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Sunday Biscuits

Gummy, as I came to call her at the age of two, came from a time with butter churns and trains and hats and gloves. Her biscuit recipe was no different. [...]

My Mother, Leaving Me

Woman with Alzheimer's Sits on a Swing Shaded by an Umbrella by Lynn Johnson

I visited my 80 year old mom yesterday.

Afterward, I came home and ran for 2 and a half hours (not my usual workout routine!) and slept for two hours last night. My mom is dying.

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Bauhinia

Leila listens to the sobs of the woman in the jail cell next to her, and wonders if she can hear hers. They seem to mourn together, both devastated by the loss of their freedom. Leila has languished in this prison for the past month, and while her conversations with Anna-Nina are brief, she knows well her situation. They are captives – enslaved by hearsay and accused of acts they did not commit. “The lashings, do they hurt?” Anna-Nina breaks from her crying, and whispers the question. “I don’t know,” Leila replies, hugging her knees against her chest on the steel bed. Leila reflects on the judge’s sentence six we [...]

Like a Mother

This was no tsunami, after all, no act of God or Nature. [...]

The Harvest

She was standing naked in a field of red wheat – the field to the east of her grandparent’s house that she had passed on her way in from Chicago – but she didn’t feel cold or realize she was naked until she saw Paul a few feet away. He was wearing a lab coat, had a stethoscope around his neck, and was examining a shadowy figure on the operating table in front of him. Leni stepped closer and realized that the patient was her grandmother, stiff and still as she had always been, and fully clothed in a long, black dress. She slowly turned her stone face to Leni and spoke. “Ich war schon tot.” [...]

Suckers

North India is enduring the longest, hottest summer ever. While the experts debate whether this is proof-positive of global warming or just a run of bad luck, we suffer. [...]

Song from Childhood

“My mother had the best possible death,” Hans wrote. “It was sudden, painless, and in the company of the one she loved.” [...]

Passaggio

After five minutes, the man had still not budged. Ten minutes. Nothing. Finally, after fifteen minutes, the man took off his hat. He had thin, gray hair. Eleanor shook her head, thinking, at last, an imposter. But imposter or not, she decided, he was still worth shooting. She adjusted her focus just as the man turned to offer a full frontal view. His wide eyes ran across the counter and into the backroom near the bathroom, and then squinted, as if trying to peer through the lush Ficus, behind which Eleanor stood. Eleanor emerged from behind the tree and slowly lowered her camera. Phineas smiled. Then he got up and walked toward her. [...]

Angelica’s World

Now at her deathbed, she reveled in the scratchy tunes of tangos, sweet, flowery perfumes and photographs revealing the insidious passage of time. There was magic in these small things, things that belong to the living…

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Walking Cemetery

I wouldn’t want to wear out our welcome in this place where gray headstones stand silent sentry over buried loved ones. [...]