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Roman Charity

By Tracy Brimhall Essay

THE LAST TIME YOU SAW your mother alive, she helped you heal from your C-section. It wasn’t what you planned, with your careful study of the benefits of natural childbirth, your doula, your pelvic carriage the midwife called beautiful. Your own mother’s births had been natural, her milk abundant. She always said that being a mother…

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Scale

By Chelsea Wagenaar Poetry

______I am soft sift ______In an hourglass _____________ —Hopkins Against the darkening winterplum sky, a lone contrail whitens—loose thread, untufted cotton. A perfect inverse of me: ____________________________Lenten moon of my belly taut, halved by a slurred gray line. Linea nigra, the doctor says, my belly button’s new ashen tail a ghostly likeness of the cut…

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Waiting

By Sarah Klassen Poetry

On the hospital bed, a body: long, straight, and still breathing, though the eyes don’t open and the ears can’t hear. No sound escapes the body’s vocal cords to slip across its lips. Two women on straight-backed chairs watch and wait. The woman who is the mother naturally insists on hoping. Says she sees eyelashes…

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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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Near-Annunciation at Carroll’s Point

By John Terpstra Poetry

First try, the bird dropped                                              from the sky, belly-flopping the surface that separates our two worlds, and came up empty.                                     He rose again and wung away in easy, languorous strokes, as if it was all part of the plan. Hunger returned him. But whose? What surprises us now, despite our dragnet…

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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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Garden of the Gods

By Janet Peery Short Story

  The following excerpt appears in Peery’s new novel, What the Thunder Said. Copyright 2007 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. Available this spring wherever books are sold.   YES, SHE KNEW THEM. They were her grown sons Sam and William and she loved them dearly but she wished…

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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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Faith, Hope, Charity

By Margaret Gibson Essay

AMMA IS COMING to live in Richmond,” Mom announced one night at the dinner table. Elizabeth and I looked at each other quickly. Which of us would have to give up her bedroom? Immediately I began constructing an argument in my mind, listing the reasons why Elizabeth’s room would be more suitable for Amma—it was farther…

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Facts about the Moon

By Gina Ochsner Essay

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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