Blog : Beautiful-Things

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Bike Ride

Bike Ride By Ethan Joella   |  October 24, 2016
I don't remember if I wrapped my hands around my father when he let me ride on the back of his yellow Schwinn....

Red Birds

Red Birds By Melissa Ballard   |  October 17, 2016
I hand the plate of raw vegetables to Dad. He sets it on the shelf attached to the grill, settles his arm around me. Pointing to the tree above, he says, "See those red birds?"


Reliquary By Leah Silverman   |  October 10, 2016
When Rachmaninoff swallows my mother, I no longer know the woman...

Bare, Naked

Bare, Naked By Andrea Fisk Rotterman   |  October 3, 2016
Rain falls, dimpling puddles. I kick off my clogs. My toenails shine like sparkling pumpkin peel. I slide my underwear and jeans down my legs...

On Guilt

On Guilt By Jennifer Wortman   |  September 26, 2016
When I was a baby and woke up at night, my mother held me, her arms a boat on a gentle sea. Oh, the helpless power of the small, to be thus cupped in the world's warm hand...


Water By Chris Huntington   |  September 19, 2016
Many days I set a thermos of jasmine tea beside me on my desk. Jasmine tea is mostly water, perfumed by flowers. My thermos is stainless steel with metallic green paint and says L.L. Bean on one side...

When Students Cry

When Students Cry By Kate Michaelson   |  September 12, 2016
I know I shouldn't hug them, but I can't seem to stop, though I'm sure HR would advise it. I'd like to stop their crying as well, but that's even less tractable. Like the girl last fall who came to my 8:00 class wearing loose shirts and, after arriving late one day, told me she was pregnant.
Keywords: teaching  |   10 comments

Mars and a Reflection of Mars

Mars and a Reflection of Mars By Carolee Bennett   |  September 5, 2016
"There are two red planets tonight," I say. And you reply, "What a brave universe". And I feel brave. Two 30-lb packs hang near the tent we pitched just before it got dark enough to need headlamps. It's Night One of this backpacking trip...
Keywords: nature, relationships  |   7 comments

Don Isidro

Don Isidro By Diane de Anda   |  August 29, 2016
In the lean years after WWII, soda bottles were our treasure, the two to five cent refund mine and my brother's only income for anything beyond the necessities our parents provided.

Brake Lights

Brake Lights By James M. Chesbro   |  August 22, 2016
On Sundays my father's red brake lights flashed ahead of me as he held a newspaper out the window of his car. I took his hand-off and ran to the next house where the heavy editions of the Philadelphia Inquirer thudded onto the steps of porches...

Stay Put

Stay Put By Katie Powers   |  August 15, 2016
A whistle through the trees: stay put. He's cutting red maples.

Lightening Up

Lightening Up By Laurie Granieri   |  August 1, 2016
My brother and I grab hold of dangling metal chains fastened to schoolyard swings in this expanse of crabgrass, red dirt, goalposts, and hard bleachers...

Candy Thief

Candy Thief By Ryan C. Daily   |  July 25, 2016
Rounding the corner with grocery basket in-hand, I spot my father staring at a display of candy. At a distance, I watch as he grabs candy bars off the shelf and slides them inside his coat, so absorbed in the act of stealing, he doesn't notice me approach. I tap him on the shoulder and he turns. Startled, he begins to empty his pockets.
Keywords: beautiful things, candy  |   4 comments

Art Lesson

Art Lesson By Joanne Lozar Glenn   |  July 18, 2016
They saved it for Fridays. Every teacher had the same projects. Fall: iron leaves between waxed paper. Winter: chalk snow scenes on black construction paper. Spring: draw daffodils. Except for Miss Malik...

Apparent Magnitude: Negative 28, Brighter Than the Sun

Apparent Magnitude: Negative 28, Brighter Than the Sun By Tricia Theis   |  July 11, 2016
We're in church and the minister is reading a story about Maria Mitchell, America's first female astronomer, when my son whispers, "When I grow up, if there's a planet left that nobody has been to, I'm going to be the first person to step on it."


Galaxies By Laura Haugen   |  July 4, 2016
Say that this space on her forehead where you smooth tangled tresses to plant a kiss once, perhaps twice for good measure, smells like daisies, grassy and warm...


Tornado By Sheila Squillante   |  June 27, 2016
When I was a little girl, younger than you are now, I shared a bedroom with Aunt Catherine, who was still a baby. Grandpa was gone on business ...

All Our Travels

All Our Travels By Paul Crenshaw   |  June 20, 2016
Once we're in the air Dale tells me he is retired military--he graduated high school the same year I did. Beside him Beth is from Boise--she once broke down near Bentonville, where my best friend now lives. Small world, we say, when we uncover these coincidences, but what we really mean is that we feel small in it...

On the Last Day of Our Friendship

On the Last Day of Our Friendship By Megan Renart   |  June 13, 2016
We take shifts now. I arrive just as your mom is leaving. I want to hug you but you are bird bones, and I am a dinosaur, big and clumsy, breathing all over everything, and loudly healthy.


Hubby By Matthew Vollmer   |  June 6, 2016
It wasn't a nickname. It was her real, actual name. She'd been Hubby for eighty-three years...
Keywords: beautiful things, hubby  |   4 comments

Graffiti the Walls

Graffiti the Walls By Matthew Barrett   |  May 30, 2016
I want to graffiti the walls where my grandmother lives, white and sterile walls (egg-shell colored walls, as the nurses say), replace her sanitation lists with photographs, magazine spreads and paper clippings...


T-Shirts By Wayne Scott   |  May 23, 2016
A stack of t-shirts sits on my bureau: white, pale blue, yellow. The soft, bright colors of summer.

All the Tits in the World

All the Tits in the World By Terrance Manning, Jr.   |  May 16, 2016
I once called myself a welder...
Keywords: work  |   8 comments

Ascension Garden

Ascension Garden By Stacy Murison   |  May 9, 2016
The first time, you drive by yourself. You have some idea you are going there, but are still surprised that you know the way, without her, through the turning and turning driveways...


Merriment By Chansi Long   |  May 2, 2016
I was walking to the store with my brother when we stumbled upon a father teaching his daughter to ride a bike. He was in his early thirties, the age my father must have been when he left us...

The Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships By Jonathan Starke   |  April 25, 2016
There's this letter on the wall in there that a young boy writes to a young girl during the Bosnian War. They meet at gunpoint, marching toward a van that will drive them to...


Dandelion By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  April 18, 2016
A short and seasonal classic from the original 28 days of Beautiful Things, originally posted on February 21, 2014.

Concrete Hands

Concrete Hands By Sara Ackerman   |  April 11, 2016
The day the crumbling front steps of our house on 2 Baldwin Road were to be torn down and replaced, my mother gave me what seemed like the most incredible and unearned gift.


Brothers By Rebecca Swanson   |  April 4, 2016
They hold hands when watching something new or big or frightening: waves rolling across the beach, fireworks, the part of the movie where Piglet can't find his friends.


Somniloquy By Michael Levan   |  March 28, 2016
Trained by his body to wake now every two hours, he doesn't much need her voice to tell him it's time for more meds. So at first, when he stirs from his makeshift bed on their floor, he thinks she's talking to him.

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