I have written "Normal" as a response to the white father saying to his daughter, who had just brought a black boy home, "You know what normal is? I just want you to be normal." And then "What the Bones Said" is a comment on the effect of secrets, like the racism coded in words like "normal" or the crushing expectations coded in words like "mother."
Dr. Emily Bobo is the author of Fugue (Lost Horse Press, 2009) and editor of Bobo Books. She teaches writing to single moms, ex-cons, and military vets at Ivy Tech Community College, where she is a professor of English and department chair of Fine Arts & Humanities.
Dr. Bobo reads "Normal," "What the Bones Said," and "Half-Hearted Ghazal at the Half-Way Point."