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When she looked in the mirror, she imagined herself as someone very different from the person she’d become. Not the sort of woman who was about to purchase a child on a home-equity loan from some poor young desperate thing whom fate had tricked and whose womb had performed the labor of incuba…

Infant Ward

This child is not my own, but still the words of possession slip from me: “My baby girl. My sweet baby.” Although I’ve never seen her before, I think I know what she needs: the lights at her hospital bedside dimmed, her loose arms girdled securely against her chest. She has no nam…

Sunbeams (Issue #293)

He had vowed long ago, and renewed his vow frequently, that if holding hands in a circle and singing hymns . . . was what it took to make life endurable, he would rather die. Annie Dillard

Radical Grace

An Interview With Will D. Campbell

 When we said, “Be a Christian,” who we really got that from was Thomas Merton: Be what you are. You are already katallagete ; you are already reconciled. So behave as if that’s true. It’s a fine point to make, but it’s a very important and, I think, radical poin…

Witness

I had always thought of us as a model family. My mother taught nursery school. My father was the high-school principal. I was a twirler, which meant that on game days or national holidays — and especially Founder’s Day, the Founder being our direct dead relative — I’d put on…

Blind Angels

Pittsburgh, at the end of another terribly hot day in an unending string of terribly hot days, is a forge, the air like damp, tepid gauze. The people on the streets look stretched, desperate, short-tempered. My poetry reading, part of the eighteen-day Bloomfield Sacred Arts Festival, is being held …

The Russian Children Are Not Happy

Now she’s rocking back and forth, back and forth in her padded rocker, holding a pillow to her stomach with one hand, bringing her drink to her mouth with the other, and moaning every now and then, “How did this happen? How did this happen?” And I don’t know if she means Boo…