by Carolyn R. Russell

A seagull tiptoes towards me with short, tentative steps, her tracks a sandy geometry of renounced solitude. I throw her a few potato chips, but the creature doesn’t move; her red-rimmed eyes stare into my own. I understand… my puny reparations are laughable. The gull’s face is suddenly illuminated; the plump dishwater clouds have parted and scattered. The beach is transformed, an ambered postcard, every rock and stem and wave redefined by an alchemy of salt and sunlight. An ordinary miracle, sufficient unto this day.


Carolyn R. Russell is the author of “In the Fullness of Time,” a dystopian thriller published by Vine Leaves Press in 2020. Her humorous YA mystery, “Same As It Never Was,” was released in 2018 by Big Table. “The Films of Joel and Ethan Coen,” her volume of film criticism, was published by McFarland & Company in 2001. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been featured in numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, Flash Fiction Magazine, Club Plum Literary Journal, Ekphrastic Review, Reflex Press, and Dime Show Review. She holds an M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University, and has taught on the college, high school, and middle school levels. Carolyn lives on and writes from Boston’s North Shore. More on her website.