JR Walsh




My little sister said why a lot. Why this? Why that? Why everything.
My father said, Stop trying to answer every question every time.
So I said, She wants to know why so I’m telling her.

My father said, She doesn’t care. It’s involuntary.
She’s two years old and wants you to talk to her.
I’m tired of both of you.

I didn’t ask why.

My father left for work.
My sister wanted to know why.
So I said, To get away from you.

Then my mother said, Why’s your sister crying?
I didn’t answer why.
Maybe my father was right.


JR WALSH was born in Syracuse, New York and lives in Boise, Idaho. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Boise State University, where he now teaches English as a Second Language. He is the winner of the 2009 Esquire Fiction Contest. His poetry and fiction is in Alice Blue, Juked, Alba, The Rumpus, and Out of Stock, where he is also the Summer 2017 guest editor. He is writing his first novel.


Read more by JR Walsh:

Two poems in Alice Blue
A short story in Esquire
A short story in Out of Stock