Talking Stones

by Amanda Chiado

When my parents say move the stones they mean hide the guns.  My father has an aversion to metal, which makes my mother hard to love.  Instead I want to play with my dolls, but my mother keeps soft things on high shelves.  I put my head in the water and look for that treasure, dunk in like I am hungry for wet, red apples.  I am angry I can’t bring up the boulder because I can’t hold my quest long enough.  My father’s eyes are suspicious apples, drunk fairy tales tripping in the giant’s woods.  When I disappoint my mother the golden stones of my heart sink down to meet their suffocated maker.

Amanda Chiado’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart, and Best of the Net. She has twice attended Squaw Valley on scholarship in fiction and poetry. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and California College of the Arts where she was the poetry editor for Eleven Eleven. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Witness, Cimarron Review, Fence, and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop, among others. She works for the San Benito County Arts Council, is an active California Poet in the Schools, and edits for Jersey Devil Press and Weave. She lives with her husband and two children in rural Hollister, California where she sings, dances and collects horror-movie memorabilia. Get weirder at

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