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Tuesday

Flash Reprint: Kristina Marie Darling’s “North”

North

Kristina Marie Dar­ling

 

A girl drove into a bliz­zard at sun­set. Her fiancé told her not to, and she thought about mak­ing tea or cocoa, but she started the car any­way. She did it because the road glit­tered in the lamp­light. She did it because he told her not to.

The bliz­zard was the exact same tem­per­a­ture as her heart. She kept dri­ving past bar­ren corn fields, watch­ing the snow fall. She felt a numb­ness in her chest, and when she placed her hand there, the warmth was gone. The girl began to worry and stopped the car.

I could have seen this com­ing, the fiancé said when she walked into the kitchen.

This didn’t hap­pen to you, too? But as the girl began speak­ing, she sensed the weight of her clothes shift­ing. Her dress crack­led with frost. The frozen part of her fell off, leav­ing a small scar. The fiancé smiled.

You just became a wife, he said.

 

Note: Orig­i­nally pub­lished in Tupelo Quar­terly.


 

Author’s Note

“North” was writ­ten in 2014 dur­ing a snow­storm in Buf­falo, NY. Though the poem has been pub­lished and reprinted, the snow­storm still hasn’t ended.

 

Author Photo.jpgKristina Marie Dar­ling is the author of over twenty books of poetry. Her awards include two Yaddo res­i­den­cies, a Hawthorn­den Castle Fel­low­ship, and a Vis­it­ing Artist Fel­low­ship from the Amer­i­can Acad­emy in Rome, as well as grants from the Whit­ing Foun­da­tion and Har­vard University’s Kit­tredge Fund. Her poems and essays appear in The Get­tys­burg Review, New Amer­i­can Writ­ing, The Mid-Amer­i­can Review, Third Coast, The Columbia Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and else­where. She is cur­rently work­ing toward both a Ph.D. in Lit­er­a­ture at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo and an M.F.A. in Poetry at New York Uni­ver­sity.

One comment

From Christian McCulloch

Kristina

Please… give me a clue so that I can unlock the secret of your story, ‘North’. I have reread it ten times but the last line evades me… please help. I don’t need an expla­na­tion — just a clue; I love mys­ter­ies, espe­cially real ones.

Thanks

North

Kristina Marie Dar­ling

A girl drove into a bliz­zard at sun­set. Her fiancé told her not to, and she thought about mak­ing tea or cocoa, but she started the car any­way. She did it because the road glit­tered in the lamp­light. She did it because he told her not to.

The bliz­zard was the exact same tem­per­a­ture as her heart. She kept dri­ving past bar­ren corn fields, watch­ing the snow fall. She felt a numb­ness in her chest, and when she placed her hand there, the warmth was gone. The girl began to worry and stopped the car.

I could have seen this com­ing, the fiancé said when she walked into the kitchen.

This didn’t hap­pen to you, too? But as the girl began speak­ing, she sensed the weight of her clothes shift­ing. Her dress crack­led with frost. The frozen part of her fell off, leav­ing a small scar. The fiancé smiled.

You just became a wife, he said.

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