Sawtelle Meadows

by Tracy Shields

She died on Tuesday. They buried her that Friday, lying on her side, sprinkled with dandelions, chicory and sundrops, just as she had asked. It was only a week before, she said, “Mommy, when I am in my coffin, I want it to be like when I slept that one summer in the grass, out by Sawtelle Meadows, near Henry's Lake.” The flowers were so fragrant and the mountain watched in the distance, still and high like God. Her tiny titanium lungs rattled with every exhale and seemed to crush under the weight of her inhale. "Shhh," her mother said, stroking her delicate child’s hand, 'you have a long way to go before you sleep with the flowers."

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Tracy Shields graduated from Rutgers University, magna cum laude, with a degree in English Literature and Journalism. She was Concept Editor of the Painted Bride Quarterly from 2001-2006. She currently works and writes from home in New Jersey and has two beautiful sons, Daniel and Julien. Her short story "Stay" is in this month's Word Riot. Please visit her here.