from The Grippe of October by John P. McEneny

Genre: Drama

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Clifford, 12, is mentally challenged. His mother is dying of the flu. Alice has come to help his mother die.

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My brother could swim the entire Hudson from Albany to Troy and then swim back with the outgoing tide. And he went to France. And rode in a submarine. And shot hundreds of Germans. And he kissed Florence Burt in back of the Empire Music Hall. And he could make my mother laugh even when there was nothing to laugh about. And he punched both the Clark boys in the face when they called me feeble. And he made—things—everything nice and bright. Every time he walked in the door, he was happy to walk in and see us. I can't sing. I can't sing the way it would make her happy. I can't do nothing to make her happy. I can't make her happy.