Richard Schmitt
Living Among Strangers

Richard Schmitt - Living Among Strangers

Fiction
Richard Schmitt is the author of The Aerialist, a novel (Harcourt 2001). He has published fiction and nonfiction in many… Read more »
Andrew Siegrist
Nightmare Prayers

Andrew Siegrist - Nightmare Prayers

Fiction
Andrew Siegrist is a graduate of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His work has appeared,… Read more »
Laura Jean Schneider
No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Laura Jean Schneider - No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Fiction
Laura Jean Schneider has an MFA in Fiction Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her fiction and non-fiction has… Read more »
Joy Ellison
Sitti’s Scars

Joy Ellison - Sitti’s Scars

Fiction
J.M. Ellison is a writer, scholar, and grassroots activist. They are interested in using stories, both fictional and true, to… Read more »
Alexandra Renwick
The Monsieur

Alexandra Renwick - The Monsieur

Fiction
Alexandra Renwick is a dual US & Canadian author whose short fiction has been translated into nine languages and performed… Read more »

Sitti’s Scars

Joy Ellison

My grandmother’s fingers are covered with scars. Some are short and delicate. These nicks Sitti gave herself while cutting tomatoes for fattoush salad, my father’s favorite. Others are round and red, like pomegranate seeds. She burned those marks into her flesh when she baked loaf after loaf after the Israelis demolished our neighbors’ tahboon oven.

The day that the army drove their bulldozer to our village, my brothers and I ran after the soldiers. We wanted to see whose home they were coming to crush into rubble. My father followed, too. The whole village gathered to yell and to cry. Only Sitti stayed inside. She seemed to know that the soldiers would pick the Rishmawi family oven. She started mixing dough before the demolition began.

“They were fortunate,” my father said. “Only that old pile of stones. They will survive.”

My grandmother thought the future of the Rishmawi family was not so certain. Bread, she told me, is a serious matter. So, she baked and baked, burning three of her fingers. When she finished, she wrapped her hand in white gauze and wrapped the mound of bread in a white towel. She delivered the loaves to Mariam Rishmawi, who… Read more »