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Go Gentle

By Richard Pierce Poetry

What good is fighting now? You’re dying. Light will greet you wherever you go. Or it will not. Go gentle into that good night. Why rage against your sleep another night with fists that won’t unclench the twisted sheet? What good is fighting now? Your dying light shines its blossom of sharpened bones. Your plight,…

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My Mother’s Visit

By Richard Jones Poetry

My mother was the first pianist I ever heard. All through childhood I was spellbound by her gift, her virtuosity. Now I welcome her to my house, show her the grand piano, and lift the lid to its full height and glory. I ask her to join me on the black bench. At ninety my…

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Tongue Is the Pen

By Brett Foster Poetry

Isaiah 43 I am making all things new! Or am trying to, being so surprised to be one of those guys who may be dying early. This is yet one more earthen declaration, uttered through a better prophet’s more durable mouth, with heart astir. It’s not oath-taking that I’m concerned with here, for what that’s…

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Question for My Father

By William Wenthe Poetry

When I look up, into the needles of the cypress tree, brown in November, I see cinnamon—I see wood of violins, breast feathers of the sedge wren, a setter’s fur, toasted grain…. I see the cypress glowing within a cloudless noon, pale blue at horizon as background of a Botticelli annunciation, that turns unpaintably, achingly…

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The Breaking Strain of Grace

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

Holy Week again:             unleavened sky, all tensions held past hold. Mostly, what I feel is the unlikelihood. These days, pick a miracle,             there’s science to explain it. Say it’s nighttime in the Garden, Jesus praying in a bloody sweat: Hematidrosis—rare; not unknown—            …

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Fauré in Paris, 1924

By Floyd Skloot Poetry

Nearing eighty, Fauré has found the end of sound. He never would have guessed it had so much to do with the Mediterranean light of childhood, or lake breezes swirling all summer at Savoy, and so little to do with music growing quieter everywhere but in his mind. He is relieved to hear the garbled…

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A Conversation with Madeline DeFrees

By Jennifer Maier Interview

Madeline DeFrees is the author of two chapbooks and eight full-length poetry collections, including Spectral Waves (Copper Canyon, 2006) and Blue Dusk (Copper Canyon, 2001), winner of the 2002 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Washington Book Award, as well as two books of nonfiction about convent life. She spent many years as a nun…

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Window

By Rod Jellema Poetry

He looks skyward and sees he forgot to snap off the lamp in his upstairs study. He’d call it aging, but aging is not, he tells himself, a downward slope. He hadn’t climbed to get here. His life isn’t a hill. It’s more like a long sleep, with tens of thousands of dreams, dreams of…

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The Art Student

By Charles Turner Short Story

MRS. WALLER WAS seventy-one years old and she kept her invalid husband in cigarettes and beer by posing for the figure-drawing class at the academy. Her first name was Inez, but neither the instructor nor the students ever called her anything but Mrs. Waller. Darrell Horn, honorably discharged from Uncle Sam’s navy, had no idea…

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The Reading Wars

By Jeanne Murray Walker Essay

IT’S 103 DEGREES in Lincoln, Nebraska, and my mother is sitting at the kitchen table, twisting the elastic steel band of my father’s big watch around her wrist. She is paging through a book as massive as the New York telephone directory. It contains all of Shakespeare’s plays. The letters are the size of midges,…

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