Mina Means ‘Love’

by Robin Littell 

Mina’s biological parents left her on the porch of an Ohio farmhouse in the middle of a thunderstorm. No note. Just Mina in a car seat with an empty diaper bag. The farmer’s wife called the police, and Mina was taken to a foster family that lived next door to me who eventually adopted her and chose her name, a name that means ‘love’ in German. Her foster parents said that everyone who met her fell under her spell. Continue reading

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On My First Imprint of Womanhood

by Yvonne Higgins Leach

Because my mind is a bank
of images sparked by emotion

I see you come through the door, Auntie,
in your wrinkled receptionist uniform Continue reading

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Nightingale

by Kaylie Saidin 

Charlie says he saw the kraken but with no proof, he’s a fool, rotten-scented as the sea foam that coagulates beneath the hull. We’ve been on the Nightingale for one month now, sleeping in the red-twined hammocks, sloshing seawater all over the deck, gutting fish and slicing our fingers, eating stale bread and sucking on lemons. Continue reading

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A Home in Italy

by Natalia Nebel

First Room in Italy

At my grandmother’s house in Italy, I shared a bedroom with my sister Clara. My bed was near two large, glass doors that opened onto a balcony. A clothesline ran across it, and every late morning Marisa, my grandmother’s cleaning lady, hung clothes on that line, and every late afternoon she took them away. The practical use of what I considered our balcony bothered me, felt invasive. Our room had an armoire and a large chest of drawers in it, both filled with blankets and sheets, only a little space set aside for the few clothes we had. We weren’t poor, but my mother had been a child in Italy during World War II and she’d retained a frugality brought about by food rations and heatless winter nights. She never became comfortable with the prosperity that marriage to my American father gave her. Continue reading

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Chasing Lanterns

by Misty Yarnall

“Do you want to light it?” Uncle Mark pinches the top of a Chinese lantern. He pulls a cigarette lighter from his jean jacket pocket. My mother and aunt sit in Adirondack chairs on the back deck. Smoke and sparklers choke the air. Continue reading

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