Reader's Diary #945- Ukamaka Olisakwe: Running
But for now, it still jumps out, even for enthusiasts like me. I find myself rereading paragraphs, "translating" 2nd person pronouns into the 3rd, to see if it still works, to see if 2nd person was necessary, something I've never done in reverse. And usually, as with Ukamaka Olisakwe's "Running," I'm convinced that yes, 2nd person was the right choice.
"Running" is about you, as a young girl, suffering physical and emotional abuse from her mother. Eventually you find solace in singing, but the need for your mother's praise, any kind words really, occupies almost all of your thoughts.
The 2nd person perspective makes you empathetic towards that longing all the more. With the conclusion at the end, there is the sense that the outcome had been a daydream, a fantasy, almost a plan versus a memory. Once again, the 2nd perspective compliments this angle as well.
(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below. Also, if you are a writer and have written a short story in the 2nd person perspective, I'm looking to put together an anthology of such stories. Send your contributions my way!)