Living in a Shadow

There was a marsh that bounded part of the woods behind my house, on the edge of which, at high tide, Dad and I used to stand and fish for perch and minnows. Birds chirped in the trees and they’d clam up when the eagles came around.


When you step on a slug its body acts like an overfilled plastic bag. Eyestalks stretch then balloon and pop, spewing out greenish-yellow who-knows-what all over the bottom of your shoe. Slugs use the slime that coats their bodies to move around.


When I was four years old, we lived in a small house with an oversized front yard. I remember being home one night, and there was something off about that dark expanse. Whatever it was, it left me frightened. An eerie and deep purple twilight enveloped everything outside our bay window.

Ninety Dollars

Ninety dollars and twenty-three cents. Five dollars of it was pennies, kept in a glass jar. For a sixth grader, that’s a lot of money. I spent all morning rummaging under sofa cushions and behind the kitchen appliances. The counter was cold.