Caught In The Act
Smoking in the girls’ room, sneaking a drink, napping
Soybeans look like a foot of water on the field in April / When you’re ready to plant and can’t get in
Democracy disciplined and enlightened is the finest thing in the world. A democracy prejudiced, ignorant, superstitious will land itself in chaos and may be self-destroyed.
The Elephant In The Room
Rick Perlstein On The Evolution Of The American Conservative Movement
In a lot of ways the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861 found its modern parallel on January 6, 2021.
I wasn’t good at sports, like he was, but when it was just the two of us, he liked to play pretend. That, I was good at. Whether we were knights or ninjas or mountain men or astronauts or soldiers in Vietnam, he listened with his whole self — intent, leaning in — to whatever story I was telling.
Being in remission is like air: you only appreciate it when it’s gone. After four years of not appreciating it, I’m back on Vancouver Island, where I work at the university as a cafeteria dishwasher.
How We Met And What Happened Next
A middle-aged New England lawyer, you were dressed like a cowboy. This, as much as anything else, underscored that it was over between us. A suede-fringe jacket. Snakeskin boots with stacked heels. An oversized Stetson. What, I said, no spurs?
My granddaughter barely speaks. Her name is Effie, which in Greek means “well-spoken.” Maybe in Greece she would be. Names aren’t expected to match the person. If they were, we’d be named upon our death, when someone would have a stab in the dark at getting it right.
Many of these ranchers — private and skeptical of strangers — did not have the time or interest to share their lives with me. What was I doing here, and why could I possibly be interested in them?
A Thousand Words
A new feature in the magazine, A Thousand Words features photography so rich with narrative that it tells a story all on its own.
The Wedding Gift
From the moment Ashlee asked me to be a bridesmaid, / I understood what my wedding gift needed / to be. It wasn’t the set of tumblers / I shipped her from 14th Street, daffodils and dandelions / climbing the sides. It wasn’t helping her angel of a mother / practice her speech, making pencil marks for pauses / and every deep breath. No, my gift / to Ashlee started when she told me Cate from college / would be a bridesmaid, too.
I held an iPad for Miguel as he lay in his hospital bed / so he could see his family sheltered at home. / He was suffocating, this man who at the worst of times / would only tell his loved ones, Me siento bien. / All around us the equipment of life / and death was buzzing, humming, beeping, / a stubborn choir of mockingbirds.
My Mother Says She Does Not Know How To Cook
“How did you make this?” she always asks. “A recipe,” I tell her. No magic trick. No skill. Just buying ingredients, following directions, not varying from what I’m supposed to do.