by Robert L. Penick
Jesse got his first suit coat on the morning of his uncle’s execution. It was raining outside and the roofing nails protruding down from the ceiling were black with moisture. Pulling himself up from his cot, he worked his chores: raiding the hen house to prod the hens from their prizes, then emptying the slop jars as the rest of the family had breakfast.
by Terek Hopkins
She was in the fourth grade when she had her first panic attack. There was a storm outside, thunder clapping at the windows, lightning dancing panic above the earth. She thought, This is what it must be like to die.
The attack started in her mind, but quickly made its way down her throat and into her chest. It grabbed a hold of her lungs and it squeezed until her breath was something that she could only catch through a singular, concentrated effort.
by Hannah Allen
As a child, I thought I was God.
So when dark and humid air lay into us
at a gas station in Havana, Arkansas
near the base of Mount Magazine
as my father stood outside
to pump fuel, raised his fists, and sang
angry hymns to God, I thought he
was speaking to me. Continue reading
by Daryl Muranaka
Beneath the tree
he digs a hole
wide and deep
to bury the hina dolls
packed carefully, gently,
into their wooden boxes
as if they were
the very baby
they belong to.
by Nancy Ford Dugan
They came in the night and took our values.
Someone (in the mailroom? from the cleaning service?) stripped all the plexiglass stands on each desk of the teal-blue sheet of paper that proudly listed all our corporate values.