Substitute Teacher

by Susana H. Case I was nineteen in Ohio. Mornings, the phone rang with my assignment. I’d run down the hill to catch the bus— a different school most mornings— clutching a bag of M&M’s for lunch. Principals said, just keep the students quiet. Poor Maurice—same size as me, but mentally a six-year-old—all deficits and

Wisteria and Weeds

by Pamela L. Laskin Going to grow a gorgeous garden with wisteria blooming between begonias and roses ripe with longing. I had the seeds, the soil. All was ripe for blossoming. even the way I measured the distance between where the seeds were planted. How could I have known the heat was venomous, the waters

Everywhere But Here

by John Reed You and I are everywhere but here. Down on Gansevoort at the swanky bar, the cherrystone clams are ready for us, on ice on a platter, on the half shell– and the sprinklers time-on at the great lawn– and an orange skirt is somewhere walking– and drivers are adjusting their mirrors. We’re

Narcissus Distracted

by Barry Wallenstein Passing by a mirror, he pays no attention and gazes in the other direction. He pushes forward without looking back. It’s enough to know it’s there he thinks; placing one small thought behind another, he banishes envy, spite, rancor and courts a breeze on its way across a field of heather. Well

Wrong Son

by Jeff Hardin The wrong son died, my mother hissed. So many days I’ve tried to live to let go of who I might have been if I had stayed. My brother has no grave, no age. There were families I didn’t belong to, still don’t. Much I don’t want was never offered anyway. There