes prose poems, flash fiction, and short stories. She is married and has two children. Her work has been published in Opium, Canary, the Stanford English Department Newsletter, The MacGuffin, Pindeldyboz, and Temeros. She has won the Foothill Writers’ Conference and the Lunch Hour Stories short story contests. She has a story upcoming in the spring Madison Review.


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