Peter Vanderberg

Sea Heaps Up

Sara wants me to read her book. I want to watch the news. We try both. Between pages of Little Bear & Mama Bear making cakes, the story of a soldier home from war. After nights & days of screaming his daughter would pull away & say, You’re not my daddy. He saw the dead in waking dreams walking with his daughter lying on the couch, wordless mouths opening & closing.

Sara presses her hand to my head & pushes back to the page saying, read daddy, read book.

“So Little Bear went all by himself — all by himself in new snow.”

He went for help at the VA hospital but deployment rumors leaked & he locked himself in a room with Death.

After the news Sara molds my face like play-doh until she forms one she knows.

Peter Vanderberg

Peter Vanderberg is the founding editor of Ghostbird Press. He served in the US Navy from 1999 to 2003 and received an MFA from CUNY Queens College. His work has appeared in several journals including Hunger Mountain, CURA and LUMINA, and his chapbook Crossing Pleasant Lake has recently been published by Red Bird Press. He teaches at St. John’s Preparatory School and Hofstra University.