We recently published Sarah Freligh’s gorgeous “What We Remember.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:


1) I love the details you use to paint the girl in this story — she is so real and so vivid here. Are there longer versions of this story with even more detail, or has it always settled in nicely at micro-length?

This one has settled into micro-length, but it’s yet another iteration of a girl who was a minor character in my poem “Yearbook” Class of ’69” from my book Sad Math. I’m fascinated by the girls who sat in the back row of high school classes, who spoke only when called on and who disappeared into another life at the end of each school day. I’ve resurrected her here and will probably do so again in a series of yet-to-be-written micros as a way of making amends for all the people my younger self looked past.

2) Music plays a really important role in this piece. The transistor radio, Diana Ross, those hard, high notes at the end. Do you think the girl found her salvation in music? Was she safer there?

These days we have all kinds of devices — high tech headphones and earbuds — that wall us off from the world even as we’re knee deep in its grime and glory, but first there was the transistor radio. I want to think she plugged into that radio and fell into a safe place — her salvation and her heaven.