del mar

By Melissa Young

today at the pool, there was the woman who slipped into the water and easily outpaced me, her practiced strokes consistently beautiful, her flip turns, disciplined art there was the woman who limped slow toward the edge, asking me about the water, who gingerly climbed down the ladder, laughing at my estimation of cold, whose …

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Sanctissimi Corporis

By Julianna Kelly Bratt

At Ogunquit Beach, where Maine meets the North Atlantic Ocean, we sprinkled my great-aunt Rosemary’s ashes. The sky was dripping and cold and grey, and I watched her sister pour her out into the sand, like she had always been a part of it. I want the same thing when I die. Dust to dust, …

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The Spice House on Central Street

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

One step inside and you can almost feel the camel’s breath on the back of your neck. In the distance you hear the taut snap of canvas sails. Close your eyes. See the children, thin but strong, dark skinned, ebony-eyed, culling through the salt crystals swiftly plucking out debris like darting hummingbirds. The jingling and …

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The Long and the Short (and the Straight and the Curly) of It

By Kylie Turley

SO I’M SHALLOW. I should be writing some deep essay about love, life, depression, or death, and instead I choose to tell you about my hair. You see, here’s the deal: it used to be curly. Not a little curly, but crazy-gorgeous, wavy-brunette-curls curly. It was strangers-stop-me-on-the-street-to-ask-about-it curly. I admit that for a few teenage years, …

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Body Image

By Melissa Young

Almost naked, she stands before the full-length mirror, loving her reflection. Three years old, still baby soft. “Look, Mom,” she says, bending backward, her round belly protruding. “I’m so big!” Yes, you are, I say, and ache, knowing the day will come when her view of what is beautiful will change, and she will no …

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Southern Roots and Grafted Branches

By Katie Stirling

“SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY is coming to visit me,” my mother says, tears spilling out of her eyes as she hangs up the phone. Though this doesn’t sound like something that would normally provoke tears, knowing my mother’s story, her roots—and thus mine—illuminates the present moment. Unlike my dad, who grew up in North Avondale, Colorado, …

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Why These Women in Jesus’ Genealogy?

By Julie M. Smith

MOST READERS of Matthew’s Gospel take one look at that first page full of “begats” and impossible-to-pronounce names and quickly turn the page. But Matthew was a deliberate writer; he didn’t begin his gospel with a boring list, but rather with a selective portrait of the progenitors who made Jesus. Perhaps the most interesting facet of …

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See Your Beauty, Feel Your Power

By Angela W. Schultz

I. MY GRANDMOTHER TRAVELED the world during the waking sleep of her final days in a Salt Lake City hospice center. Sometimes she imagined herself in Austria, at other times in Japan, Massachusetts, or Virginia. As a former military wife, her memories spanned the globe. And when she revisited those memories, she always found work …

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To Be

By Noelle Carter

To be a woman is to be heavy: to know the elements, one by one, to return to the earth which first gave life, to feel its weight, and to come forth again. A maiden is a naiad: light as air in elusive flame. Her heart is bound to nothing and flies free. But Daphne …

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Uppity Mormon Woman Forgets Her Place

By Heidi Wessman Kneale

I HAVE A REALLY NICE CORSET, which I wore in a Relief Society historical play. Several of the women, including my Relief Society president, had never seen me in a corset before. When one of them (an older woman who remembered corsetry as an oppressive article of underclothing) asked me why I owned a corset, …

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