I drive more than I want now that my son attends a specialized school across town. A school that’s helping him manage his four—four!—areas of need, as if a little boy with a surgical scar marring his lip, making it noticeably crooked, needs yet another thing to set him apart from his peers.
Traffic slows, my car creeps and I think about Michelle. My friend for how long now? I ask, and I start to count back, landing at twenty-one—twenty-one!—years. How can that be? I’d like to call her now, but she lives in another time zone, and I know she’s at work, and she needs that job and the pay it provides because she’s in the midst of a divorce.
Just remember, I tell myself because I need to hear it. And I tell Michelle, telepathically, trusting the message to arrive. Just remember, we hiked through the mountains of Peru for four—four!—days, sleeping in tents, drinking from streams, gasping for breath as the path climbed higher and higher and the air grew thinner and thinner. Just remember, we are strong. We discovered that then. We can do this now.
Kelly Westhoff lives in Minneapolis with her husband and son. For many years, she worked as a freelance writer, publishing lifestyle articles in local outlets and is now working on a memoir about her struggle with infertility. She writes haiku in the slivers of time she finds while being a mom and posts them on her Instagram account: @KellyWesthoffWrites. You can learn more about her work at KellyWesthoff.com.
Danny Rebb seeks to evoke emotion in the viewer with his work by portraying unexpected beauty in overlooked places and circumstances or transforming what at first glance seems to be grotesque into something beautiful. He currently resides in Dearborn, Michigan. Instagram: @dannyrebbfineartphotography. Email: email@example.com