Sage Tyrtle

Happy Elephants Daycare Center

We sat in tiny green and purple chairs and drew sunny days. We made bars out of wooden blocks and drove our Hotwheels home, dizzy and wavering. We stacked plastic doughnuts. The strongest doughnut on the bottom. We talked about our mean parents and what we wished we were drinking instead of apple juice. We talked about not knowing where the bruises came from. We talked about how we said sorry to Emma and Liam and Ava for what we broke. We made light and airy Lego houses and the people inside loved each other more than whisky. And when the roof repairs were finished at the church and our AA group could meet there again, we missed the daycare center. The dancing animals on the walls, the residue of childish joy.

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Sage Tyrtle’s work is available or upcoming in New Delta Review, The Offing, and Apex among others. She’s told stories on stages all over the world and her words have been featured on NPR, CBC, and PBS. She runs a low cost online writing workshop collective. Twitter: @sagetyrtle