The Lesser

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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’s poems and short fiction have appeared in various journals including Atlanta Review, Poetry East, the Christian Science Monitor, Common Ground Review, Cloudbank, Microfiction Monday, A Quiet Courage, and others. Her poetry chapbook, These Hands Still Holding (Finishing Line Press 2014) was a finalist in the 2013 New Women’s Voices competition. She lives in Massachusetts. (For more, please see jfreed.weebly.com

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