It was a late softball game in a house that gets up early. She’d done everything so that all I had to do was microwave my chicken and rice. I showered as quietly as I could so not to rouse the house, then warmed up my dinner and sat in front of the tv to catch the west coast games. Dinner was delicious. Famished, I inhaled the food and was grateful for a loving wife asleep in the next room when a piece of chicken jumped into my windpipe. It happened once years before when people were around me and someone applied the Heimlich. Only, everyone was sleeping now. I tried not to panic but when you can’t draw breath you panic. I stumbled across the floor looking for something to hurl myself upon but lost my balance and ended up face down. Seconds. Only. I slammed my fist on the floor, but had been especially quiet and the house was in R.E.M. I laid on the floor and gasped for air before fading away a few seconds later. We won our game. I had two hits. My team wore a black band on their sleeve the rest of the season. My wife never cooked chicken again. Which is a shame because she can.




Ankle-Deep in Blood
Exploring 30 Days of Poetry

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.