selected by Sommer Schafer

Ruined, A Nativity

When my mother delivered her third son, her doctor told her she would never be able to conceive again. When she conceived her fourth son, her doctor said it wo...

Advice to My Son

My son has a sweet temperament, which means the world will carve him up, make mincemeat of his pinkish ears, serve his slightly meaty legs in a buttery sauce w...

Sleeping Together

Mist filters the moonlight like a fragrance through our open blinds, and we sleep together in the same bed again this night. One week ago, both of us test p...

Squash

Every spring, I pollinate the squash. With a cotton swab, I transfer pollen from male flowers to female flowers. But when the first squash flowers bloom this M...

Legacy

Father went first. He lay down in bed one night and never woke up. Bored of mum talking nonsense, I think. Died on purpose to stop the noise. She slowed to a h...

Blue

I watch the woman in the car beside ours—flat-ish profile, red hair combed straight back. She’s talking with her hands, silver beads dangle from her big-boned ...

Anglerfish

There is an anglerfish in the diner. The anglerfish is much older than the diner, but it did not exist until the diner was built. This makes sense if you th...

The Dragon Slayer

To court the favor of pregnant women, the hospital began offering free pain relief during childbirth. But Elo would have none of it. In a dry dusty terrain wit...

Downwind

After Leon died, Loretta sold most of the farm away. Away, in different ways. The back fields, nearly 300 acres, went to two neighboring farms, the Rathmueller...