Blog : Beautiful-Things

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Paper Boats

Paper Boats By Sara Martin   |  February 27, 2023
It’s Christmas Eve. Grandpa sits between my brother, Jeff, and me in the church pew. Grandpa must see that we’re fading, because as soon as we're seated after singing “Oh Holy Night,” he nods at the bulletin in his hands.

The Green Apple God

The Green Apple God By Tom Fate   |  February 20, 2023
When I arrived at the Stella Maris chapel, orange and blue rays of sunlight flooded through a stained glass window. The warm shafts of color felt like answers to a question I didn’t know how to ask.


Gestures By Jody Keisner   |  February 13, 2023
Amelia folds her hands in her lap, like an elderly man at mass during the homily. They say certain facial expressions and body language are inherited, as if a blueprint for gestures is written on our genes.

Death, Grief, and Honey Nut Cheerios

Death, Grief, and Honey Nut Cheerios By Kiely Todd Roska   |  February 6, 2023
6:30 Tuesday morning. My four-year-old daughter sits next to me, scooping spoonfuls of cereal toward her mouth as milk drips onto her bare chest. Emmalani prefers life without clothing.

Ode to A Buddhahead Dad

Ode to A Buddhahead Dad By Edward Iwata   |  January 30, 2023
Dad is a chain-smoking, poker-playing, John Wayne-loving carpenter. A blue-collar Baryshnikov who swings hammers with sinewy grace.

Into the Mist

Into the Mist By Ken Martin   |  January 23, 2023
The rain left a fresh scent on the leaves and mist lingered as I walked my dad down the hill to the lakeshore. The ground was moist and the lake cloaked in a whiteout so pure I could hear only the water lapping the shore.


Itch By Alexandra Dane   |  January 16, 2023
I began with the paperbacks. Upside down, by the spine, shook hard, a snow of recipes, bookmarks, cigarette papers, index cards. Searching not for the obvious treasures — jewelry, money, last wills — instead, moments after my grandmother took her last breath, I began to hunt for the sketch.

I Feel As One in Sex But Also

I Feel As One in Sex But Also By Heather Lanier   |  January 9, 2023
Dishes drying, dryer broken, wet T’s strewn over chairs, we let the couch hold us up for one more hour of TV. Why? We want each other’s bodies. Right now—want them the way we’ve had them for twenty years.

Honey (I Put Down My Ax)

Honey (I Put Down My Ax) By Rasma Haidri   |  January 2, 2023
The first one said honey was what Vietnamese hookers called from doorways, so don’t call him that. The next one said honey was a substance to spread on bread, so why did I call him that. Store clerks in the South called all of us honey.

Snow Day

Snow Day By Rick Joines   |  December 26, 2022
At least an inch, with an underlayer of ice, a glaze of tiny beads, encrusted light. Strange and rare here, so everyone stays home. No school. A few cars creep by, spin sideways into the intersection. The kettle dings.

Bathroom Pass

Bathroom Pass By Mazzer D'Orazio   |  December 19, 2022
A freshman appears in my doorway, late for class again, extending an orange traffic cone. She proclaims: “I found it in a ditch!”

On Massachusetts General Hospital Reaching Out to Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine

On Massachusetts General Hospital Reaching Out to Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine By Sarah Kilch Gaffney   |  December 12, 2022
"Some weeks later, back at home with our toddler in your lap for bedtime, you realized you could no longer read aloud."


Sprouts By Kaci Skiles Laws   |  December 5, 2022
A woman scrunches up her nose. I follow her gaze to my five-year-old son, oblivious to her, picking out his favorite Zevia. He grabs a root beer; she sneers, makes a sideways comment, her husband laughs, and I catch his eye.

COVID Subnivean

COVID Subnivean By Adrie Kusserow   |  November 28, 2022
Ground frozen, mice and voles on lockdown below, still they skitter beneath, not even the fox dares to dive into the snow taut with a glassy sheath of ice. The Barred owls, too, are starving, crouched near birdfeeders in broad daylight.

Moon Walk

Moon Walk By Libby Brydolf   |  November 21, 2022
We make it to the brushy meadow before we get our first glimpse of the moon: a slip of glow rising. We watch in the cool spring evening until it hangs whole over Kwaay Paay Peak before continuing on the wide dusty track.

Backward Steps

Backward Steps By Gary Fincke   |  November 14, 2022
In our kitchen, some nights, my wife walks backwards, but mostly she does her retreats in the living room, where there is room for additional steps. She says this exercise postpones the arrival of unsteadiness, mustering a smile when she manages back and back again with grace.


Lenore By Monica Judge   |  November 7, 2022
I never witnessed Grandma Judge in the act of creation. On her visits, she presented crocheted doilies and Kleenex box covers, butterflies stitched in monarch colors affixed to magnets. My sister and I snuggled under the blanket she’d hooked together...

Last Night in Billings, Montana

Last Night in Billings, Montana By Sheree Winslow   |  October 31, 2022
Your mom, dad, and sister left for California first, explorers in search of housing after Dad got a job in Los Angeles. When they returned to pack and fetch you, they talked fast, words buoyant, while describing an event at Paramount Studios...

Parting Smile

Parting Smile By Brad Snyder   |  October 24, 2022
Dan has lost weight along with most of the feeling on his left side. His wife, Amanda, holds a four-pronged cane. The two of them perform a slow maneuver to get him into his wheelchair in preparation for our lunch.

Heart Height

Heart Height By Melissa Bowers   |  October 17, 2022
After practice, she pulls down her unicorn pictures and the hand-lettered painting that reads My love, only you know what my heart sounds like from the inside. Replaces them with creased softball posters. I’m sorry, she tells me, I’m not sure if I believe in unicorns anymore.

Atmospheric River

Atmospheric River By Anita Lo   |  October 10, 2022
When I was a child I frequently imagined ways in which I might perish in a natural disaster. I remember one night waking my father to ask whether it was more likely that a volcano, a tornado, or a flood would destroy our house.

Il Nocciolo De Pesca

Il Nocciolo De Pesca By Anna Farro Henderson   |  October 3, 2022
We cut the peaches, cook them down and pour the meat and juice into glass jars. We collect the seeds in another jar. “Why do you collect the seeds?” I ask.

The Silver Horse

The Silver Horse By Rose Strode   |  September 26, 2022
I found a silver coin in my mother's fancy things drawer when I was six: a large coin, inscribed with inscrutable writing, nestled among thigh-high nylons and diaphanous shortie nighties. On one side was the harp of royal Ireland; on the other, a horse.

Still Life

Still Life By Elizabeth Koster   |  September 19, 2022
“Isn’t this magnificent?” my mother says, sweeping her arm across the sky’s reflection in a pond of water lilies in Giverny. To think, we were in the very garden that Monet had painted.


Magnolia By Emily Lowe   |  September 12, 2022
On the day we move to Mount Airy, we stand in the front lawn of our new home next to a large magnolia tree in full bloom. Already, we are less than three years away from my father’s stroke, just feet from where he will fall.


Patches By Jennifer McGaha   |  September 5, 2022
In April of 1979, my mother, father, and I lounge on a jon boat on Lake Keowee in South Carolina. In the stern, my dad props his fishing rod against the motor handle, then pulls off his hat, wipes sweat from his bare head. In the bow, my mother guards the cooler.


Larceny By H.T. Ngo   |  August 29, 2022
The combination to my gym locker is 6-22-32. Locker number 433. To unlock the gate at the club, use 5024. It’s usually already opened by the groundskeeper.

A Cup Cracks

A Cup Cracks By Vimla Sriram   |  August 22, 2022
I can't remember if the teacup was under the cutting board or above it but obscured by the mountain of plates, glasses, and steel pots with black handles. All I remember is the crack of porcelain on the wooden floor and two pieces instead of one.

Acceptance, Both Ways

Acceptance, Both Ways By Anita Vijayakumar   |  August 15, 2022
I was an untested psychiatry resident learning the intricacies of therapy. She was my first patient, a young woman who needed to unpack her suffering. She spread out her traumas like snow globes, delicate stories encased in fractured glass.

Lima Bean

Lima Bean By Anna Chotlos   |  August 8, 2022
When my friend texts me her first ultrasound photo, it's still early, 8 or 9 weeks. We hold our joy tenderly, hoping it sticks.

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