“The Ancestor” By Lee Matthew Goldberg

         Smitty runs a small operation. Not quite a commercial fishing boat like some of the others based along the dock that go out for days at a time. It’d been him and Old Charlie for the longest time. But Old Charlie’s rheumatism had gotten really bad and he’s known in town as a pretty miserable …

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“Undercurrents” By M.E. Proctor

         Mom was lying on the bed. It was unusual to see her like that; she was always active, restless, a busy bubble of activity. She was on her side, knees bent, with her face in the crook of her elbow. There was a photo album on the pillow. I couldn’t tell if she was asleep. …

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“The Last Letter” By Charissa Roberson

Wait a moment.The boys are laughing outside,Chasing leaves through the dust.Pale leaves curl around the sill,Like fragile ears bending to listen.I have your words in my hand.They weigh heavy. Just paper,A bit of ink, traced there byA cold and trembling hand.Yet I feel worlds between my fingers.Not just this one, but the next.I have always …

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“Secondhand Grief” By Madison Block

Halmeoni          The English language has more than a million total words, but somehow it is still not sufficient. There is no English word to describe the feeling of missing or grieving for a person you have never met. There is no word to describe how I feel about my grandparents in Korea, whose names I …

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“Eat, Sleep, Thanksgiving” By Elaina Battista-Parsons

On my way through and down and over the country roads I imagine what our world would be if we could truly replicate Thanksgiving all year. I’m not talking about being grateful. Not that there’s anything wrong with being grateful. I’m implying there’s something more. More than a day, it’s a condition, complete with smells, …

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“The Fifth Season” By Robert Detman

         To escape from the smoke, we had to get closer to the fire. It’s a paradox that I did not dare try to explain to my eighty-four-year-old father back in Michigan. Since the early weeks of the pandemic, we’ve felt trapped as if in a bunker. In California, with the unprecedented fires, the environment has …

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“Sitting with Aunt Laverne” By Lyndy Berryhill

I always wanted to go to a summer camp like kids did in the movies. The thought of lacrosse in some New England landscape was alien to every summer I endured. This was southwestern Mississippi in the 2000s; we walked upstream in our creek looking for crawfish, the stream cooling us feet-upward. The sun’s oppressive …

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