Driving & Crying by Steve Edwards

There I am, 24, crying my eyes out at the stoplight at 9th & Main, crossing the Tapawingo Bridge and beating the steering wheel. There’s my car — a gold Saturn. The one the salesman kneed hard to prove its side-panels wouldn’t dent. As I remember it, the problem was that I wanted everything backContinue reading “Driving & Crying by Steve Edwards”

Two Micros by Maura Alia Badji

Benediction   All day I snap fresh sheets over antique beds, carry cart-loads of snowy towels still warm from the basement laundry, stop long enough to catch breeze from a window above Mohonk lake. All rooms must be done by three. Sweat streaks my legs, clings the green polyester uniform to breasts and back. I haul my cart from roomContinue reading “Two Micros by Maura Alia Badji”

The Last Six Cookies in the Package by Hannah Grieco

For the middle of the night, sneaking out of your bed, wide awake and hungry: a peach, leftover spaghetti, the last six cookies in the package. Eat fast, before your parents wake up, before the furnace kicks in downstairs, before monsters creep toward you from the shadows. Slink back to your room, bursting but notContinue reading “The Last Six Cookies in the Package by Hannah Grieco”

Two Essays by William Woolfitt

W Is for Wet Concrete   In the corner of the graveyard, not far from his church, Father Wernerus builds a concrete altar with niches. Before the concrete dries, he embellishes it with crushed purple glass, golden tiles. He sees in his designs clusters of grapes, ears of wheat. He imagines visitors who will come, and see, and beContinue reading “Two Essays by William Woolfitt”

Dial-Up Days by Kathryn Kulpa

  Once there was a Blockbuster on every corner, and from every radio Kurt Cobain sang about teen spirit. But Kurt was not a teenager anymore, and neither was I. We were a generation waiting to be named, a weak signal of discontent arcing our way across analog airwaves into a digital wilderness. In those daysContinue reading “Dial-Up Days by Kathryn Kulpa”

Making It Back to Shore with No Sign of Your Footsteps in the Sand—or Sight of You on the Horizon by Keith Hoerner

I. I stand in water. It sloshes ’round my scuffed black leather wingtips, laps up the ankles of my rumpled dress slacks, turns khaki to the color of murky brown. Onlookers furrow their brows, incredulous that I do not see I am in danger of drowning, that if I don’t make a move for it,Continue reading “Making It Back to Shore with No Sign of Your Footsteps in the Sand—or Sight of You on the Horizon by Keith Hoerner”

BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH by Jacqueline Doyle

“People with dementia often ask to go home. … many nursing homes and hospitals have installed fake bus stops. When a person asks to go home, an aide takes them to the bus stop, where they sit and wait for a bus that never comes.” Larissa MacFarquhar, “The Memory House,” New Yorker (October 8, 2018) On ourContinue reading “BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH by Jacqueline Doyle”

Pet Negotiations by Hema Nataraju

My six-year-old daughter wants a pet. No, she needs a pet –her words, not mine. As much as I love dogs, I’m not a pet person. Not at this point in my life. This almost-40, perpetually exhausted mother of two (including an extremely active toddler) has no energy left to take care of one moreContinue reading “Pet Negotiations by Hema Nataraju”

Phil by Karen Walker

Minute one: I tell Phil he’ll be free. No more vomiting, pain, or bitter pills. That he’ll run fast again. That there’ll be lots of squirrels and sunshine forever. Minute two: I tell him I love him, filling sixty seconds with our nine years. Three: Force a smile and laugh about puppyhood. How he chewedContinue reading “Phil by Karen Walker”

Parenting in the Wild by Carmen Kinniburgh

Seconds after I began swaying in a lakeside hammock with my baby cradled in my arms, my 3- and 5-year- olds began to wander out of my sight into the thick of the nearby woods. Barefoot and bathing-suited, they were armed with sticks and their imaginations; peals of laughter and the crack of dry woodContinue reading “Parenting in the Wild by Carmen Kinniburgh”