My Mother Comes Up in Artesia NM

Desert fauna demands extra space to offset lack of water. In the same way, several aunts grow the child when the mother can’t. Four-part harmony, kitchen table math, two nickels and a slice of pie, hon, if you’ll fetch my specs. Moon hanging by a thread, then night rain.

Autumn Stephens is a writer, editor, and poet. The author of the Wild Women book series and editor of two anthologies of women’s first-person essays, Autumn teaches private writing classes and leads writing groups for cancer survivors. She lives in an empty nest in Berkeley, California. Recreationally, she composes lists.

You can see more of her work in issues 4.4 and 50/50