Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Seven-Year-Old

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For little Randy Stuart

The seven-year-old asks me, "Could you please lay down your baby, so I can dissect him?" I say no, he's been dissected twice today and is tired of it.

The seven-year-old runs to his closet and returns with a red cape. "Could you please drop your baby from the roof so I can rescue him just before he hits the ground?" I say no, I don't want him to assume someone will always be there to catch him.

The seven-year-old asks if he can please stab my infant with his white sword. I say no, impalement is not becoming on a baby and he will have trouble digesting his food.

The seven-year-old dons a feathered hat to go with the cape. "Could you then run toward me like a bull?" I say yes and race toward him with the baby under my arm. For a moment we are lost in the cape of the bullfighter. He takes the cape away, and it makes us angry. Give us back that red! We charge again and again and again.


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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