The Last Shred of Daylight

by Jaclyn Powell

But Dex...

I don’t wanna hear no more’a you.

Dex raises his hand to strike her, but punches the wall as
Marla shrinks in anticipation of the blow.

Dex wheels around and punches open the front screen door with
his palm. The door slams against the house as he walks out.

Go on’n take care’a the field, I gotta fix the truck.

Marla flinches at the sound as the screen door slams shut.

And don’t be waste’n time with that
garden lessen you can eat them
flowers for dinner.


Marla nods her head obediently as she turns to the bedroom
and unbuttons her dress as she walks.

She reaches into a dresser drawer and takes out work jeans
and a shirt.

Beneath the clothing is a worn baby blanket and toddler’s
shirt. A framed picture of a little boy lies underneath.

Marla gazes at the picture, caresses her cheek with the
shirt, holds it to her nose and inhales deeply, eyes closed.

Marla looks at the picture and kisses the shirt before hiding
them under a piece of clothing, then closes the drawer. 

Writer's excerpt courtesy NYWIFT (NYWIFT.ORG)