Yellow Shutters

by Cindy May Murphy

My wife gives me a somber nod and then shuts the screen door behind her to go turn on Saturday-morning cartoons that aren't real Saturday-morning cartoons but a tape from a year ago the kids watch now that we don't have cable and whose ribbon is so worn we have to turn the volume almost full blast so they can hear it but today my wife will turn it all the way up and then decide to come back again and shut the storm door with a bang so that her children will not hear the louder bang of the rifle that usually broods silently in the corner between the kitchen and the porch.

I look away and recall Old Yeller and the other one about a fern and any other silly allusion to man's-best-friend I can conjure up to make this moment as humorous as my partners i