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April 18, 2023

My Mother Was a Pelican

Addisyn Clapp
My Mother Was a Pelican

My mother was a pelican, and when we went to church on Sunday, she always packed Crayola crayons. She never packed the Rose Art crayons, because she knew I didn’t like them. When she saw my brother and I getting antsy in the pews, she would shove the box of crayons in our hands, fish around in her purse for a notepad, and then hush me and my brother while we colored for the rest of the service. When our stomachs would rumble during a hymn, she would reach for the Goldfish in her purse and exchange crayons for crackers. My mom always stocked up on our favorite chips and fruit snacks when she went grocery shopping. Our pantry was always full.

But that’s not why I loved her. In the middle of the night when the moon was high in the sky and the wind huffed and puffed up against the house, she would pluck feathers from her wings and trace squares and diamonds and stars on my arms until I fell asleep. Sleepless nights would be spent curled up against her body with her wings wrapped around me. When trips to the grocery store became sparser, the pantry emptied and emptied until eventually even the mice were struggling to find crumbs. My brother’s and my stomach would cry out louder and louder until our wailing grew too hard for my mom to bear. She would impale herself again and again and again until our stomachs were stuffed with her flesh and blood.

Addisyn Clapp is a junior creative writing major at Young Harris College in the North GA mountains. She is a co-editor in chief of the college’s literary magazine Artemas. In May of 2024, she hopes to graduate and has plans to pursue an MFA in creative writing.

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