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”

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”

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”

Blood Linguistics by Evan Sheldon

I have a friend who used to call me in the middle of the night. I would answer and could barely make out his words. He was most likely in a bar when he would call. We were all most likely in bars at the time, really anytime. Even though he now lives several statesContinue reading “Blood Linguistics by Evan Sheldon”

Tilt by Pat Foran

Can you put me on tilt? my leaning son asks. He can’t help this leaning, even though he’s seat-belted and secure in this wheelchair he’s been sitting in living in declining in the past dozen years. He can’t grip the chair’s controls he can’t control his grip he doesn’t have a grip not anymore. HisContinue reading “Tilt by Pat Foran”