Editors’ Choice, October 19-25, “Kilter,” by Mercedes Lawry

We’re pleased to feature our first “pure” prose Editors’ Choice, this fine work by Mercedes Lawry. Such agony and tragedy here; we’re reminded how craftsmanship directs the mind to an unforgettable destination.


It is the dark clouds sudsing to the east that prick her mind, rouse the clatter to go out and down the road past the yellow cottage and further on the path to the river rushing with spring rains and snowmelt, a loud set of syllables issuing from the water in a tumbled voice, glissando of hushed chaos, the rocks quiet and smoothing with each passage. She is unforgiven, by herself as well as the others, losing the child to the moon’s grasp on a night she sweated ale in a damp bed, forgotten the ruined field and the toils and the rot of the roof, the despair and then, even the child. Time had enough of her and she the same as all the hours were brittle. A soul was unable to continue without at least a morsel of calm or hope or relief and she had none. She entered the river without pause and was found several days later with no lamentation or prayer. Who’s to say the best way to end such a story and whether it’s all the same, this or that, and if her bones are whispering in the churchyard a few feet from those of her child and if there’s an answer back.

Mercedes LawryMercedes Lawry has previously published short fiction/prose in several journals including: Gravel, Blotterature, Cleaver, Gambling the Aisle and Thrice Fiction (as well as Panoplyzine). She was a semi-finalist in The Best Small Fictions 2016. For many years, she has been publishing poetry in journals such as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner and others. She has a book forthcoming from Twelve Winters Press in 2018 and her chapbook In the Early Garden with Reason just won the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest, judged by Molly Peacock and is available on Amazon. Additionally, she has published stories and poems for children.

For more Editors’ Choices, please visit:
All Saint’s Day, Saint Mary’s Basilica – Tobi Alfier
Self-Portrait with Bandage – 1889 – Ann Howells
For Me, Talking with God – Sarah Dickenson Snyder
Monet’s Portrait of His Wife on Her Deathbed – Robin Wright

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