The Masters Review Blog

Nov 2

New Voices: “Consider the Shape of Your Fist” by Leah Dawdy

This week, we are proud to present “Consider the Shape of Your Fist” by Leah Dawdy, the 2nd place finalist for our 2020 Flash Fiction Contest. Guest judge Sherrie Flick writes, “I love the sweet niece/uncle relationship in this story and the way language unfurls on multiple levels—through hands and hearts and words. There’s a good sense of setting, and compassion and empathy rise up so eloquently from the scene.”

You’re standing in the chill of the Central Sierras three hundred miles away from all of it, in a meadow Uncle Sean loves but hasn’t seen in years, waiting for the Perseids. The meteors crest over trees and draw blue trails between them.

Curl your nailbeds into the meat of your palm, thumb on top. This is the letter S in American Sign Language. This is S as in stomach, where Uncle Sean’s hand now goes instead of his chest when he signs me and mine. S as in scars marking where his colon should be. As in sorry when he draws that hand, his thumb, in circles on his chest.

This shape is for resting your chin while the geneticist speaks. His diagnosis is nothing new. You’d seen pictures of your uncle’s infested colon already. This was only about identifying his polyposis, spread now to his lungs.

This is for pulling your jacket tighter, for seeking comfort, alone. You’re standing in the chill of the Central Sierras three hundred miles away from all of it, in a meadow Uncle Sean loves but hasn’t seen in years, waiting for the Perseids. The meteors crest over trees and draw blue trails between them. They hurtle down the creek toward the sliver of moon. You want to catch their light and bring it back to him.

To continue reading “Consider the Shape of Your Fist” click here.

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