Essays and Stories

Strangely Wonderful

Strangely Wonderful

Under the Sun

“After two years, I was still learning to inhabit my body.
It had resumed most of its former capacities, but I lived a short distance from it—a distance that was both pleasant and disturbing. I had hair again. I had put on some weight and didn’t look quite so tenuous. But like a ritual mutilation, two dents in my forehead streaked with incisions scarred silvery bright. Most days I forgot about them.”

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Radiant Fog

Radiant Fog

Poets & Writers Magazine

“MY FRIEND and I veered east on Highway 48 in northwestern Wisconsin as we headed for a July writers festival in my secondhand 1995 Geo Prizm, its metallic pale blue hood mottled with dark splotches as if decomposing. The previous owners, the nuns of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, near where I live, had patched a hole in the front bumper with turquoise duct tape. I’d pulled it off, preferring the frank appearance of the puncture. A fringe of tape threads hung on and fluttered in the wind. The nuns had left a rosary in the glove box.

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Awake to this World

Awake to this World

Barstow and Grand

“The toddler not yet two-years-old eased open the screen door and slid across the threshold. The door closed behind him without a whisper. He stood for a moment, his chest lifted, his hands hanging limp in front of him. Then, his soft leather shoes crunched the gravel of the driveway — thirty feet — that went straight to West Road, a country shortcut to the highway.”

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Rebirth Marks

Rebirth Mark

Brain & Life Magazine

“Occasional headaches have been a part of my life, but the one I experienced on a cold November night in 2016 was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. The pain was so intense I knew I needed medical help as soon as possible. In the emergency department, a doctor told me it was a brain bleed. Hours later, a neurosurgeon drilled two half-inch burr holes through my skull at the hairline, then inserted a tube in each hole to relieve the pressure on my brain.”

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All I Can Tell You

All I Can Tell You

Baltimore Review

“‘Roy drove the death wagon that spring of 1919,’ my grandmother said. ‘We’d been courting for a year.’
She lifted a china cup from her yellow kitchen table, scarred from rough use, and sipped boiled coffee. Half a donut dusted her saucer, powder-white, same color as her hair. I sat opposite, a sturdy granddaughter 11 years old, a plate of sweets between us.”

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Blue Collar Daughter

Blue Collar Daughter

Peter Selgin’s Your First Page, guest blog for Jane Friedman

“I opened the basement door when I got home from grade school. In the light of a single bulb, my mother thrashed around lifting dirty laundry from knee-high piles sorted into whites, light-colored, dark-colored, work clothes, jeans, and bedding. The odor of dirty wash water, bed-wetted sheets, and dank basement flowered. Twelve steps, no railing, led down.”

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