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  • Writer's pictureMarie Smysor Watson


There is a section in The Sun, one of the literary magazines I subscribe to, called "Reader's Write." It's usually the first part I flip to when it shows up in my mailbox. Each month is a new one-word prompt, where readers are asked to submit their own short non-fiction essay. I've tried my hand at several of these, but I've never had one published yet (I'm still awaiting news on the latest). The one below wasn't accepted, but I still think it's a decent bit of writing. Welcome to my country...

The tow-headed six-year-old swings. The newly minted two-year-old bounces on the trampoline. The not-quite four-month-old nurses in my arms. My husband is gone - maybe at a meeting? - and I am home alone with them. It is late June in the backyard, my last day of maternity leave. The sun is low in the sky, casting warm shadows. We must have already had supper, although I do not remember what it was. Something easy, as I am still finding my rhythm of mothering three. We will stay out here until the baby finishes, I think, but I do not warn the older two. I don’t want to break into our idyll. My oldest in mid-swing, my middle in mid-bounce, the youngest in mid-slurp. If I could only stop time, I whisper. For this moment, this rectangle of ground is my country and I, the Queen; these babies, too fast to become men, are my subjects. But if it comes to pass that this evening could last, I would reign forever.

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