Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Rain

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Say you sit on your porch alone in the rain. Say your shins get wet, then soaked. Say you left the baby in with his father. You know you could rescue the crying infant. You've done it all day. You have a breast that will calm him in seconds.
But, the rain feels very very good.

The father is inside, frustrated, shushing, pacing. Say you hear this. Say the rain pours so hard your mismatched socks are drenched.

The baby is wailing. The father is trying. You hear, "Any suggestions?" You pretend the rain is splashing too loud on the roof to hear, too loud on the deck, too loud along the barbeque and on the baby swing left out in the elements, sure not to swing again.

Say your chest shivers. Your fists are balled under the meager blanket. The blanket sags, heavy with water on one end. The fists tighten every time the howling escalates.

The rain is dripping down your temple, down the back of your collar.

Say the sobs are smaller. The sobs dampen.

You hear the rocker clicking, the father humming.

Say you un-ball your blue fists and tiptoe in.


Stefanie Freele is the author of the short story collection Feeding Strays (Lost Horse Press), a finalist in the John Gardner Binghamton University Fiction Award and the Book of the Year Award. She recently won the Glimmer Train Fiction Open. Her published and forthcoming fiction can be found in Glimmer Train, American Literary Review, McSweeney�s Internet Tendency, Westview, Frigg, Boston Literary Review, Permafrost, and Hobart Online. Stefanie is the fiction editor for the Los Angeles Review. Stefanie’s second collection, While Surrounded by Water, will be published by Press 53 in 2012.


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