Threads by Leah Browning


I was only five when a tiger bit off one of my hands.

My mother filled a glove with sand and sewed it to my stump.  Every year, she cut the seam with a miniature pair of sewing scissors and stitched on a new glove.

Under my clothes, the skin of my arms and legs became a patchwork.  A small pillow with a pattern of rosebuds took the place of a shoulder.

Dinnertime.  My mother sent me outside with a bucket of raw meat.

With my remaining hand, I rang the bell.  I waited as they walked toward me.


Leah Browning is the author of three nonfiction books for teens and pre-teens.  Her fourth chapbook, Out of Body, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.  Browning’s fiction and poetry have recently appeared in Chagrin River Review, Fiction Southeast, Toad, 100 Word Story, The Big Jewel, LitroNY, Mud Season Review, Glassworks Magazine, The Blue Hour Magazine, and with audio and video recordings in The Poetry Storehouse.