Sarah Carson

Granny Says He’ll Be Back

CG’s not afraid of anybody. Not you, not the lunch lady, not the patrol car that stopped him late last night on the sidewalk, not the bailiff who choked him asleep on the courtroom floor when he tried to throw his folding chair at the judge.

Granny won’t pick up the phone when he calls. She says he’ll be home in a few weeks just like last time, just like the time before. Six messages today and all I know is, “You have a collect call from the Genesee County Jail.”

I think I’m gonna love him forever. I write his name all over my hands inside the blue ink outline of dozens of empty hearts. When the sheriff’s suburban turns around in the neighbor’s circle drive, I chuck a rock at its big, black rim. I run into the tree-house crying and stay there until long after the sun goes down behind the high school, and when no one comes to find me, I slam the kitchen door so hard the spring flies off into the hall.


Sarah Carson was born and raised in Flint, Michigan but now lives in Chicago where she is an editor at RHINO and the Communications Specialist at Switchback Books. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Barrow Street, Diagram, Strange Machine, and Limestone, among others. Her first chapbook, Before Onstar, was released by Etched Press in 2010.