Elmo Lum’s short story “What I Never Said” appeared in NER 27.3:
We dragged my mother by the feet from the van. It was my father to the legs, my brothers to the head. Together carrying my mother to the grave. She was too long. My father grabbed the shovel, hacking again, pebbles ringing, the shade shortening, the sky lightening, turning orange. Then my father and my brother laid my mother in. We took turns shoveling dirt over, pouring the soil over her feet and her body and her clothes.
“Her clothes,” my father said.
We ransacked the van for everything that was my mother: her clothes, her shoes, her socks, her sandals, her hat, the ties for her hair, her hairbrush, her comb, her toothbrush, her jewelry, her journal and sketchbook, and her mysteries. We dropped it all on my mother, half-covered, and buried her together. My father stalked the spot, spreading pebbles with his shoes. He dragged over a run-over cactus.[read more]