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We All Hate to be Alone

By Johnna Ferguson

This poem was  published in the first Segullah anthology, The Mother in Me, 2008. we all hate to be alone, oh my child. i feel your heart knock against my hand, your shrieks to my shushes, i am here, yours, so sleep in your little bed. you may let go of the world, it is here, …

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Adolescent

By Merrijane Rice

He’s full of cornered shelves, crammed cubbies, drawers ajar and spilling over— not quite fitting or filling his space. I want to shake him out— wipe away the dust, puzzle together a complete picture, display all his shining moments, matted and framed. He deposits life in sedimentary layers— slick seashells and broken stones, pencil stubs …

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Fault Lines

By Rosalyn Eves

I was in graduate school when I had my first child; I wrote my dissertation in snippets while he napped. School was logical, ordered. I knew the rules to the game and played it well. This parenthood was a new abyss for me. Some nights, I would sit up with my baby in those soft …

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When she wakes, rigid

By Elizabeth Cranford Garcia

Stroke her hair, and rock. Open the curtain—show her the flashing, the bright erasures of light, the careening trees, that suffocation, apocalypse, another plummet down the stairs into another tunnel, another muscled abandonment, bursting into the world again, her fists tight against her face. And when you say, That’s thunder It’s a loud noise believe …

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The Love of God

By Meg Conley

JULY 21, 2015 Hello, friends. I’ve been gone for a time. Gone from you and in some ways, gone from me. We moved while I was missing and I am finding myself in this new place. There is healing and there is hope in this little house. I’ll write more soon. But, for now, I’ll …

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Explaining Love

By Meghan Flinders

I can’t explain love to a dog. I come home to a fragmented couch, to yellowed and shredded upholstery. I sigh as the dog struts its win, sofa hanging damp from its jaw. I groan and let the dog stay. I can’t explain love to a child. I sang to my wailing babe whose snot …

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Crappy Birthday to You

By Shelah Miner

A couple of months ago, my daughter Maren turned nine. We were going to be on a family vacation for the big day, so I threw her a birthday party that wrapped up with minutes to spare before we headed for the airport. On her birthday, she ate breakfast at a fancy restaurant where all of the waitstaff sang to her. She opened presents, including most of what she asked for and even a few things she didn’t know she wanted. Then she spent the day bodysurfing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, and building sandcastles with her brothers and sisters. She even rode a water slide. But when it got dark that evening, she clutched my hand as we walked along the beach path and sobbed. “We didn’t get to do everything I wanted,” she said through her tears. “We didn’t have shave ice. I miss my friends.”

My first reaction might be similar to what you’re thinking right now. “What a brat,” I thought. “I can’t believe she’s throwing a fit after she had this perfect day.”

We walked in silence for a while, and eventually the lightbulb went off in my brain. “You don’t want this day to end, do you?” She nodded and cried some more. “I don’t want to wait another whole year for my birthday.” I hugged her and we walked back to the hotel room, past the shuttered shave ice stand, and her tears subsided.

I get it. When I was a kid, my favorite day of the year was January 20th. I had to share Christmas with everyone I knew, but I got to be the center of attention on my birthday. My mom always went all out— homemade cake, treats for my class, beautifully wrapped presents and super creative parties. I never wanted my birthday to end.

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