November 2015

Object Lessons by Carol Smith

dead trees with mt. st. helen's in background

I wake up sweating and lie there as the adrenaline ebbs, running through what I would take, if I had to leave. The mental cataloging starts: what I have lost already; what I have yet to lose; an inventory of what matters.

The Sound of Ice by Tyler Lacoma

inuit man in canoe with fish with iceberg in back

The first sound is the foot sound, the break sound, the cracking crunch that hikers know… It is a stubborn, short sound, underneath your boots. Ka-krack, krunch, it says. It says little else.

Until We Have Loved by Jeanine Pfeiffer

little brown bat hanging upside down in cave with small stalagtites

The bat is so itty-bitty-teeny-tiny her body embraces only half my thumb, to which she clings during our first moments. Clings to with eyes shut: either because she naturally re-immersed herself in torpor, or from exhaustion.

Penalty Phase by Charisse Coleman

close up of justice statue and scales

In the first moments of Saturday, Aug. 12, 1995, in Shreveport, Louisiana, my older brother, Russell, age 42, was finishing up his shift as a minimum-wage, 54-hour-a-week stock clerk at Thrifty Liquor.

Lessons from My Sire by Cynthia Jalynski

race horse with background blurred to show speed

I never knew what to say when people asked me what my father did for a living. Sometimes I joked, “He’s involved with high-risk investments.” — “Stocks? Bonds?” — “More like ponies and dice.”

Unwrapped by Dina Honour

three empty tubes of wrapping paper

He held it up and out, away from his body and along his arm. He used it to point at us sitting there in front of him. Over the curved edge, he gathered us in his sights.