Pioneer Mother

Roy Stafford examines Patricia Walsh’s new ear piercing while she’s busy erasing an answer on her quiz. Small turquoise studs to accompany her regular gold hoops. Her desk is by the window, so her ears look fuzzy from the sliver of afternoon sun. Instead of filling out his own history quiz, Roy stares at Patricia and imagines all the things he can say to her after class. When she leans down to her backpack on the ground, she stops and manages a startled smile in Roy’s direction.

“New piercing,” he whispers. “I like it.”

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