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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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Landscape with No Variations

By Charles Wright Poetry

The view from the west-facing window dwindled and gloamed. The flies continued to buzz, ________________________the mice never set a pad down. The flies continued to buzz. Who is the father of time, death or his arrogant brother?  

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One Morning

By Jóanes Nielsen Poetry

Everything solid Melts away The knot in the heart Laughter from the lips Waves come loose from the ocean Grind the shingle into gritty lines Every line is sea-scum and the cry of gulls The moon drags up water and the fluids of my body My veins—a red hammock beneath the moon I dream I…

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Kermes Red

By Melissa Range Poetry

Called crimson, called vermilion—“little worm” in both the Persian and the Latin, red eggs for the carmine dye, the insect’s brood crushed stillborn from her dried body, aswarm in a bath of oak ash lye and alum to form the pigment the Germans called Saint John’s blood— the saint who picked brittle locusts for food,…

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Day Lilies

By Elaine Neil Orr Short Story

SHE KEPT WAKING up at 4:45 in the morning, and when she did she felt lonelier than death, like an iron globe was locking over her heart. A dull but definite click. She could almost feel it, a shudder in the bed. Sometimes she went back to sleep and she would oversleep, staying in bed…

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In Tandem

By Fred Marchant Poetry

If a winter storm had ever toppled the blue spruce that towered over the Tandem nursing home, you would not have asked how old the tree was and by that mean a good life had been long enough. You would not have said the tree would no longer suffer indignities and use that to erase…

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Unless a Kernel of Wheat Falls

By Ryan Masters Essay

I. EVERY FACE IN THE NEONATAL intensive care unit looked apologetic and scared, like old, lonely men do on their deathbeds. A nurse told my wife Georgie how lonely she had been ever since her husband died. An intern cried alone in the far corner of the room and sent her condolences later via email. One…

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Waiting with Cynthia

By Jeffrey Harrison Poetry

While my brother and I waited for our father to die, which took longer than we thought it would, one of the hospital’s chaplains came in to visit us. Her name was Cynthia, and the first thing she did was read some passages from The Book of Common Prayer as we stood around our father—…

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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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