Blog : Beautiful-Things

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Pawpaws

Pawpaws By Kelly Zanotti   |  April 27, 2020
Pedro is quiet as we walk, and is still quiet when we stop to rest on a rock where above us pawpaws hang overripe like clean green hearts.

Marco Polo in Missoula

Marco Polo in Missoula By Emily Withnall   |  April 20, 2020
My house is leaky. Wisps of cold air seep in – but my kids remind me this isn't possible, that scientifically the warm air is leaking out. Certainly, there is oxygen flow in this old creaky house but taking a full breath is a privilege I don't use . . .

These Italian Pastries

These Italian Pastries By Amy Suardi   |  April 13, 2020
These Italian pastries were decorated by an 87-year-old woman in a drawn-out process involving almond paste and mandarin oranges. I bought them at a cliffside stand in a cellophane bag tied with red curling ribbon on the Sicilian island of Lipari.

Beneath

Beneath By Laura Stott   |  April 6, 2020
Think about the spirit of an animal that could occupy a house this big – the whale. There goes my first born, gliding past me at the pool with her dad in a man-made river, smiling and carrying the sun like she was born to do. . .

Beginning of Spring

Beginning of Spring By Leanne Ogasawara   |  March 30, 2020
The Chinese calendar had it right. Insisting that spring begins in February is to begin a season at the beginning, when the season is only just awakening, a quiet stirring.

In the Car She Drives, the Air is Always Fresh(ened)

In the Car She Drives, the Air is Always Fresh(ened) By Carla Panciera   |  March 23, 2020
A cardboard pine tree of Caribbean Colada swings from the rearview mirror, the mirror in which my daughter considers whether she needs eyelash extensions, teeth whitening. Whether she needs her eyebrows threaded. Onto the vents, she's clipped mini-clothespins...

How Do They Find Me?

How Do They Find Me? By Donna Steiner   |  March 16, 2020
My mother's greatest pleasure since her stroke is to sit in the courtyard of the rehab center. It's not a beautiful space, just a square of concrete surrounded by high walls. If she could lean her head back, she could see the sky.

The Delicacy

The Delicacy By John Yu Branscum & Yi Izzy Yu   |  March 9, 2020
The "Eight Mountain Delicacies" are among the most sought after dishes from the Imperial Banquet of 1720, but they are nearly impossible to make. Some of the more exotic ingredients, such as leopard fetuses, are unobtainable . . .

Nesting

Nesting By Erin Wood   |  March 2, 2020
After the very worst winter, spring pushes back the smell of antiseptic, the taste of iron, the pain of useless milk, and fills the air with the green aroma of life once more. It draws me out again, bare feet in cool grass blades . . .

Another Workday

Another Workday By Robert Erle Barham   |  February 24, 2020
"Daddy, are you going to work?" my son asks when he sees me wearing a jacket and tie before I leave for campus and a day of teaching. Years ago my father's work boots and overalls prompted the same question from me. . .

My Sister Passes Me on a Bench at the Zoo

My Sister Passes Me on a Bench at the Zoo By Misty Urban   |  February 17, 2020
On a bench in the zoo a girl walks past me wearing my sister’s face—my sister’s smooth, pre-teen face, before acne, before irony, before the long humped shuffle of illness.

Picking Up Lint

Picking Up Lint By Mary Potter   |  February 10, 2020
My dad was an exacting man. When he ran a motor assembly plant in Belgium, he plastered the shop floor, break rooms, and bathrooms with signs that urge-warned in Flemish, WHAT YOU DO, DO IT RIGHT! At home he was equally demanding.

Eulogy for a Dog with Sad Eyes

Eulogy for a Dog with Sad Eyes By Margaret Emma Brandl   |  February 3, 2020
You were always underfoot, in fibers of the carpet, your big shape blocking doorways and chair-paths until you decided on your own where to go. You shook when there were fireworks, you barked when we got locked out, you smiled up at the camera...

Nails

Nails By Kristine Crane   |  January 27, 2020
My mother’s fingernails were sculpted and strong—not like salon nails, more like the backs of beetles. Every Saturday night she’d paint them for Mass the next day—usually deep red, her favorite color.

Atlantis

Atlantis By Angie Crea O'Neal   |  January 20, 2020
"Because, what if they don't turn out okay?" The question, posed by my 14-year old daughter, hung in the air as we drove past the park after school late one afternoon. I was talking about motherhood, and she matter-of-factly justified her plan...

Jasmine

Jasmine By Leah Christianson   |  January 13, 2020
He's outside, singing. On the record player, Sinatra spins. Next, it will be Pavarotti. Maybe a big-band soundtrack. Whatever the treasure, he will make a big show of dusting off and placing a needle upon before heading back to his garden.

Home to Roost

Home to Roost By Vivian Wagner   |  January 6, 2020
I liked the hens, with their kind eyes and soft, red feathers. I was seven, and I wanted to sleep with them, to nestle with them, because they felt like a dozen mothers, all watching out for me.

Here. Look.

Here. Look. By Ona Gritz   |  December 30, 2019
My husband hadn't meant to render us in silhouette. He was a novice, the camera new and heavy in his hands. As we gazed out the window he didn't realize that by aiming toward it, into the sun, he'd cast us in shadow, erasing specifics.

Floodscape

Floodscape By Lauren Crandall   |  December 23, 2019
On a winter's sunny day, I can see the Minnesota River shimmering a quarter mile away--past the trail at the base of our hill, over the pond, beyond the meadow, between the walnut trees. Come spring, there is imbalance--too much snow...

Woods Cove

Woods Cove By Cynthia Belmont   |  December 16, 2019
My younger sister who is dead of cancer now is returning to the tide pools soon because I'm going to bring her. I'm going to put her back, or something meaning her, which is a palmful of calcium phosphate and sodium, powdery ash...

It Happened in Brooklyn

It Happened in Brooklyn By Alena Dillon   |  December 9, 2019
They fell in love back when Brooklyn had trolley cards. He taped her photograph to the inside of his military locker. When the war ended...

Stray

Stray By Rebecca Lanning   |  December 2, 2019
She was over dogs when one appeared by their table at a beachside cafe. Strays roamed everywhere in Nosara, breedless, leashless wonders. This one had some pit bull and Corgi. Her husband thought hound. Pointy ears, long snout...

Offering

Offering By Janet Pocorobba   |  November 25, 2019
Just twelve people. People I didn’t know from Adam. I could have refused. Could've shaken my head and deferred to any one of them. Inside me, I felt a squeezing in my chest.

Home

Home By Susan Pope   |  November 18, 2019
It was just a gray concrete shell, wrapped with chain link fence. A dream home, unfinished, left to sun, dust, and rain. Around it, pastel mansions with swimming pools, iron gates, and razor wire.

A Loss for Words

A Loss for Words By Eric K. Taylor   |  November 11, 2019
This Chinese bowl, smooth in my hands, white as bone, entwined with blue dragons, reminds me of my friend Joyce's mom. Faizai she'd christened me. Fatso. (The Cantonese more affectionate than its English equivalent.)

Weight of Bones

Weight of Bones By Jennifer Filardo   |  November 4, 2019
A loon is not crazy for spending more time in the water than in the air, though the other birds may think so. He is made for it. Unlike his feathered brethren, his bones are solid. He relies on their weight to defy the buoyancy of water...

Collision

Collision By Brian Wallace Baker   |  October 28, 2019
I have questions: What would cold steel feel like on the back of my skull? How many bones would shatter? Where would I land?

Beach Day

Beach Day By Elizabeth Amon   |  October 21, 2019
Blue skies, blazing sun, of course. But honestly, it was a perfect day for fleeing steaming city streets, freezing corporate offices, our apartment, where a stuffed hippo and a crocheted blanket menaced. Everything had changed.

Scent's Memory

Scent's Memory By Tricia Theis   |  October 14, 2019
"What's the word where it reminds you of a long time ago?" I'm trying to get us out of the house and I know I sound impatient when I respond. "Nostalgia?" "Yeah," he says, "I love that smell."

Clementine Time

Clementine Time By Anna George Meek   |  October 7, 2019
There is no time but the time in the kitchen. My father loses track of days, and I buy a "clock" whose only hand moves from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, as if distinguishing between the days were important.

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