Ferris Wheel

Ashley Espinoza

My dad shows me an entire photo album of my mom pregnant with me. It’s weird, my dad has never talked about his relationship with my mom. Only once when he told me she should have kept her legs shut. I was thirteen when he told me that, the same age my mom was when she got pregnant with me.

I’m 30 years old and have a daughter, my dad’s first grandchild. He’s older, softer. He shows me a photo. I have to look up what it’s called to write it down. Keychain picture viewer. I hold it up to one eye, the photo is so small, I close my other eye. It is sort of like looking into a kaleidoscope but instead of psychedelic pictures there is a photo of my mom and dad. My dad says something like, “That’s the only time I’ve been to the ferris wheel. Your mom took me, I was so scared, but she wanted to go.” His voice goes soft, his eyes a little watery and fixate on one spot out in space, almost as if he’s there with her at that moment. “Your mom was never scared.”

Ashley Espinoza received her MFA from the University of Nebraska and her work has been published in Assay, Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog, Forge Literary Magazine, Hobart, and Orion Magazine among other places. She is a nonfiction editor for The Good Life Review.