“Premonition” by Faith Holsaert
When I return, my car motor labors up the rise. Our shingled house hunkers into the green woods, the blue and white sky snapping like bed sheets on a line. I am putting the car in gear and setting the brake, gathering purse, books, and a bag of groceries from the IGA. The brown dog leaps barking off the porch, and the shepherd mix hurries toward me, ready to put his body between me and danger, but all I see of danger is the collapse of August’s Joe-Pye Weed into its own pungency. The front door slams open and my children run toward me over the hummocks and rabbit holes, their bare feet missing their lost jacks scattered in the grass. She is in her favorite sun dress from last summer – the red one – and he is in jeans and a paisley shirt sent by his grandmother. The brown dog is steadily barking. The children are shouting, Mommy. Mommy. I drop to my knees and open my arms, books and milk and hamburger be damned; the children run into me and I let them roll me back into the grasses, the back of my head pressed to the ground. Seed heads burst into our hair. The brown dog can’t stop barking. The hill looks upside down. I breathe in the smell of my children, cherish their thrashing limbs and their high voices. They cry, Mom. Mom. Guess what?
The brown dog. The shepherd mix. They snap at one another, struggling to reach us. My daughter cries out, Mom, as the brindled one grazes her with his teeth. Mom, she cries and the dog runs off, head slung low. Mom. The whites of his eyes.
“premonition” appeared online in ROAR, 8/14
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