Rachel Jamison Webster
Independence Day

Rachel Jamison Webster - Independence Day

Creative Nonfiction
Rachel Jamison Webster is author the full-length collection of poetry, September (TriQuarterly Press 2013) and the gross-genre book, The Endless… Read more »
Danielle Harms
The Tall Grass and the Long Night

Danielle Harms - The Tall Grass and the Long Night

Creative Nonfiction
Danielle Harms writes from Denver, Colorado, where she works in higher education. Her writing has appeared in Salon, The Offing,… Read more »

The Tall Grass and the Long Night

Danielle Harms

Hélène was sick of losing her chickens at night. She swore in French, cursing Alabama’s coyotes and stray dogs. We stood in the pasture as she counted her farm’s latest losses—two hens had disappeared this week and three last.

“Enough!” she declared to Mariana, her sole employee on the farm. “We’re building a fence. Una cerca eléctrica.” It was my first day of work on the farm and I had only met Mariana that morning. We’d barely spoken since—after years of Spanish courses, I couldn’t remember a word.

“O.K.,” Mariana said, unfazed. She assessed the stakes piled at our feet, beside rubber mallets and coiled wire. It was winter in Alabama but the southern sun was intense; only a few hours away people were vacationing on Florida beaches. Mariana wound her long hair into a bun and tucked it under a baseball cap. I guessed she was about thirty. Later I learned she was nearly fifty, and married with children in their twenties, the same age as me. Grasshoppers collided with my socks and I flicked them away, waiting for another one to land.

“Obviously, it’s going to be solar powered,” Hélène qualified. I nodded in agreement—obviously—but she was… Read more »