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"Sunrise on the Camas Prairie" by The Knowles Gallery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hey Christian Girl

You’re ten and afraid. You pull your fabric-covered baby book off the shelf. There, written in blue ink in your mother’s handwriting is the date you prayed to receive Jesus into your heart. You were two. But now it occurs to you that you might not have been sufficiently earnest when you were only two. [...]

Declining Rooms

Lori ran out of her house and into the rain. She didn’t bother to lock the door or check the mailbox or feed the cats. She’d left her lipstick and earrings on the bathroom sink. Her umbrella was inside the hall closet, lost underneath a jumble of Cody’s Earth shoes. And her favorite leather jacket [...]

The Salad Essay

Good Friday I got the bad news my freelance contract would not be extended. I took the bus to the lakefront and gazed at the paltry waves. Then I walked back west, bought myself an excessively large pity pizza and carried it across the street to Simon’s. To every stranger who approached the bar I [...]

Dad: A Ghost

Maybe it was seeing his hand pass right through the plate of chocolate chip cookies on the table for a handful of baby carrot sticks on the veggie tray, or the crumpled tissues he left everywhere: in the armchair, on the coffee table, next to his shoes in the entry hall, like the footprints of [...]

Buried Treasure

I My mother-in-law didn’t know she was moving. My husband said they were just going out to lunch. It was the only way. Angie had refused to budge for decades, but now she was roaming her Pittsburgh street in a robe with nothing on underneath. A note taped to her front door read: “I live [...]

Image by Sr. Maria-Magdalena R. via Pixabay

And the Wounded Disappear

Light now came in through the windows, that pale, deep forest light growing slow and incremental. The cabin smelled of smoke and incense and past lives. The windows were nearly black but for center holes rubbed clean by a need to see. I looked around, but I don’t know why. I had nothing, so I [...]

He came in that summer of dust devils when my father’s eggshell blue Ford wandered late paths too dark to follow. My mother sat in her sewing room, mumbling in long twisted speeches about a “world gone to perdition.” Donald Puckett came walking up our dusty lane one late Sunday evening, past the wisteria and [...]