Mostly I remember the hills. I remember wondering what made them hills and not mountains or mounds. These are the hills, they said, we don’t go over the hills. The hills were rolling, like the word “hill”: -HI- up and then down – LL- and then -S- over and over as far as I could see. They were covered in trees, which were dark green at the base of the hills and became lighter at the top. I could not see the sky behind them. I was only 9 years old when we drove from my birth city to the city south of us, for my father’s new job. On either side of the freeway, hills, so that we couldn’t travel east or west, only north or south. I asked what was beyond the hills. Something terrible, they said. How did they get here, I asked. That’s a story for when you’re older, they said. But now I am older and no one remembers why or how the hills were made. You can go south or you can go north, they say. But I am going into the hills.
Ali Beemsterboer received her MFA from Western Washington University where she worked as a poetry editor for the Bellingham Review. She loves reading and writing multi-genre works that are playful and inventive with form. She practices Brazilian Jiujitsu and is learning how to paint.