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To Begin With

By Kathleen A. Wakefield Poetry

I am going to lie down in the field, grass a green halo over my head. I’ll let the sun singe the peach, my flesh, luxurious, ruined. Let rain have its way with me so I can feel my mother’s washcloth on my face, hand I turned from. Lord, soften the hard pit of my…

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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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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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My Mother in Connecticut

By Daniel Donaghy Poetry

After the snow stops and the sky opens cloudless over the mountains, and after three pairs of cardinals flutter back to our feeder, I stand by the kitchen window watching them as I did two years ago this week, talking to you on the phone, tube in your throat capped, strength, you said, coming back…

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Lent

By Kelcey Parker Short Story

LENT SHOULD BE in the summer that she might make use of the hotel pool, bandaged up outside like an open wound. She never had a pool. She had a cat but her cat is dead. Buried in leftover snow behind the garage until the ground softens. It would be nice to swim in a pool.…

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I Tell My Mother Lies

By Daniel Taylor Essay

I TELL MY mother lies. Sometimes three or four times a day. I lie mostly about money. That I’ve sent it or that I’m just about to send it. Or that surely I will send it tomorrow. My mother waits for money like the bums waited for Godot. One day she called seventeen times. So…

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Waterfall

By Scott Russell Sanders Short Story

(1994) FROM THE BREAKFAST BUFFET, Aurora slipped an apple and a banana into the pockets of her apron before opening the doors of the Seneca Hotel café. She looked around for the two skinny, towheaded schoolboys who often sidled up to accept her secret handouts. She never gave them donuts or sugary drinks, but always…

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The Earth

By Cintio Vitier Poetry

Matter, mother, Maria Names that come from the beginning With tractor or dragged plow or pick, shovel, spade, hoe, black, reddish, parched, mud-caked, the earth is hard to break. Men labor over it as over a woman virgin even after giving birth, laboring as on a sea whose waves close above him—foam, blossom—as men work…

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Lament

By Allison Backous Essay

How I would like to believe in tenderness— —Sylvia Plath, “The Moon and the Yew Tree”   HOLY SEPULCHRE Mausoleum and Cemetery sits in a fenced green block on Ridgeland and 111th Street, five minutes south of my apartment. I pass that corner at least once a week, and when I pass it, I pass…

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