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Portrait of Us at Kamas Country Store, Uinta Mountains - Jessica Challis

We were driving through the forest late September, the aspen leaves turned lemon, rust, and scarlet, when we came upon a little country store. I’d never noticed it before. A small log cabin, just two rooms, one for selling and one for cooking. I roamed the aisles, picking up smoked mozzarella here,

a sasquatch sticker, a stuffed deer, and a piece of pecan turtle fudge. Instead of the Redd’s I wanted I found hard kombucha— even better. The prices were high

which made sense considering the sky blue topless Porche in the parking lot, the overpriced trinkets and souvenirs for those out-of-towners visiting Park City. We weren’t tourists per se—

we lived just an hour away— but just as foreign, two women holding hands, standing so close my hip touched the small of your back, sneaking a kiss in the beef jerky section,

in a town of where Trump swept the election. My mind went back to the girl I was, staying in Kamas every summer at our family cabin, reading the Book of Mormon by day,

hoping I won’t be bad anymore if I pray hard enough. Now here I am, in line with my hard kombucha, in a tank top and short shorts more like the tourists than the good

Christian farmers like I could have been, would have been. As we drove back home, I devoured the fudge, wishing I didn’t feel ashamed of us.


Jessica Challis is a poet, art teacher, and mother of two. She has been published in poetry, fiction and art many times. She won first place in poetry for Touchstones Journal of Literature and Art in Fall 2019 and was awarded runner up in creative writing at Utah Valley University Showcase 2020.



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