About the Feature

Imagine this scene from The Bad Seed: two ladies drooping, lily-like, in a nineteen-fifties living room. No pillow is out of place. Each woman is devastated. Hortense Daigle because her little boy was killed, the other woman because her little girl murdered him. Mrs. Daigle is liquored up good. She exits her grief long enough to see the killer’s mother’s internal tornado, which has collapsed her features and disheveled her hair. Mrs. Daigle hangs on the other mother, sways to no music, offers her a free beauty treatment. When she leaves through the front door Mrs. Daigle slurs, I know you know something and you’re not telling me. These women’s sorrow unspooling so civilized. The Rivière family fights, on the other hand, were embodied. Once the family found themselves in the front yard; the neighbors gathering around the eighteen-thirties reality show. Scratching and slapping and screaming and dragging. Pierre’s mother knew the power of the public gaze.



About the Author

Laura Wetherington’s first book, A Map Predetermined and Chance (Fence, 2011), was chosen by C. S. Giscombe for the National Poetry Series. She cofounded and currently edits textsound.org and teaches in Sierra Nevada College’s undergraduate and graduate creative writing programs.

Image by Jonathan Haeber