Stirred is exactly how I felt after reading the fiction piece in this issue of Stirring; Lisa Locascio’s “Friend Request” made this issue well worth the read. The story is narrated by the father of a teenage girl whose username on “YourPage” is Susiecide. Throughout the story, the father monitors the young girl’s posts and photos, taking a peak into her personal world that she limits him access to. As I was reading it, I had to constantly remind myself that it was a piece of fiction: the characters and narration her felt so real and authentic that it seemed like it could be nonfiction. Locascio certainly did a great job taking on the voice of the father. She is careful and crafty in making all of these characters seem like real people.
Michael Salcman’s poem “The Shallow End of the Pool” resonates with a strong bond between mother and son:
It's not the first time the child floats out
and extends his fingers, ears half-stopped,
the turret of his head surveying
the shallow end of the pool with goggled eyes
as he listens to his heart beat time
and his mother looks on and worries,
smoothing her belly with golden arms,
in memory carrying him still.
Martin Balgach’s “If I am Not Alone” is also stirring as the narrator thinks about “the leftover infatuations / of a lover / growing older / beside the noise / of someone else’s coughs.” Although the issues of this journal are short, the contents are well worth the read.