Texas dirt and acorns from her nightstand.
“Our baby will be born over Texas soil, one way or another,”
she told him as he drove seven miles over the speed limit.
After sneaking the jar past the bustling nurses,
my aunt told my uncle to place the jar under
the gurney. When the doctor came to deliver
my first cousin, he didn’t comment on the mixture
of earth and acorns. My cousin cried and into fruition.
Years later, when only my youngest cousin cannot
legally drink and we’re all sitting around the ‘adult’
table, she asks my aunt about the jar that has sat on
their fireplace for over twenty years. My uncle calls
her a hippie over his bourbon, and my aunt laughs
her light and airy laugh before she says:
“Everything is bigger in Texas, right?”
Our eyes meet as everyone chuckles, and I press
my hand over the crook of my elbow. The skin is molted
and pinched from various butterfly needles. I haven’t yet
wrangled a man into marriage, and she knows how much
that terrifies me. I wonder how dirt and acorns saved
When I’m climbing into my Volkswagen the next day,
she meets me in the driveway. “Take it,” she whispers.
“We could all use a little luck.” I take the jar tucked lovingly
beneath her shawl, my fingertips pressing what little
hope I have left into the dusty, dirty glass.
Melissa Hedges is a recent graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, where she majored in creative writing and minored in literature. Her work has been featured in Circa Review and The Blue Route. Though her first love is fiction, she's currently having a love affair with poetry. Right now, she's taking life by the horns by moving to Hawaii (even though she's terrified of everything in the ocean). She also has a soft spot in her heart for antique maps and typewriters.