As It Ought To Be Magazine is proud to announce our nominees for the 2021 Best of the Net Anthology, published by Sundress Publications.
Nadia Arioli: On “I Walk Without Echo” By Kay Sage
Frank Gallimore: The Shape of My Name
Ken Hines: What the Children Know
Dan Overgaard: Drifting Off
Ilari Pass: Delayed Rays of a Star
Melody Wang: All That My Mother Cultivates
Congratulations to our nominees, and thank you to everyone who contributed to AIOTB Magazine this year!
What the Children Know
On a concrete bench in a hospital courtyard
I wait while my wife gets an MRI,
her own personal snapshot of the future.
The only painful part, I was assured,
is the thinking.
Nearby, cries erupt from children
at the hospital daycare center—
one of their parents, perhaps, now sliding
my wife in the lamprey jaws of the scanner.
The children’s sorrow spreads like a stomach bug.
A teacher’s voice wafts across the playground
Shhh y’all … What’s the matter?… C’mon now.
But the wailing only swells
filling the courtyard with birdlike
shrieks and hollow moans.
Nurses on break look up from their phones
a man in a wheelchair opens his eyes
nuns carrying lunch trays pause mid-stride
all of them wondering, like me,
what the children know.
About the Author: Ken Hines writes essays and poems on matters he finds puzzling. Some of those pieces have found their way into Philosophy Now, The Millions, Barrelhouse, and Mocking Heart Review. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Image Credit: National Photo Company “Playground” (between 1918 and 1920) The Library of Congress (public domain)