By Angie Crea O'Neal

January 20, 2020


“Because, what if they don’t turn out okay?” The question, posed by my 14-year old daughter, hung in the air as we drove past the park after school late one afternoon. I was talking about motherhood, and she matter-of-factly justified her plan to forgo having children. Too much risk, she implied. Somewhere around middle school, my fiery and impetuous toddler became a politic young woman, cautious and so careful. My eyes scanned the park to our west that, only days before, was submerged under flood waters from the nearby river, its banks swollen bellies giving way under the pressure of record rains, turning the adjacent landscape into an ancient swamp navigable only by kayaks or canoes—to me, enchanted as the lost city of Atlantis. Now, the waters were receding, and we glanced in unison to see the place resuming its ordinary shape and symmetry, paths and benches reemerging, fields again visible but dotted with impromptu islands.  

Her question lingered unanswerable, replaced by more linear subjects: what to do for dinner, her geometry test the next day. My mind wandered to Plato as we pulled into the Chick-fil-a drive-thru, how he believed math could solve the secrets of the universe. I tossed the loose change into the cupholder with old receipts as we headed toward home, and we wondered when it would rain again. Our future unpredictable as a body of water, incalculable as the hope of mythic lands. 


Angie Crea O’Neal’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Sycamore Review, The Windhover, Cumberland River Review, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, The Way Things Fall, was published by Anchor & Plume Press in 2017. She teaches English at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, where she lives with her daughters.

comments powered by Disqus « Back to Beautiful-Things

Newsletter Sign Up

shadow shadow