Tenderness and Troubling Times is a collection of stories about breaking and rebuilding, losing and finding, and families: the struggle to have and to keep them, the cycles they sustain, the haven they can be. Ten within are of a series entitled “The Baby Losers Club” which explores difficulty in conceiving, miscarriage, and child loss.
“I remember you.
You had flown off the swing that day at the park; I took a picture of you in the air and had it deliberately developed in black and white, before phones had cameras and black and white was for portraits and serious magazines. Your white t-shirt hung pressed against your body against the sky and your arms spread wide, ready.Your picture was art to me. I didn’t know what you wanted but I was open to anything from you. I had always been so easy, curious about who people really were and what I could be to them. I see now how nervous I made you, but at sixteen I wasn’t used to boys being nervous around me. You never laid a hand one, never took a single liberty. I got kissed by everyone else. I think it was the way I always smiled, they took it as an invitation. I don’t even remember them all, couldn’t count their lips, but the absence of your kiss, and the desperate confusion it caused in me, I can recall with exquisite detail.”
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Tara Wine-Queen is a storyteller, teacher, student, wife, and mother of three. She works passionately in her rural community for the representation of all people and desires to make people feel things like gratitude, hope, and unity through shared experiences. She has been published in The Write Launch, Foliate Oak, and Maudlin House, among others.