Room in Brooklyn

Room in Brooklyn High above the world, where the street sounds can’t hardly reach, her window with its lopsided shades looks over the rooftops where the clustered chimneys gaze back at the woman who sits so cozy in her wooden chair, now looking at her book now out at the ranks of windows, the red […]

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Gettysburg, July 2019, Day II

On Tuesday we had a camp breakfast: bacon, eggs, and bagels toasted in the bacon fat. After breakfast we headed to the Gettysburg National Military Park visitor center. The park itself is quite large, comprising the battlefields that almost surround the town. But the visitor center was the place to start. We did get a […]

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Gettysburg July 2019, Day I

We were supposed to have gone to Gettysburg last September on our way home from my family reunion in Kentucky. But Ben, who’d been fighting a cold since we left Massachusetts, developed an ear infection in the Smoky Mountains and was in serious pain so we cut short out road trip and drove straight home, […]

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Winter’s Night in the Mountains

Winter’s Night in the Mountains Just after sunset the sky is the perfect shade of heart-aching blue that you only see when the firmament yearns between daylight and dark. There isn’t a word for that color. And in the sky a silver star blazes heraldic between the two white peaks— (Or perhaps it’s a sliver […]

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Wrestling with the Angel

Wrestling with the Angel When I was ten (or was I six? or eight?) I had an infection in my right hip. Walking was agony, the joint inflamed. It was long ago, but I remember struggling to limp across the yard, stiff-legged in my plaid school jumper. Ever since, that joint has periodically rebelled— either […]

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Children’s Books in Parallax

Simcha Fisher posted an interesting essay about the novels of E.B White, specifically about several moments of friction in Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. I’ve become more and more interested in this notion of friction: the idea that there are sometimes elements in a work of art (or even the whole work […]

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Mother Thoughts

Mother Thoughts She’s wrapped the quilt, red and white, about her shoulders and around the baby too. Snug in their nest, her mind’s adrift— forgotten her book, the painter, his brush. Forgotten the flowers and the little hands that collected them from the garden this morning and put them in the vase. Forgotten… voices calling, […]

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The Ball

The Ball On summer afternoons the park shimmers where trees cast silent shadow symphonies across the grass and gravel. Her own shadow races ahead to grasp the ball before she can scoop it up, already sun-warm, in her hot hands. Her white pinafore flaps behind like angel wings. Her hair streams from beneath her straw […]

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Bonne Maman

    Bonne Maman In the dim room she has a light to read by. One foot rocks the cradle as she turns the pages of her book. The lamp burns more brightly than you’d think and she’s covered the cot with a blanket to block the lamp’s light and the drafts. Until she thinks […]

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