September 2011

Playing Poohsticks by Anika Fajardo

girl holding two twigs over bridge

The Colombian night air dances as the pool at the far end of the Termales de Coconuco slowly fills with tepid, sulfuric water. This is my first return visit to my birthplace, my first introduction to my father, a man who has been absent nearly all my life.

Urns by Nicole Oquendo

arms of girl in sweater wrapped around an urn

There’s not much about my father that I actually know. What I think I know now is that he’s getting skinnier by the year and old enough to stop doing things as he used to. Until the last few years or so, my father, in his sixties, passed for forty to strangers.

The House That Built Me by Cory Fosco

cory fosco and his brother in front of their house's walkway

I live less than a mile away from my childhood home. It would take me about three minutes to get in my car and drive to my old street. On a nice day, I can walk there in less than fifteen.

Nothing Left by John M. Wills

wooden in crosses in field with a note that says you are not forgotten on one

The autumn season had yet to morph the colors of the summer leaves. A beautiful contrast of gold and green made for a serene scene on this Pennsylvania hillside… Were it not for the scar on the complexion of this vista, it would have been the quintessential postcard.

Firsts by Nathan Evans

nathan evans

The first time I kissed a girl, it all happened—the way defining events sometimes do—at four in the morning. We were in a student room the size of a large packing crate facing on to what might have been Oxford’s most modern and least lovely quadrangle.

Truth and Drumsticks by Pauline M. Campos

When I was a baby, my thighs were so chubby that one of my aunts used to eat them like drumsticks. It’s a story I heard often when I was growing up, usually told with the requisite giggles from my mother and a pinch on my legs from whomever else was within reach.

Confession by Nancy J. Brandwein

I am the person who steams and huffs and rolls her eyes when you stand at the deli counter ordering half pound quantities of three different deli meats. I am the person who barrels through the bank door without turning around to say “thank you” while you hold the door open.

Word by Lori M. Myers

Words have substance, texture, definition. The word “word” is given distinction by Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – yes, the bulky print version – as being both a noun in the form of something that is said, as in “I just can’t think of the word right now,” and a verb meaning expressing something, as in “Benjamin, we have to word the declaration just right.”

September 2011: Editor’s Notes

Earthquakes and hurricanes made for a memorable August, at least for East Coasters. The end of August means the beginning of a new school year for some, and, for many, one last summer vacation. Perhaps you are even reading this email from the beach.