Tag Archives: family history

Pink Peonies by Alexis Kelleher

Photo of pink peonies
 

    Aunt Maggie laughs with a Marlboro Red clamped between her lips. A metallic party hat sits atop her matted, white hair, fastened with a cheap elastic band under her turkey-wattle chin. Today she’s eighty, and while sitting in the shade of the big farm house, has overheard people say more than once they can’t believe she’s still “kicking”. They say it with astonishment, they say it with disdain. Somehow, she was forgiven by her siblings for selling the surrounding acreage, the family legacy, to a developer who put up McMansions with lightning speed. … Continue reading Pink Peonies by Alexis Kelleher

Two Tasks by Fred Wilbur

Photo of hay bales in field
 

  This summer, I have performed two activities that strangely seem similar: shredding dozens of family documents and serving as a screener for a poetry manuscript contest. Many of our older readers have, no doubt, had to settle their parents’ or close relatives’ estates. I am past that stressful situation, thankfully, as my mother, pre-diseased by my father, died ten years ago. For that decade six or seven banker’s boxes squatted on sturdy shelves made especially for them. After consulting my surviving siblings, I spent many hours sorting (in some cases saving) and then shredding … Continue reading Two Tasks by Fred Wilbur

Garbage Pails by Terry Barr


 

“Haze opened the extra door, expecting it to be a closet. It opened out onto a drop of about thirty feet and looked down into a narrow bare back yard where the garbage was collected. There was a plank nailed across the door frame at knee level to keep anyone from falling out.” ( Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood, 61)   In our family album there is a picture of me taken by my Dad using his Brownie camera. The date is March 1959. I am standing in our back yard, about twenty feet from a … Continue reading Garbage Pails by Terry Barr

Hot Toddies by Anne Carson

Person drinking from mug
 

***Anne Carson is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir Contest*** Before my older sister outgrew me, outgrew our entire family’s chaos, we shared a bedroom. For a few years there, we were good company for each other. We would stay up after bedtime and role-play storybook fantasies about our futures that seemed more like memories of a former life together centuries ago—as shopkeepers in some village. She on the twin bed beside the windows on the front of the house, me on the bed closer to the hallway. We sold fine goods, maybe … Continue reading Hot Toddies by Anne Carson

Just a Crush by John Ballantine

Two people looking out at the sea
 

Did she touch you like that, with a little more than love, a little more hurt than you want? Did you see the pain in the dulled eyes; hear the shame in her slurred words? Did you know the room was not safe? I knew when I turned in the dark that I should not switch the light on—not because my clothes were thrown on the chair, or the book on my desk was opened to unfinished homework. No, I knew that the door was open a crack letting in eyes that were too familiar. … Continue reading Just a Crush by John Ballantine