Issue 195 | The Sun Magazine

February 1992

Readers Write


Listening to the scamper of steps, the same question every fifteen seconds, the laughter of the guards

By Our Readers


When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Witness Tree: Memoir Of A Ritual

It is a terrible thing when a brave person becomes afraid of you. It wakes you up. You see that, in Hemingway’s great phrase, you have “gone beyond where you can go.” It is unlikely you can save yourself, and unlikely that any one person — lover, therapist, friend — can save you.

By Michael Ventura
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Prison Experience

The statements accompanying the photographs arose in response to a single question Camhi put to prisoners: “What do you want people to know about the prison experience?”

By Morrie Camhi
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


The men here carry their personal space like body armor. They have been taught the gospel of toughness since they were young. They think it is necessary for survival to wear your strength on the outside.

By Jonathan Huntress
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Small Victory

I crashed my bike once. I bought an R75/5 — my first BMW. I was told I had to earn it. I didn’t quite understand at the time.

By Kate Groff
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Home Alone

If we were in bed, I’d want to make love. If we were talking, I’d want her undivided attention. Am I ever satisfied? What if she were ill? I’d be thankful she was breathing. I’d be thankful for her life.

By Sy Safransky

Italian Supper

A woman prays her husband will never stop looking when she undresses. We’ve come so much further than that. Chuck doesn’t notice me at all.

By Daniela Kuper

What Marvin Knows

Marvin had been watching the car, a red Ford Escort, drive by his house for perhaps twenty minutes. It was driven by a young fellow, probably one of the local college students.

By Lisa Horton Zimmerman

The Prophet Explains Religion

OK so he don’t look like a prophet but he’s / A real smart old guy. Got a place / Over a Chinese restaurant on Broadway / & you got something you want to ask / Just take him some chateau la hooch & go up the back way. / Says PROPHET IS IN on the door.

By Barbara O’Brien

Bedrock Mortar Full Moon Illumination

Seeing the reflection of the full moon / in the rainfilled bedrock mortar holes / where earliest California Indians / ground acorns with circular grinding stones / And sensing how the full moon / is like a mortar stone in the sky

By Antler