Genie Zeiger | The Sun Magazine #3

Genie Zeiger

Genie Zeiger was a longtime contributor to The Sun who lived in Shelburne, Massachusetts. She died in 2009.

— From December 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Song Of Forgiveness

What I mean to say is: I want to forgive my ex-husband. I don’t want to die hating, or even resenting, him. We will never make love, never even kiss again. Never. So where is that song of forgiveness, reputed to be so sweet?

December 1998
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Distance

As I listen, a finch flies by outside the window, its gold breast in shiny contrast to the black and white of its wings. My son rarely talks about that trip to Peru three years ago, during which he was shot and his friend Patchen was killed.

November 1998
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


I have been in many women’s groups: walking groups, writing groups, ritual groups, clothing-exchange groups, exercise groups, even a long-ago Tupperware group. So it wasn’t odd to hear Sarah talk, at a meeting of my oldest women’s group, about an entirely different group of women with whom she met. These women rode horses into the deepest part of the woods, and upon arrival, each told a secret.

May 1998
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

How I Find Her

“Do you mean going out in the car and running errands, getting things done? Do you feel you should be doing that now?” I’m trying to find a brain wave I can ride to shore with her. She was always such a strong swimmer. I remember her arms especially, how they’d slice through the blue water at the pool when I was a kid.

June 1997
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


The activity center at my parents’ Florida condo was a low, T-shaped building with sliding glass doors that opened onto room after well-lit room. Signs on these doors read, Bingo, Pottery, Woodworking.

October 1996
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Lighting The Candles

Because she is old, my mother performs the Sabbath ritual very slowly. Sitting in front of the brass candlesticks given to her by her mother, she looks as if God is pressing down hard on the top of her head. Her face juts forward, and the top of her back is rounded. Because she is demented and her short-term memory is shot, it’s impossible to have a conversation with her.

November 1995
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Little Bit

When you’re a child, you have the little bit and it has you. You throw it up and clap your hands. Your father momentarily catches it, but it is yours in your little animal eyes, your tender knees, the way a banana unwraps in your small hands, unzips as you slowly pull down the peel and reveal the soft, pale fruit.

December 1994
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