Stonecoast Review Issue 5

Fortunes

Written By: E.B. Schnepp

Grandmother told the future in picked-apart
chicken bones, so no one would realize
she wasn’t eating dinner.
Twisting meat from thigh bones,
adding it to mountains of mashed potatoes
she never tried to climb. Our fortunes were there
in stringy ligaments:

Sister was going to grow
into a doctor. Lawyer.
School teacher, the kind who
wins awards on the 6 o’clock news.
Bess would become an astronaut. Nobel
Prize-winning scientist. And Benji
an electrician, always an electrician,
so I guess she got that one right.
I was to be a librarian, and we’d
all live together forever.

Grandmother read us in gravy drops
before shoveling them back
into Tupperware that sat in her fridge,
turned bright colors until Momma cleaned it out,
frowning at untidy blue gremlins that began
as cabbage or maybe broccoli
in vegetable drawers.

E.B. Schnepp is a graduate student at Bowling Green State University where she is completing her MFA while being a reluctant essay grader and avid procrasti-baker. Her work can also be found in Paper Nautilus, Qua, and Pacific Review, among others.