Blackbird Gumbo

by Elizabeth Kuelbs

Sweating, giggling, we ran, bursting the birds like black popcorn out of muddy rice rows. Miss Mae called us back quick, blocked us with her heavy arms like a one woman fence. Our principal aimed, fired. Fat feathered fruit dropped from the damp sky. We fetched the soft prizes, our hollow bellies rumbling, our mouths liquid, already tasting cayenne, thyme, sassafras, okra, sweet tiny meat. Already dreaming of tomorrow’s steaming bowls.


Elizabeth Kuelbs is a student in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. She writes around soccer momming and running a small real estate investment company. Her work has appeared in Vestal Review, Beyond Centauri and a number of children’s magazines.