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Family and Relationships

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Their Last Argument

I picture my father, dead a dozen years now, reaching from the great beyond to tap me on the shoulder. “What do you want, Pa?” I ask. “Look,” he says. “I’ve been practicing my moonwalk.”

By Peter E. Murphy September 2022
Fiction

Inmates

We’d been divorced for almost six years when my ex-wife called and asked if I’d like to live in the bottom apartment of her duplex. I had been moving from place to place, exhausting welcome after welcome, until I’d wound up at my parents’ house, but even they had had enough of me. Sure, they told me, David had died, and they doubted I would ever get over it, but skulking around their house day in and day out was no cure for grief.

By Daniel DiStefano September 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Thistle Steps

I have recently made a new enemy. She is a black, curly-haired cocker spaniel walking a man holding a leash. We pass each other sometimes on the steep, narrow public stairs called the Thistle Steps. . . . I could try talking to the man, but I’m never wearing my hearing aids when we meet, so I wouldn’t be able to hear his reply.

By Elana Kupor 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
Poetry

Preparations

You can prepare for some things. / Others fall on you like / meteors ripping open the sky.

By Bill Glose September 2022
Fiction

Staying Under

In the motel’s retro, kidney-shaped, outdoor pool, thirty minutes till close, no lifeguard on duty, Harry Snow swims his first submerged lap, his long-lost special ability.

By Steve Pett September 2022
The Sun Interview

All In The Family

Faith Friedlander On Adoption And Parenthood

Not every adopted adult needs the same thing, but I do think most adoptees, at some point in their lives, will want to look into their past. And someone in their birth family might come searching for them. With the Internet and readily available DNA tests, it’s not so easy to hide anymore.

By Mark Leviton 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
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