What They Said In Sweetgum County
They were the old men sitting in a dimly lit room wrapped in a girdle of smoke, filling ashtrays emptied by other people. They sat drinking their big label beer. It was a breezy, sunny day outside. They were the old women gathered in the kitchen, drying dishes by hand. When they laughed, it was mean-spirited. And when they agreed, it was constricting all the souls in town. This must be how it’s always been. As a kid, I tried to meet their wrinkled demands when I made a hurried misstep into their line of fading sight. When I grew-up, I laid those old judgmental people to rest, one by one. And I knew I was better than them.
Leah Holbrook Sackett is the author of Swimming Middle River published by REaD Lips Press. She is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Missouri – St. Louis where she teaches in the English department and in the Communications and Media department. UMSL is also where Leah earned her M.F.A. Leah’s stories explore journeys toward autonomy and the boundaries placed on the individual by society, family, and self. Learn more about her published fiction at LeahHolbrookSackett.website.