Holding on to Silver by Rich H. Kenney

Streaks of color on black

Rich H. Kenney, Jr. is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight Magazine‘s 2017 Essay/Memoir contest.   In the summer of 1960, my father got high and I held the ladder. “All you have to do,” he told me, “is to hold it steady and turn the radio dial when I tell you. Whatever you do…” he said, sternly, “don’t move the ladder. That means no talking to friends, no kicking pebbles, and no daydreaming. Got it?” With that, he scooted up the side of our house to the second story, fresh paint from his bucket … Continue reading Holding on to Silver by Rich H. Kenney

Felled by Sharon Louise Howard


“While you’re not doing anything—again, today,” Manda said, “you can get estimates on having that tree cut down.” Ben rolled over and propped himself against the mahogany headboard. He pushed a strand of gray hair off his forehead and watched Manda pick through a dozen or more perfume bottles that took up a quarter of her vanity. “Think you have enough of them?” She selected one and put it aside. “You tell me. One for every Christmas, birthday, and anniversary since you stopped using your imagination.” “Forgot Valentine’s Day.” Ben stretched and thought about getting … Continue reading Felled by Sharon Louise Howard

“Girl, I Hear You’re Fast” Barry Hannah, Old Blue and the Most Valuable Writing Lesson I’ve Ever Learned

electric typewriter

by Mary Carroll-Hackett   I move too fast. Always have. I talk fast, walk fast, read quickly, even had to be taught as a child to slow down while eating, Mama saying things like It’s not a race, Mary, or You know no one’s coming to take that away from you. I was the child she had to keep by the hand if she were to keep me from running too far ahead in stores, racing my way up stairs and escalators, or headlong down them. Sometimes that speed has worked to my advantage, later, … Continue reading “Girl, I Hear You’re Fast” Barry Hannah, Old Blue and the Most Valuable Writing Lesson I’ve Ever Learned

Tooth by Jennifer Coffeen

Teeth lined up on a table

  She felt the first loose tooth at 5am on Tuesday. A back tooth on the lower left side, her wisdom tooth? She felt it the moment she woke up, lying in bed while the monitor screamed in her ear. She pushed her tongue against it and the tooth moved, like a rock rolling around in mud. Nearly painless, she found herself pushing her tongue against it over and over to the tune of the screaming monitor. It reminded her of picking a scab, how the little wince kinda felt nice. “You should do something … Continue reading Tooth by Jennifer Coffeen

The Joplin Room by Anne-Marie Yerks


The woman walking into the lobby wore a brown skirt, white tights, and a pair of clogs. Her name was Shellay—she-lay—and she had a Polish last name that was hard to pronounce. She said she was a librarian and had a nerdy, unkempt look about her: Stringy hair that was dry on the ends, a pasty complexion, and a long thin nose. She wore glasses, of course. All librarians should wear glasses. Hers were a pale shade of rose. She wasn’t from Ohio, as Darcy was guessing, but from Oregon. “I’d like to stay in … Continue reading The Joplin Room by Anne-Marie Yerks

The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison


It was like one of those dreams where you’re trying to reach someone in a crowd and you keep glimpsing the back of their head before they’re swallowed up by the thick humanity. The crowd is impermeable— you try elbowing your way through, but it closes in on you again and you find you haven’t advanced. You’re panicking. You have no voice. It wasn’t a dream, though, and I didn’t need to use my elbows—I just couldn’t get to you. You kept disappearing around corners, into rooms, your shadow bending all over the wallpaper and … Continue reading The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison

The Creative Path: From Couch Potato to Camera Buff


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu   My father gave me a brand new digital camera for Christmas in 2005 and it sat on a shelf for a year and a half. “How are you liking that little camera I gave you?” he asked me one day. “Well, I haven’t really opened it up yet,” I had to confess. “Well, get it out and fire it up!” he chimed. I wanted to take pictures, but part of me didn’t want to have to open it. That would … Continue reading The Creative Path: From Couch Potato to Camera Buff

St. Anthony of Poughkeepsie by Cora Schenberg

Main Mall Row, Poughkeepsie, NY

I’ve always known that what I love can disappear. When I was three, I fell asleep on the subway, head on my father’s lap, my stuffed green bunny clutched in my arms. One instant I slept; the next, Daddy roused me and rushed us off the train. Standing on the platform, I remembered Bunny. “He’s on the train!” I screamed. But the doors had slammed shut, the train roared and screeched into its tunnel, drowning my cries. Perhaps this was when I learned that a dark, howling void waited to carry away what I loved. … Continue reading St. Anthony of Poughkeepsie by Cora Schenberg

Keeping Score by Lawrence Farrar


While sitting with Lena at their kitchen table the Sunday before, Carl Mobley had experienced the annual burst of optimism that marked the beginning of bowling season. But not now. With the Thursday Night Classic Bowling League only days away, he’d found out somebody was after his job as League Secretary. The very thought of it transformed his face into a billboard of betrayal, hurt, and worry. Carl couldn’t understand why anyone would want to take this from him–and he didn’t know what to do about it. At fifty-two he was a worn-down, vague looking … Continue reading Keeping Score by Lawrence Farrar

Away by Juditha Dowd


“Here we go,” Roberta croons, lifting her granddaughter from Bethy’s arms. Dora has been what Roberta would term ‘colicky’, but the pediatrician claims colic appears around three weeks, and Dora’s only ten days old. “Thanks, Mom.” Bethy’s eyes are ringed with the gray stigmata of motherhood. Technically, she’s on maternity leave, due back at the law firm next month to defend a big Swiss client. Roberta thinks it would have been wise to delay having another child, but Bethy had always wanted three and was concerned about her age. Across the table, Bethy’s husband begs … Continue reading Away by Juditha Dowd