Issue 7.2 Nonfiction

Sam Reichman, “Tanya"

Aunt Mary

by margaret erhart

“My grandfather’s sister was a giant of a woman who, even in her bare feet, towered over the other females in the family. Her name was Mary. She wore rough tweed skirts and sensible shoes, and in winter she wore a beret. She steamed into a room like a ship nearing port. Never once, in any physical endeavor, did I see her hesitate. She was stern and old-fashioned, frightening to children, and she believed in naps. If the top of your head didn’t reach to her elbow, you belonged in your room after lunch, napping.”

 Dental Therapy

by geoff martin

“I used to go to the dentist to feel better about myself.

“You never had braces, huh?” various dentists have commented throughout my adult years. “So straight. Good bite, too.” Only one adult filling leadens my mouth, but it’s forgettable, way back in there, and at least twenty years old now. On my way out of dental appointments, I’d grown accustomed to running my tongue along my teeth with a certain amount of pride.”


by brenda miller and julie marie wade

“The bread is most important; it contains everything. White, no crust, insubstantial.

Peanut butter—Skippy’s, smooth, no nuts to interfere with a loose baby tooth. Spread not too thick, not too thin. My mother ran the knife across the surface, made perfect waves like the woman on the commercial. The bread lined up on the counter, each slice waiting to be anointed.

Jelly. Grape. Welch’s. In the commercial on TV, the jelly distills through a complicated system of glass pipes, curlicued tubes. A mother smells the steam with eyes closed. My mother dabbed it on, spread the purple jelly up to the edges, but left a margin to account for ooze.”

Three Twirls

by laura grace weldon

“That annoying passenger who grips the armrest when a car goes around a corner a little too fast? That’s me. I’m a proponent of safety in all its guises—bike helmets, carbon sequestration, peace accords. I’d never risk my life in a speeding recreational vehicle. And yet.”