Telling the Truth

By J. Anna Luz

Featured Art: The Builders by Jacob Lawrence

Observing my boyfriend’s
niece and nephew
kick each other
under the table
at Thanksgiving dinner,
blasting each other
in the shins
and knees,
bone against bone
drawing bruises
and welts,
done in such fury
and with such power
yet no sound,
faces not affected,
not a hint
of a wince
of pain, so little
movement at all,
I thought
that’s how my sister
and her husband
love each other,
and how my father
regards his job
and how my mom feels
about all of us,
and how
I see my body.

These children
with pink Keds
and black and
green striped Nikes
underneath a crisp
ironed tablecloth
of fall colors,
didn’t
lie once.


J. Anna Luz received her MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University in 2013. She was a high school Spanish teacher and soccer coach be- fore going back to school. She enjoys working with at-risk youth, playing soccer and spending time with her nieces and nephews. She would like to dedicate this first publication to her former professor, Jonathan Johnson.

Originally published in NOR 15

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