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childhood

Muster’s Puppets Presents

Claire was coming over with her boyfriend—her partner—and Joan was baking mince pies in preparation, though she couldn’t remember whether Claire liked mince pies. It was difficult to keep everything straight with four children who changed their [...]

The Realm of Possibility


“I have to do the wee,” announced the child.

“You have to make a wee,” her mother said. “And I asked you before we got in the car, remember? It’s too late for that now. You can go at the gym.”

“I have to do the wee,” the child repeated.

Suffer Me to Pass

It was only a beer bottle I found in the middle of the trail, but it pinged an impulse in me to go. Get back to the car, give up our Saturday hike. I didn’t tell Cheryl, who stood by while I picked up the bottle and knocked off the dust. She’s known me for thirty years, since our kids were babies, and mostly she endures my jumpy nervousness. But a single empty beer bottle in the big, wide open of Oregon on a sunny June day—it was silly, even for me, to get worked up over such a thing.

Illustration by Landis Blair

A Friend

Margo’s daughter came home from school that Friday with a new friend. From the window in the kitchen, where she was trying and failing to make decent croissants for the third time this week, Margo watched the bus deposit her eight-year-old daughter, Anya, and some unknown boy, which was odd because the town was so small and Margo had often been at Anya’s school to volunteer and had no memory of him.

Sparrow

When the fledgling fell 
from its nest, by meager attempt,
by pinwheel descent,
and lay, unguarded,

Illustration by Sergio Garcia Sanchez

Wrong Yoga

Of all the types of yoga practiced in the US today—Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga,Vinyasa yoga, Bikram yoga—the one that I enjoy most happens to be the one that I invented. I like to call this type of yoga “wrong yoga.”

Art by Anna Schuleit Haber

Yams

Just then they were all eating yams, candied and still hot from the stove. Golden-brown pieces glistening with sauce that dripped from the serving spoon as it moved between the bowl and the plates. Heavy sweet pieces that clung to their forks, sank and settled on their tongues and then dissolved in a swirl of rich textures.

The girl’s uncle Todd pushed back his chair and reached for the bowl and a second helping. His broad hands pressed across the table, past his water glass and the ladle of gravy, the tea lights and decorative poinsettia, up and over the enormous ham. 

“Why can’t you just ask?” 

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