Number 4 was Born at Home
by Shannon Hare
After a sleepless night, each crunchy step reminds me of granola. I swat at blackberry brambles with spoon arms. It helps to get scratches. To ground me. To pick at until tomorrow.
“I’m asking for ten minutes a day.”
I was too far away now to hear the baby crying. Still, the rush comes to me, just at the thought of it. Milky circles on my shirt.
Women and Girls
by David M Wallace
My dear wife. I have your letter and the joyous news. The army winters in Gaul but will return to Rome come spring, gods willing. I will send money soon. If the child is a boy, name him Lucius. If a girl, leave her to the elements. Greet my mother for me when next you see her.
by Ken Poyner
The guards at street’s end swing quart bottles of blood. It is not their blood. It is not your blood. With these exceptions, it could be anyone’s blood. When guard is changed, the new guards bring new blood. In your house you worry how the blood is collected, in what province or block, from which political party; with tubes and needles, or by sopping it from the floor. No one speaks of it, yet everyone worries. Slowly, it is marveled at less. It is assumed each rotation of guards will have new blood. It is normal. The experiment is done.