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The Napkin

By Richard Jones Poetry

—Lord, take the stone of my heart and break it— When it comes to conversation, I like the idea of the wailing wall, scribbling a petition on a scrap of paper and slipping the paper scrap into a crack between sun-blistered stones, knowing our prayers may not be granted, but trusting the silence that answers.…

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A Conversation with Ron Hansen

By Brennan O'Donnell Interview

Ron Hansen’s novels are Desperadoes, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (both from Knopf), Mariette in Ecstasy, Atticus, Hitler’s Niece, and Isn’t It Romantic? (all from HarperCollins). Atticus was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Hansen is also the author of the story collection Nebraska…

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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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Caritas

By Jean Hollander Poetry

Hiking in Switzerland with a bad back and doctor’s orders not to fall, through meadows of bluebells and buttercups, daisies and tiny orchids of pale lavender, tiger-striped mossy rocks, forget-me-nots, even the thistles tender in their bristly buds. But danger lurks in beauty of the shining rock slippery with summer melt when here the trail…

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Transfers

By Ilana M. Blumberg Essay

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRANSFER,” my grandmother said. From 1989, she said this to me for ten years. It took two buses to get from the West Side, where I studied and lived, to the East Side, where she had lived her entire life, first on its lower end and now, in her eighties, its upper…

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Deus ex Machina

By Claude Wilkinson Poetry

Many days into any kind of drought, whether lost faith or drying riverbed, god from machine seems the only way out. While the ospreys and quick kingfishers scout for their food in prayer, waiting to be led, many days into any kind of drought begins to weaken resolve and feed doubt, so that birds scoop…

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