Benevolence, Georgia

Persephone, Esther Tang



When I think about 1945, I think about peaches.

Sweet and fuzzy with a fat, brown pit smack in the center.

I remember biting into a fresh May peach from the backyard

when my mother ran into the kitchen yelling the war was over.


I was twelve. Mother hugged Aunt Bev and they cried into the nape

of each other while I licked my sticky fingers and tried not to

drip on the floor. They started calling it Victory Day,

but to me, in southern Georgia, the only victories were the three peaches

I ate while sitting on the kitchen floor. My mother stayed inside all day

to listen to the radio. I collected the eggs like I did every morning.


I waved at the mailman. I picked more peaches

from the tree in the yard and thought of ways to politely

ask my mother if she would bake a pie. Aunt Bev babbled all day,

saying Uncle Frank would come home soon. I put the eggs in the cupboard.


The static drone of the radio, summer cicadas. I went outside

to wait for fireflies and watch the sun abandon another day.

A furry caterpillar climbed on my bare foot. It was a Tuesday.

The boys next door were playing cops and robbers, finger guns in hand.


About the Author

Emma Ditzel, Loyola University

Emma Ditzel is a rising senior at Loyola University Maryland where she studies writing and theatre. Emma is from Ocean City, Maryland, a town that she loves, but now resides in Baltimore, Maryland, the city where her heart belongs. Emma enjoys poetry, ice cream, arts and crafts, feminist literature, and unhealthy amounts of online shopping. “Benevolence, Georgia” first appeared in Corridors. 

About the Artist

Esther Tang, Rice University

“Persephone” first appeared in R2: The Rice Review. 

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