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The Baptism of Sister Arlene Anderson

By Marilyn Abildskov Short Story

BETWEEN SLEEP AND WHAT FOLLOWS sleep, she pushes against water, gasping for air. It’s not until she wakes—at the edge of daylight—that her mind registers two thoughts simultaneously: that her knees ache, that Albert is still dead. On this, a Sunday morning, a third thought follows as she begins moving her legs to the edge of…

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The Charged World

By Martha Park Essay

WHEN MY FATHER finished seminary at Vanderbilt, he served his first small church in Beech Bluff, Tennessee. He was single and drove a little moped. He took disco dancing lessons to stave off loneliness and survived on church ladies’ casseroles. That summer he was working as a counselor at a church summer camp when he…

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The Newest Thing in the World

By David McGlynn Short Story

FOR THE LAST MONTHS of his life, my father lived upstairs from us. His ceiling pitched all the way to the floor, and three tall windows overlooked the pines and the bayou behind the house. For furniture there was a double bed, an oak dresser, and a nightstand—any more wouldn’t fit. The room had never…

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Born, Again and Again

By Pattiann Rogers Essay

I GREW UP NEAR A SMALL RIVER in southwest Missouri, really a large creek, an easily navigable waterway with a calm current, deep in places, in others flowing with low white ruffles over rocky shoals. I went to this river often, as if to a favorite relative, to see what was happening, wading and swimming…

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His Purgations  

By Thomas Lynch Poetry

Argyle shat himself and, truth be told, but for the mess of it, the purging was no bad thing for the body corporal. Would that the soul were so thoroughly cleansed, by squatting and grunting supplications. Would that purgatories and damnations could be so quickly doused and recompensed, null and voided in the name of…

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Ars Poetica: Baptismal Story

By Stephen Haven Poetry

My father thought the Anglican liturgy pure poetry, once, Three hundred people chanting in the multi-colors of the chancel, Saying on cue We do! Though they might have answered Otherwise in their own living rooms, together They committed to many things, the dignity Of every human being, the baby lifted high above My father’s head,…

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