I tell them about Shackleton and the struggle on the ice, how they rowed eight hundred miles to Elephant Island and endured their way home to face the horrors of a war. The children are quietly spellbound by the story of brave explorers risking their lives in a frozen world. Any young lives I can save from what’s coming – to give them the spark I never had, that was crushed out of me on that floor, to save even one life – will make my seventy years worthwhile.
Zoë Wells Ryan Dennis is a former Fulbright Scholar in Creative writing, and has taught at several universities. He recently completed a PhD at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His work has been published in a number of journals, including the Cimarron Review, The Threepenny Review, and Fusion. He is also a syndicated columnist [...]