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2021 Fall Poetry

phototropism   peat moss swells with water ready for new life seeds are placed, labeled carefully   a lesson from the year of twelve yellow tomato plants left to rest. no light needed   little sprouts begin to appear a wisp of green surrounded by darkness   sprouts grow until they are ready for a …

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Geese and Goodness

By Jennie LaFortune

I stood in the kitchen of my new (to me) townhouse– all mine, and all alone. It was life-giving and very quiet. The duality was not lost on me, but with every new noise and new sight I felt a soft knowing that my new surroundings would also shape my own interior. Moments later, a …

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Gather by Johnna Ferguson

By Johnna Ferguson

I would basket the fruit for you, from hidden houses behind leaves and far boughs. High on a tripod ladder, I reach, and catalogue the fruit with ants and roots and the mountain behind, note the girth of the trunk and the aguapunctual movement of water. You drift like clouds, and boughs that bend under …

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Stories of America

By Jennie LaFortune

Years ago I spent the Fourth of July in New York. As I walked near Manhattan I became a part of the variety of people meshing together in the streets. The hot humid air pushed my hair to my neck and my shirt clung with a slight dampness as I stood on a subway platform. …

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Family à la Mode

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

A year or so ago I sent a vial of my saliva off to Ancestry DNA. The results were not  surprising since I’ve been tracking my genealogy for decades now. I’m Scandinavian (most specifically southeastern Sweden) where my mother’s parents came from in the late 1800’s. I’m also German/European where my father’s progenitors came from in the mid-1800s. There are a few other odd bits in there, presumably just to keep me engaged in family history research.

Besides my pie-chart, Ancestry DNA also lists other spit contributors who share some of my DNA.

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To Toss or to Keep: Haiku on Decluttering

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

 

Since last March I have been sorting and culling through my belongings. This is primarily because of selling a home and moving after decades of accumulating “stuff.” Systematically trying to see what “sparks joy” also sparks ennui, longing, regret, trepidation and sometimes laughter. It’s enough to drive a person crazy. It’s a stark face off with childhood naivety and the realities of years of life’s complexities. It ties you to generations back in time and makes you wonder about the next generations for whom artifacts pale in comparison to digital records and thumb drives.

It is necessary. It is brutal. It is wrenching.

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Six-Word Autobiography: Dear Self, What’s Your Story?

By Teresa Bruce

  Almost five years ago, a friend challenged me to write a six-word autobiography. After a brief panic, I scribbled: Daughter. Friend. Wife. Mother. Writer. Widow. Never mind how — but for the penultimate word — I’d identified my life story in terms of relationships with others. At 45 and scarcely into my second year of …

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The Garden of Eaten

By Melissa Young

 sitI HAVE a crazy aunt. Every family flock has a few colorful birds, and she is one of ours. My aunt is an artist with a flair for the unconventional. From Native American jewelry and belly dancing to the more typical branches of sculpture and painting, her medium is life itself. Nothing she encounters escapes untouched. …

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Seasons of Change: One Woman’s Impact

By Teresa Bruce

I was seven when I realized I loathed the taste of change. I missed the friends I played with up and down the block before our cross-country move. I missed the dog my parents sent to live with someone else. And I missed my old school. My old school had what I later learned was …

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Names

By Justine Dorton

MY GRANDMA HAS LIVED two lives. She’s lived one life here, in St. Louis, as my Grammie—feeding her grandchildren cucumbers dipped in sugar, taking her first driver’s ed class when she was seventy-two, yelling into the telephone to make sure her voice made it all the way to my house, bossing her daughter (my mother) around …

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