MER - Mom Egg Review

D.W. McKinney – Sun Tea

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Desaree McKinney

Sun Tea

 

When the dust storms dwindle and the air is thick with heat, I pull a 1-gallon jar from the cabinet beside the kitchen sink. My mother gifted me the jar, an imitation of her own, which is an imitation of my grandmother’s jar. I rest the heavy glass in the sink’s basin and unscrew the lid. My hands become my grandmother’s, slick with dishwater and smooth from years of Jergens All-Purpose Face Cream. Water laps up the sides of the glass and catches generations of silent anticipation and gentle glee. When the jar is full, my hands become my mother’s manicured fingertips plucking tea bags from a battered box. I add eleven tea bags. Depending on her mood, my mother adds four, five, or six, and my grandmother says, “However many I want.” What remains constant is the Lipton, the radiant sun, and the purpose. I set my jar on the back cement patio, my mother’s rests on a balcony with chipped green paint and protruding nails, and my grandmother’s resides on a deck with a smooth finish. Our jars fill with summer’s light and rippling brown waves. When the water is nice and dark, sediment gathering in the bottom, we add sugar and lemon and a dash of what we only share among the three of us. We watch our husbands, our children, and our children’s children sip, sigh, and curl into their sweet relief.

 


DW McKinney is a Black American writer based in Nevada. She serves as a nonfiction editor for Shenandoah and editor-at-large for Raising Mothers. Her writing has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The McNeese Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Narratively, PANK, and it has been anthologized in I’m Speaking Now (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2021) and If That Mockingbird Don’t Sing (Alternating Current, 2022). Say hello at dwmckinney.com.
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