EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD
BY DONNA STEINER
Every time she drank a beer, my grandmother tossed the bottle cap into a special drawer next to the kitchen sink. The dented caps jangled when the drawer was pulled open, the treasure inside ideal for the kind of kid I was. Senses steered me – grit of sand in my hair, salt water drying on my shins, the squeaky-hinge song of a blue jay. Can human creatures be both feral and tame? If yes, we were, sipping sweet breakfast tea from fancy cups one minute, frightened by a sudden storm the next. She lived near the ocean; storms were frequent but this one took the cake. We huddled in the hallway, as far from the windows as we could get, jumping in tandem as lightning struck a backyard tree. The boom reverberated inside my lungs; for the first time, I saw my grandmother scared. I imagined all the shiny bottle caps shivering in the drawer, the rough edges of each one shimmying against the rough edges of those just like them, the way we held on to each other in the hall, all jazzed up and electric.