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Pilgrims: Snapshots from an Idaho Family Album

By Robert A. Fink Essay

  New Plymouth   WHAT DROVE SUCH PILGRIMS across the sea of southern Idaho, dry plain, sage and antelope? Doesn’t any place hold God, smooth stones to pillow dreams of angels, one rock fitted upon another, raising the pilgrim’s testament: I have come as far as here? How did the displaced, one by one, know…

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Stone on Stone: Israel, 1980

By William Wenthe Poetry

  I stood in the Jaffa Gate and played harmonica for tips. A cluster of men in Arab dress surrounded me, bewildered, smiling. They had never heard a harmonica before, nor could they see, behind my hands, this sound I held to my lips. The long cry of the muezzin, undulating among corbelled roofs, towers,…

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The Kingdom of the Eternal Heaven

By Paula Huston Essay

WE ARE ROCKETING through the steppes into the eye of the setting sun. To the east of us, the great thrusting shoulders of the Tian Shan, or “Celestial Mountains,” are burnished with the deep rose gold you see on icons from the Sinai or tanka paintings from Nepal. According to local lore, deep within the…

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Start with the Trouble

By Daniel Donaghy Poetry

Huge hunks of the silver maple we’d just cut down killing the grass, trunk pieces split into quarters a good hundred pounds each, and my father’s start with the trouble in my head again as I loaded the biggest ones into the wheelbarrow, metal scrape and sawdust, tightrope balance to the woods’ edge, then back…

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The People

By David Yezzi Poetry

This is the season of dried rushes and sodden leaf-matter in parks, when the lightly furred animal bodies of the people break out in sores and a mild but insistent contagion blooms in the chilly dampness. The lowered sun does not yet warm them, despite cerulean skies. The meat-headed race trundles along in groups, God…

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Stuck in Crafts

By Thea Swanson Short Story

I EAT A BALONEY SANDWICH every day on my lunch break at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Yesterday, my father, who is close to enlightenment and who wanted to use my employee discount, came in looking for red fabric for a new prayer shawl. He saw mustard on the corner of my mouth and his eyes darkened, then…

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Peace Like a River

By Robert A. Fink Poetry

I ran down the emergency-room ramp, holding Jon in one arm, pressing the cut with the other, and passed through the sliding glass doors into a narrow corridor lined with Saturday-night gurneys and men and one woman, all slumped or lying down on the black and white checkered tile, all clutching what seemed concussions and…

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Ian’s Angels

By Nancy Willard Poetry

The first angel Ian drew was silent as the sun on empty fields of snow. Nothing was fast or slow, the world not yet begun. The second angel Ian drew sang green out of the ground. Birds of the air, rejoice. Let fire find its voice, each river its own sound. The third angel Ian…

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Scottie

By Elizabeth Smither Short Story

THERE WAS a great blackened pan being eased out of the greasy oven by a tiny old woman in padded oven gloves. No one in the crowded kitchen—yellow walls, hideous mess, marijuana smoke and incense—came forward to help her. But someone, a joker, called out “What is it this time, Scottie? One of your concoctions?”…

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Oriana Fallaci in New York

By Davide Rondoni Poetry

So little was the warrior, how she held out her slimmed down arms to the flowers I carried and to all that which crumbled in such a theatrical New York evening she was lovely and bright, drinking the last of the champagne to avoid that burning in her throat— And she raised her clear eyes…

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