October 3, 2016 by The Citron Review
by Jennifer L. Freed
Her fingers tremble as she pens the note, then pins it safe inside the pocket of his shirt. Such thin cloth to shield him across the miles. She kisses his nose, says his brave-boy journey begins soon. “And drink,” she adds. “Brave boys are always thirsty, so drink.” She ruffles his hair, turns to hide her eyes. She has paid a good coyote, the one her aunt’s neighbor recommended. Still, she’s heard of exploitation, molestation, dehydration. She’s heard of injured stragglers left beneath the beating sun. And yet, for her last son, she chooses this. This, the lesser risk.
Jennifer L Freed writes, teaches, and cares for her elderly parents and her teenage daughters in Massachusetts. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, The Connecticut River Review, The Worcester Review, and others. A chapbook, These Hands Still Holding, was a finalist in the 2013 New Women’s Voices Contest.
[…] wet palms, overwhelming nausea, we drive blind to kingdom come. Stragglers are left beneath the beating sun. At an impromptu funeral, the earth will open easy for our shovels. A cloud of dust will kick up. […]