When she heard the coyote, she gave herself 15 minutes to pack what she could. She thought she might have a greater chance at making it to Canada if she left before the sun came up. She tied her larger suitcases to the top of her car and drove, taking back streets, avoiding checkpoints. In the morning, her daughter woke unknowingly to an empty house. She ate, dressed for work, caught the carpool. It was only when she saw her mother’s hand-dyed scarf among the clothes strewn on the road that she understood—her mother had finally escaped, without her.
fiction and poetry have been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cardiff
Review, Cleaver, Short Édition, and The Stockholm Review of
Literature. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has been
published in several anthologies, including Nothing Short Of 100: Selected Tales
from 100 Word Story (Outpost 19), Respect: Poems About Detroit Music
(Michigan State University Press), and America, We Call Your Name: Poems
of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press).
Ms. Bourbeau has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission
in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia. She is finishing a collection of one hundred 100-word
stories entitled Tart Juice.
Author’s website: https://www.heatherbourbeau.com/
Stories From Tart Juice
How to Talk to a Former Warlord, a poem by Heather Bourbeau
in The Missing Slate (18 March 2015)