Tag Archives: memoir

Dear Portland: a Love Letter to My Childhood Sweetheart by Melissent Zuwalt

Photo of Japanese lanterns
 

We first met holding hands at the outdoor Saturday market, vendors selling tie-dyed tee shirts and us eating foods that seemed exotic to me, like yakisoba noodles and teriyaki chicken. You revealed an existence better suited for me—one that lay beyond the endless berry fields and tractors and crippling solitude of my rural childhood. Although our time together was limited, you were the first city I ever knew, dear Portland. And my love for you was instant and deep and true. Remember how, when I was in high school, I tried to visit you as … Continue reading Dear Portland: a Love Letter to My Childhood Sweetheart by Melissent Zuwalt

I Don’t Miss You When You’re Not With Me by Bridget Verhaaren

Photo of two wedding rings
 

I reach for a glass jar of sweet gherkins and notice the same unfamiliar woman is following me down another aisle in the grocery store. I wonder if it is a coincidence. My gut tells me otherwise. The wavy-haired woman is looking down at her phone. Moving toward her, I pretend to search for stone ground mustard. I am now close enough to see she is on social media. Startled I am so near, she stammers, “You, you, you look familiar.” I look at her and know I have never seen her before, unless I … Continue reading I Don’t Miss You When You’re Not With Me by Bridget Verhaaren

A Death Remembered by Miles Fowler

Close up photo of JFK coin
 

At recess, I was talking to a friend on the schoolyard, when a kid came up to us and said that President Kennedy had been shot. He did not say he had died. He just said he had been shot. I turned to my friend, and we exchanged uncertain looks. There was something smart-alecky about this kid, and I accused him of trying to put one over on us. I was twelve years (plus two months) old that November 1963, and I had read a book about the Secret Service, so I knew that the … Continue reading A Death Remembered by Miles Fowler

Missing by Richard Key

Photo of gardening gloves on tops of tools
 

These searched for their family records, but could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. Ezra 2:62 I can’t tell you exactly what percent of my waking hours is spent looking for things. It could be as little as twelve percent. Probably closer to thirty. It’s worse at certain times of the year. Tax season seems to be a period when I drive myself mad searching for one thing or another: proof of a charitable contribution, a 1099 form, a statement from my Swiss bank saying everything’s cool. In my … Continue reading Missing by Richard Key

The Letter by Cheryl Somers Aubin

Photo of blue mailbox
 

To the new family I sent a letter about the house and our memories of living there for forty-five years. I did tell them lots of information about the house that they needed to know. I gave advice about things to do. I was helpful. I did not tell them how heartbreaking it was for us to move our mother to a memory care facility —her new forever home. I did tell them we’d been happy. I did tell them about the bleeding hearts that grew by the side of the house and seeing a … Continue reading The Letter by Cheryl Somers Aubin

Tsunami Stones by Karen Mittelman

Photo looking through redrocks
 

All along the coastline of Japan, hundreds of tall stone tablets stand as warnings about the possibility of natural disasters. Many date back to the 1880s, when two deadly tsunamis battered the coast and killed more than twenty thousand people. Carved with care, the ancient tablets convey messages from one generation to the next, advising those who read them to seek high ground after an earthquake, and to avoid low-lying areas in case of floods. One of the most well-known is called the Aneyoshi tablet, a four-foot slab of stone placed high up on the … Continue reading Tsunami Stones by Karen Mittelman

Succor by Brett Ann Stanciu

Photo of bald eagle against blue sky
 

When the pandemic first shut down our world in the spring of 2020, my fifteen-year-old daughter and I were at home, every day, all day. I had been a sugarmaker for years, and the month of March and I were old friends. Well, maybe not friends, but certainly long-time acquaintances. I knew the fickleness of March, how this month can stretch into heaps of snow, or afternoons of blinding sun, or days-long, freezing drizzle. By the end of the pandemic, I sold the property where my family lived and sugared and bought a house in … Continue reading Succor by Brett Ann Stanciu

Two Soft-served Cones, Please. by Elva Anderson, PhD

Photo of 2 cones of soft serve ice cream
 

Growing up in a small rural town, I felt a strong sense of family, community, and safety. We had farmers’ markets, county fairs with greased pigs, hayrides, pie eating contest, cake walks, musical chairs, berry picking, Sunday mornings worship, and family meals around the table. As a child all appeared to be well. One evening after work, I drove home, and I told my five-year-old brother I was going to treat him to a soft serve cone at the local Custard Stand. Now mind you, at the time, it was the only fast-food place in … Continue reading Two Soft-served Cones, Please. by Elva Anderson, PhD

When Stevie Nicks Was a Witch in Florida by T. J. Butler

Photo of coastline covered with trees
 

When Stevie Nicks was a witch in Florida, I sent her letters on stationery purchased from the canteen. The new girl at the youth residential center told me her mother was Stevie Nicks, and also a witch. I was fourteen, a year into the system. I didn’t ask why Stevie Nicks’s daughter was also there. Anything was possible; lies about mothers, or the real reasons kids were there: I’d been stealing cars since I was eleven, or my teachers kept calling the social workers, or, my mom’s in jail for selling drugs. I heard the … Continue reading When Stevie Nicks Was a Witch in Florida by T. J. Butler

Happy Trails (and Other Lies I Tell Myself) by Amy Bee

Two hikers jumping on large rock
 

I wasn’t going to make it. I’d made a mistake; this whole stupid backpacking thing was a mistake. I trudged a step further. A young guy, about thirteen, with Keanu Reeves hair and an Osprey backpack loosely perched on his shoulders made eye contact with me. He winked, gave me the “we’re in this together” nod, and flashed a peace sign as he loped past. I looked away, crushed. It’s almost funny now, how I gave up not even fifteen minutes into a three-week backpacking trip. I mean, in redemption stories, the part where the … Continue reading Happy Trails (and Other Lies I Tell Myself) by Amy Bee