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'Wild' by Ruth Arkush

LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Flash Fiction, 'Wild' by Ruth Arkush


Cheering, whistling and whooping erupt, roll, deafen that square before Kamala Harris who is the first elected woman to the White House, her smile and words speaking a triumph and joy known to anyone who finally ate that ice cream after a long hike when they’re sore, wide-eyed, exhausted and actually wholly shocked that the pain and effort has come to what they had dreamt of. She’s breaking new ground like an earthquake coming to shake us from the core, reminding us of something native we’d forgotten, something buried deep in the layers of taught assumptions and the weight of fulfilling a path someone else paved for us. Mum didn’t tell me this was possible. She probably didn’t know herself. She told me – you must have a job that’s flexible with your family life (for family life is a given, and she’s probably wondering why Kamala Harris married so late and never had children of her own) and so have it all, do it all, clean and cook and birth and WORK, above all, work with all of that, and never, never, let your husband’s shirts go un-ironed. Have. It. All.

They’re rewilding Britain. Cumbrian farmers are being paid to rear less sheep and instead cultivate native forests. Birds are returning, beavers have been spotted, sounds heard, sights seen and a balance restored that those rustic farmers with their sweet sheep are not and have never really been a part of. And they’re hoping for wolves, dangerous and native, who will pose worries and instill fear in animals and humans alike, inspiring grace and terror in every prowl.

[And I, walking on burning coals of a pregnancy after loss, can’t believe that women have done this since time began. A walk so inconceivable and yet so and wholly obvious.]



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