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Scout’s Honor

By Christopher Howell Poetry

During the Oregon centennial celebration, my Boy Scout troop, dressed as cowboy cavalry, was brought to the dog track to rout a whole tribe of Cub Scouts dressed as Indians in a wild reenactment of a battle that had never occurred or had occurred a thousand times, depending on your degree of historical specificity. Firing…

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A Freak of Nature

By Valerie Sayers Short Story

THE FIFTIES. I don’t remember much—I was a small child—but I do know that fear was always buzzing in the background, like static from a transistor radio: a jangly, jazzy fear, not altogether unhappy. The day I discover I’m a freak of nature, the thrill runs from my bellybutton to my throat. We’ve come to…

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The Medicine of Immortality

By Daniel Donaghy Poetry

was what our nuns called it, the bread of angels, the Lord’s supper on the eve of his pure and holy sacrifice, their black habits hovering over us like threats, always the rosary dangling from a curveless hip, always chalk dust swirled on the cracked blackboard, above which the patron saints sat awaiting our prayers…

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Boy in a Blue Sweatshirt

By Jessie Van Eerden Essay

I RECALL THE FACE OF A BOY wearing a blue sweatshirt, and I want to tell him that I’ve fallen in love and that I saw a fox midday like a flare, that I saw a black bear in the laurel just this evening and that the roar of life is in me. And I…

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A Psalm to Say these Words until I Can Hear Them

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

I will my soul to waken, and my soul does not wake. My mind busies itself, remembering forgotten songs from my adolescence. My mind recalls anything, so as not to listen. I will my hands to be calm, Lord, and they fly to my teeth to crease my nails. Lord, I will myself to be…

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This Is My Body

By Suzanne M. Wolfe Essay

I HAVE A BLACK AND WHITE photograph taken in 1967 that I found among my grandmother’s things after she died. In the foreground, my grandmother sits on a blanket, smiling self-consciously for the camera. To her left my brother stands in a seven-year-old boy’s macho pose with hands on hips, his smooth, hairless chest thrust…

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Cure

By Gina Ochsner Short Story

BECAUSE IT WAS a Monday, the day their father, Pastor Eino Hililla, spent eight and sometimes twelve hours preparing the Sunday morning sermon, Lowell led his younger brother Jonas through the parsonage yard, past the cemetery. Past the dark walnut trees, through a thicket of manzanita, down to the dark tongues of water where they…

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Twins

By Philip Terman Poetry

Like one nation divided, the older—by three minutes—bragged: We had a race, and I won. The younger would respond: We had a fight. I kicked him out. Impossible to tell them apart— in photos, in home movies— hairy and smooth in equal measures, matching clothes, thin bodies, freckled, blue eyes behind black-framed glasses— as babies,…

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A Conversation with Marilyn Nelson

By Jeanne Murray Walker Interview

The daughter of a Tuskegee Airman and a teacher, Marilyn Nelson was brought up primarily on military bases and started writing while still in elementary school. She earned her BA from the University of California, Davis, and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1970) and the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1979). Her…

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The Soul

By Kate Farrell Poetry

for my father Having pictured the soul as a kind of private moon that hovered invisibly above a person’s shoulder, when my mother said a man and woman’s love for one another could bring their child’s soul down from heaven to be born, I saw it as a cloud-like orb slipping down from the vicinity…

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