My face and family have been lockdowned for months, but today the sun god tempts us to come outside, tattooing winter skin with Raggedy Ann circles. As the world stands, stilled by a virus, I watch the child-man I birthed stumbling, running toward a new universe a state away. High school graduation, a video fake. College seems real but who knows what real is? Hiding from adulthood in teen shadows, I catch him peeking around silver-lining corners with his father’s gifted-by-the-sky’s edge eyes, not the dark night eyes I share with his sister. This fall, he’ll vote for the first time, for first changes, flipping levers and candidates and ideas. After nine presidential elections my cheeks are not-quite 50, a scant six months before I turn a half-century too. I will be a woman-child then, hopeful on the other side of sunlight, celebrating pink-sunset and rain-soaked-cheeked, nudging my gangly-legged almost-adult out of the nest.
Amy Barnes has words at a variety of sites including The New Southern Fugitives, 100 Words of Solitude, FlashBack Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, X-Ray Lit, Anti-Heroin Chic, Museum of Americana, Penny Fiction, Elephants Never, Re-side, The Molotov Cocktail, Lucent Dreaming, Lunate Fiction, Rejection Lit, Perhappened, Cabinet of Heed, Spartan Lit, National Flash Flood Day and others. Her work has been long-listed at Reflex Press, Bath Flash Fiction, Retreat West and TSS Publishing. She volunteers at Fractured Lit, CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, NFFD and Narratively. Follow Amy on Twitter @amygcb