My first night at the house, and every night, she called my father Jack. Every uniform from every place he ever worked said “Juan.” But he didn’t work at a place that made you wear a name tag anymore, and he didn’t call me mija when he shut the door to the spare room that night. At lunch that last afternoon, he called empanadas “turnovers,” and as he steered me through the airport, he tipped a skycap $10 to carry the duffle bag I’d borrowed from Mom.
So at the terminal, when my father said, “Bye, Carly,” which is not exactly me, I didn’t bother to correct him. And when Bernadette called, “See you soon, Carly!” over Connor’s stroller, I didn’t bother to correct her, either.
*Previously published by Flock.
On her first grade report card, Tina Tocco’s teacher wrote, “Tina always has very individual and creative ideas when she writes.” The editors at some journals and anthologies, including New Ohio Review, River Styx, Italian Americana, Flash Nonfiction Food, and The Best Small Fictions 2019, must have felt the same way because they published some of Tina’s work. When Tina gets bored writing for grown-ups, she writes for kids, such as the children’s poetry collection The Hungry Snowman and Other Poems (Kelsay Books, 2019). She also likes to teach creative writing on Zoom, listen to peculiar podcasts, and daydream about living in rural New England. Tina earned her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell. Some of her favorite things are cats, popcorn, and the Lois Lowry book The Giver.