The Whirlwind by Lyn Martin

Whirlwind illustration by Lyn Martin

It was a fall day, not cold but cool… a brisk and breezy day, full of that feeling you have when a peppermint melts in your mouth and your nose suddenly wakes up. Except this feeling affects your entire body, your mind and your emotions. I remember that feeling from when I was a child and it always made going back to school seem special. But this was an ordinary school day for me; I was in the fourth or fifth grade. Life was wonderful then, every day was a joy, going to school and … Continue reading The Whirlwind by Lyn Martin

Links of Ladder by Frederick Wilbur

chain links

Links of Ladder   Higher than a hired man’s head, a chain bubbles from the tree’s heart and falling thirteen links, dares a boy’s reaching, his pretending— its original purpose unknown. It is not a hanging tree or surveyor’s witness, but a yard-oak to dream under. The chain was left there in a fork by heart attack or by forgotten convenience, has provoked the grain to snarl and restless, has rubbed a triangle, an arrow, in the gray bark. He sees the ladder he must climb to know how chance and choice can be useful. … Continue reading Links of Ladder by Frederick Wilbur

The Paperboy Sees No Wonder in It… by Rodney Torreson


The Paperboy Sees No Wonder in It— the Snow Giving off the Only Light at 6 AM   The boy could have lived forever sliding down a hill, after watching cartoons. Now the only cartoon is himself falling through drifts to the corner, where he’s one bundle binding himself to others by snapping open their plastic straps and sitting among the papers. He rolls them into funnels, slips them into plastic sheaths, while the first house tugs at him, and he gets up, his steps a kind of wandering from house to house, each one … Continue reading The Paperboy Sees No Wonder in It… by Rodney Torreson

losing the word by Sharon Ackerman

Kimberly, Raft Point painting - Wadjina

losing the word   what is prayer but our limbic words offered to an uncertain trajectory, the cave images given language from our dark cities. i remember your prayer outside memphis whispered just beyond my hearing, lips moving beneath that crumbling billboard the veil between us never thin enough to reach a hand through your words, their white dust prophecy dying muffled against my palm   12 steps in california   he is wary though the treatment center is close enough there is a lost coast inside of him, the jagged reach where his brain … Continue reading losing the word by Sharon Ackerman

The Trapper by Alex Lowe

black bear in woods

Sometimes he dipped his popcorn into his coffee. He only did that when the popcorn was burnt. Today, it was the coffee that was burnt. The popcorn was soggy. But it was breakfast. The same breakfast he had eaten every day for most of his adult life. Popcorn was cheap. Coffee was cheap. Milk never agreed with him anyhow. The sun still was not up, but the sun always rose later in Mississippi. When he lived in the city he never made it awake before the sun. But that was many years ago. Now the … Continue reading The Trapper by Alex Lowe

My Father’s Tears by Jean Auguste Gravel

man grieving

I’ve never seen my father cry. This is surprising because he’s not one of those “boys don’t cry” sorts and never scolded us for tears. With four small boys running around the house, he saw ours almost daily as we grew up, most often for scraped knees or easily forgotten boyhood tragedies. To him, tears were to sadness what laughter was to mirth—each held an important part in the yin and yang of the emotional spectrum. But I thought I saw him cry once. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. I only remember … Continue reading My Father’s Tears by Jean Auguste Gravel