On losing a child and being broken open

The needles used in acupuncture are extraordinarily small, a fraction of a millimeter thick, about the same as a single strand of human hair. They push through the top layer of skin with a sharp pinch, breaking through the boundary of the body with something like an electric charge.


When do we first become aware of the need to be pleasing? To be grateful it wasn’t worse, to hold still and smile?

It was four o’clock in the morning when my mother and her kidnapper reached the intersection of Highway 620 and Ranch Road 2222, where he would finally let her go. Early January, 1972. My mother was not yet my mother; she was nineteen. No light in the sky, and quiet…

Mary Milstead

Writer, mother, teacher, student. Lover of stories, big and small. Published in The Rumpus, Gay Magazine & Shirley Magazine. Find more at marymilstead.com

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