by Brandon Getz
My father was an avalanche.
People would ask me, How is it that your father is an avalanche?
I would go to the mountain to ask him. I would shout into the hills, and he would crash down the mountainside, tearing old spruces up from their roots. I would be covered in a spray of powder, and his only answer was the sound of his fall.
Each time I went to the mountain, my father was smaller. He uprooted fewer trees. One winter, I went to ask my father how I could be the daughter of an avalanche, and he did not come down at all. The peaks above were all bare stone.
Later, I fell in love. I felt the dizzying heights of the mountaintops, the weight and thunder inside my chest. The fear of being uprooted and lost and consumed. The unending tumble.
I married. I had a son. My son was born a waterfall.
My husband left us. He couldn’t be the father of a waterfall. He didn’t know how to love a geological formation. He’d wanted a son who would be a woodsman or a blacksmith.
People ask me, How is it that your son is a waterfall?
And I tell them he is like my father.
As he plays on the lichen-scabbed rock between the pencil pines, I don’t ask him how or why. I close my eyes. And listen.
Brandon Getz earned an MFA in fiction writing from Eastern Washington University in Spokane, WA. His work has appeared in Versal, Burrow Press Review, The Delmarva Review, and elsewhere. He is currently finishing a serialized adventure novel about a werewolf in space. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA.