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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A Late Riser’s Miserable Breakfast

A Late Riser’s Miserable Breakfast The girl in the striped dress and black ribbons sulks over her cold and solitary breakfast: unfair that everyone else got lovely hot eggs while she’s facing cold loaf and tepid tea in the detested checked mug. And terribly unfair that her sister in her red beret is already slipping […]

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Sailing Boats, Morning

Sailing Boats, Morning The ship’s shadow ripples like spilled ink on the water’s soft blue gauze as if a clumsy scribe upset his bottle, distracted by the way the settling sun has stained the tops of the great brown sails with hearth fire’s dying coals. The harbor is a yellow haze haunted by ghost ships […]

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With the So-Called Sick

With the So-Called Sick In the green crib the child is not sleeping. Shadow covers the top of the sleepless face and in the shadow the eyes are open wide. Are they looking at Mother’s face as she reads or watching the red pompoms on the toes of her jaunty slippers propped on the side […]

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Under the Elder Tree

Under the Elder Tree the summer light sifts softly through the leaves and dapples the rosy-cheeked mother, kissing her hair as she sits easily on her straight wooden chair with a child cradled in her lap, so used to the weight and heft of that head pressed into her bosom that she doesn’t even think […]

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When the Children Have Gone to Bed

  The children are finally in bed and in the lamp’s glow mama has her mending spread before her on the table patching another rend or sewing on a button and on the other side of the table papa leans over his page. He’s reading to her and his voice fills the room. The geraniums […]

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