Prairie Child


Our story of the week is a warm story from the writer Maggie Hellwig.

Maggie graduated from Dickinson College with her BFA in English Literature in 2007, and with her MFA in Writing from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. She is now a writer and instructor of English Literature at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Maggie’s began publishing short stories in high school for now non-existent small publications. At Dickinson College her work was published in the school’s small literary magazine, The Dickinson Review. She has also published book reviews for, political op-eds for, and poems and fiction for the Atticus Review and Curbside Splendor.

In Prairie Child, Maggie writes about a unique child and her connection with nature.


On the day I was born, all the apples from the tree out back fell to the ground. It was a parched season, arriving thirsty. From the blood of my mother’s labor, I emerged with sod dangling from my brow. My roots were pulled and cut. My face enclosed, caked in dirt; but my eyes were open, dewy and light brown. At the ends of my leafy fingers were wrinkled thistles, prickling my mother’s arms. My stem was all wiry with no muscle. My newborn spikes of hair were protected by the milkweed pod of the prairie.

“The thing about milkweed…” my mother explained years later, “it is rough and bland on the outside, but all silk, juices, and seeds on the inside.” She told me that if you throw those seeds all over the land the milkweed will multiply.

She said, “The seed makes love with the wind.“‘ Read More…