by Franz Jørgen Neumann
The drives to Clayfield used to take only a few hours, back when Beth and Mira visited their husbands once a month. Now, nearly at the end of Dennis and Dylan’s eight-year sentences, neither woman lives in the same town anymore, and they must rise early in order to manage the trip to Clayfield in a day.
Beth picks up her daughter-in-law before dawn, the sky an ocher-to-indigo gradient that reminds Beth of the interior of a decorative bowl she keeps on her dining table. The ceramic piece holds peeked-at bills, house keys, coins and buttons, a matchbook, and whatever else can be emptied from a pocket. Here, that same gradient is uninterrupted, at least in the eastern sky.