When I had Annina, the narrator says, her first-born child was eight years old, frost covered the geraniums, and something "warm and wet" ran down her legs. She lost her second pregnancy at only nine weeks from a spontaneous abortion. Secretly, she names the tiny girl "Annina" and tucks her inside her heart and mind, where for years she nurtures her, protects her, dresses her, listens to her language, and watches her grow to a daring adventuress, though she is Thumbelina small, and carries a needle for a sword. Annina eventually moves on and the narrator will not dare to ask her to come home.


An entrancing, first-person monologue about the "rest of life" experience following a miscarriage. Others may never think of the event again, but the mother does not forget. She imagines the absent one in contrast to her other offspring, and realizes its unrealized potential in her mind.

Primary Source

Love of Fat Men



Place Published

Harmondsworth, U.K.



Page Count