Mary Keeps All These Things

By Susan Elizabeth Howe

I stir the innkeeper’s sympathy only when my water breaks and runs down my leg, soaking my blue robe, and I have to lean against his shabby door; he looks at me through splintered eyes. I have come down from the donkey in the great bell of my body, the weight of the child and …

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By Darlene Young

Don’t tell me about rose-cheeked Arcadian youth gathering daisies on a hillside piping tunes to their cloud-fluffy sheep under the stars. No, these were foul-smelling, lusty men with dirty necks, greasy hands, snorting, arguing, joke-telling, nose-picking men—one wearing stolen sandals (although I admit he felt guilty about it)—gambling on who had the best aim as …

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