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

Coming Down from Sky Pond by Glenn Freeman


 

Sky Pond is one of the more popular destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park. Perhaps you’ve been there. The trail ascends through heavily traveled Glacier Gorge, past the Loch, then curves through a large, steep bowl of alpine meadows. Once you emerge from the trees into the meadow, you can see a plateau with a moderate cliff face with Timberline Falls plummeting through the middle. Steep peaks surround the falls and it’s easy to see that Sky Pond will be in the middle of these peaks, but you can’t see it yet. From this point, … Continue reading Coming Down from Sky Pond by Glenn Freeman

Gossip


 

There is a saying that if you don’t know what you’re doing, ask your neighbors. Once upon a time when I first moved to Nelson County, Virginia, and knew no one, I experienced an untethered queasy feeling of not being entirely in my world. This unconnected-ness with my new surroundings produced an awful feeling of dis-location with self and was something I had not expected from my move to Virginia.  This unease persisted for weeks, months.    The first hint of relief occurred when I had to call on one of the farmer families in … Continue reading Gossip

Keeping the Meadow Green by Rose Elliott


 

Growing up on a dairy farm in Northern New York, in Southern Jefferson County during the 1960’s meant, for my family, doing most of the work with our physical bodies. With a maximum of 25 dairy cows, one tractor, a pick-up truck and a few older pieces of machinery that came with the farm when we purchased it, my parents and we older children eked out a living. Our cows were rotated from field to field during warmer months after the hay had been harvested, and during the winter they were kept in the barn, … Continue reading Keeping the Meadow Green by Rose Elliott

Catalogers of the Galaxy by M.X. Wang


 

Later, when asked to speak about what happened for the second time, Harlen recalled that it was in fact a single object, faint and blurry one second, close and vibrant the next. It hovered overhead: two blazing parallel rods, about a hundred feet across, connected by a transparent, egg-shaped disk that expanded and collapsed like an inflating and deflating balloon. There was a lot of pressure, as if giant hands were pushing down on his shoulders and scalp. “As soon as my knees gave, the pressure left and what I saw changed. I mean, I … Continue reading Catalogers of the Galaxy by M.X. Wang

Sam Abell: Cuba Up Close


 

Photographer Sam Abell is a seeker, camera in hand. A National Geographic staff photographer for 33 years, Abell has traveled from Japan to Newfoundland, from Australia to Russia discovering and shooting life’s “staying” moments. He continues to explore and photograph destinations of his own choosing. Most recently, he joined a dozen photographers on an invitation trip to Cuba honoring the 81st anniversary of Walker Evans’ photographing in Havana. Here too, Abell found dramatic scenarios, vibrant colors and easy camraderie. “I would say the number one ethos, sensation or emotion that you feel on the streets … Continue reading Sam Abell: Cuba Up Close

The Hairy Man by Laurie Billman

salmon
 

It was midnight of our last night in the cannery, and all twelve of us who had been assigned the fish house had been working since seven that morning. All day and into the light-filled night, we had been cleaning fat salmon as they slithered out of the tin chutes directly from the salmon boats. White fish bellies were burned on my lids when I closed my eyes, and my ears sang with an exhausted hum. When the warning bell rang, down slid silver salmon, spilling, wet and shiny, onto the long, wooden tables. We … Continue reading The Hairy Man by Laurie Billman

Lunchero by Larry Strauss

tacos truck
 

I used to think the school at which I taught should have been named Rodney Dangerfield High because nobody got any respect. Oppressive rules treated students like babies. Weapons checks regarded them as criminals. Teachers faced overcrowded classrooms with shamefully inadequate resources and endured blatant—and often profane—rudeness from students and endless interruptions from everyone. We—the teachers—disregarded administrative rules as a matter of course. Other high schools and the district as a whole disdained us because we were small and had no football team, because our basketball team had a reputation for fighting and mayhem (because … Continue reading Lunchero by Larry Strauss

Phoenix by Juditha Dowd


 

“So, what do you think?” said Don. He’d hoped Alison might bring it up this time but she was staring out the big windows toward the marina, one of several on Venice Island where they were staying. He followed her gaze to anchored boats bobbing in the onshore breeze. Alison came to, shifted her attention back to him. “I guess that little Cape had possibilities.” She took another sip of the Sangiovese the waiter recommended, surprisingly good for such a well-priced wine. “Cape?” Don wasn’t versed in architectural styles. Curb appeal, price point—this was language … Continue reading Phoenix by Juditha Dowd

The Yellow House by Judy Longley

tiger swallowtail butterfly
 

Sleep bears me to the farmhouse slanted on a steep hill, commanding the highway below. Yellow clapboard and fieldstone constructed after the Civil War, the first floor a single room of stone, fireplace centering it. I warm my hands at the stone hearth—a rosemary bush flames silver-blue tongues, new stems uncoiling as fast as they burn. Through pungent smoke shades appear: my children young again, interrupted in their play, John, my professor husband with his eternal scatter of books, friends, just passing through and the ghost we all tolerated. A woman we agreed, wearing white … Continue reading The Yellow House by Judy Longley