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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 22: 4 Feb. 2024
Microfiction: 181 words
By Tina Barry

It’s Ed Sullivan’s Fault


I tell Henrietta how the man in a dark suit and dotted bow tie nodded to Ed then turned to the audience and bowed. The lights lowered. One spot shone white hot on the curtain beside him. The man rotated to his left, raised his arms. With a slant of his hands, a shadow of a wolf leapt into the center of the circle, its ears twitching. The man folded his index finger in and lifted his thumbs, and the wolf became a profile of JFK that grew wings and flew to the perch of his forearm. The audience gasped as a swan drifted from his palms, its neck uncoiling into a regal stalk. Unlike the rabbit out of a hat trick, I knew the dark images lured from the man’s fingers were really magic. Hand Shadows to Amuse arrived in a brown paper envelope. Every night in my darkened room, I’d take the shade off the lamp, and mimic each illustration, twisting my small, clumsy hands into my own “cinema in silhouette”: butterfly, camel, elephant, fox.

Tina Barry’s
Issue 22 (February 2024)

poetry and short fiction can be found in American Poetry Journal, Gone Lawn, Gyroscope Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Maryland Literary Review, Nasty Women Poets anthology, ONE ART, Rattle, South Florida Poetry Journal, Sky Island Journal, The Best Small Fictions 2020 (spotlighted story) and TBSF 2016, The Fourth River, trampset, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has several Best of the Net and Best Microfiction nods. Tina is a teaching artist at The Poetry Barn and Writers.com.

Author’s website: TinaBarryWriter.com

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Inside the amazing brains of Laura Rodley, Tina Barry, & Robert Slais by Big Table Publishing in Boston Literary Magazine (February 2023); includes Tina’s poem “Lilies”

Beautiful Raft: An Interview with Tina Barry by Hannah Grieco in Empty Mirror (28 February 2020)

“A Friend’s Daughter Dies” by Tina Barry in American Poetry Journal (Issue 14, Summer 2017)

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