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Adolescence

Fiction

Bottom Feeders

I feel close to Dad on the drive home, our legs mud-dry and tired, the tackle box between us, the pillowcase full of fish and ice. She’ll never admit it, but Mom will be impressed, I’m sure. In a million years she’d never guess how we caught so many. I’ll never tell.

By Peter Short October 2022
The Dog-Eared Page

Somebody’s Baby

We can see, if we care to look, that the way we treat children — all of them, not just our own, and especially those in great need — defines the shape of the world we’ll wake up in tomorrow.

By Barbara Kingsolver September 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Private Thing

People laugh about pubescent horniness and untimely erections, but nobody talks about getting them before puberty on a regular basis. I was aroused whenever nothing was demanded of my limbs or mind — in class, at church, on the bus, in the car. Once, I even got hard at football practice while staring off at the Catskill Mountains and half-assing my way through groin stretches.

By John Paul Scotto September 2022
Readers Write

Learning The Hard Way

Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times

By Our Readers September 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

The roots of a child’s ability to cope and thrive, regardless of circumstance, lie in that child’s having had at least a small, safe place (an apartment? a room? a lap?) in which, in the companionship of a loving person, that child could discover that he or she was lovable and capable of loving in return.

Fred Rogers

September 2022
Readers Write

The Bus

A fifth-grade bully, a blossoming romance, a late-night crash

By Our Readers August 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Beetle King

My chest, which was beginning to grow round in the wrong places, had to be hidden under a T-shirt no matter how hot or sweaty I became. Out in the desert I had to squat behind the cover of creosote bushes to pee. At home in my family’s Airstream I was my parents’ youngest daughter, but up in the paloverde I felt like one of the boys.

By Zoë Bossiere July 2022
Poetry

Updated Portrait In A Grocery Store

Most days I stick to the periphery — / produce and eggs and chicken and cheese — / but tonight I am buying peanut butter, / which here is inexplicably placed / with the popcorn and chips.

By Caleb Nolen July 2022
Readers Write

Teeth

Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in

By Our Readers July 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Beacon

I felt a flash of hope for you, even though I knew — because of the distant and resigned tone of your voice — that you were going to die soon.

By John Paul Scotto March 2022