What Work Is

So up and down I sow them
For lads like me to find,
When I shall lie below them,
A dead man out of mind.
—A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, LXIII

Randy’s father rattled the classified section and held the paper an arm’s length from his face, squinting as he prepared to read the ads aloud, a weekly ritual. Lying on the couch, Randy waited for him to begin. Instead, he lowered the paper. “Don’t you reckon you ought to get to bed? Tomorrow’s going to start early.”

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Dean Marshall Tuck’s stories have been featured in publications such as EPOCH, The Los Angeles Review, Natural Bridge, Zone 3, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and others. He is an advisory editor for Tar River Poetry and an English instructor at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

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