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  • Like a tree in which there are three blackbirds

    Thursday, May 7th “Turn out the light?” Buffalo girls won’t you come out tonight “Turn out the light?” And dance by the night of the moon “Turn out the light!” The light is the sun. Perry wants it out at night, so he can sleep. I’m constantly explaining my own powerlessness. I can’t fix the […]

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  • While the stem is winding one of those little lines about itself

    Wednesday, April 15 Yesterday, it rained and rained. Sheets, sprays, steady drizzles. A warm rain, and when I ran on the wooded road that is really a long driveway, the forest was a conspiracy of greening pines and new ferns. A full-blown waterfall tumbled busily down the slopes. I thought of Bridge to Terabithia. Not […]

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  • The Truth Is

    The Truth Is

    Monday, March 30 I don’t know what a swallow looks like. A medium-small bird whose wings moved radially flew over the duck pond, and I’m calling it a swallow. I didn’t know wings moved like that, in those tight little circles. It was a poignant bird in a close sky. There’s a war on and […]

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  • But No Queen Comes

    But No Queen Comes

    Wednesday, March 18th There’s a passage in Rilla of Inglesidewhere Rilla’s companion, Mrs. Oliver, dreams about the upcoming Battle of Verdun. In the dream, a French soldier staggers up the veranda to where she stands. They shall not pass, he insists, over the peal of thunder and lashing rain. Rilla tries to take heart in […]

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  • It’s only afternoon, there’s a lot ahead.

    Brady said we ought to keep a journal of this time, so when people ask, ten or thirty or fifty years from now, “what was it like,” we’ll be able to say: it was like [x].  Assume a susceptibility rate of y, and a transmission rate of n. Solve for x.  It was like the […]

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  • Unreal Cities, or Love in the Time of Corona

    A month ago, there was a murder on our block. The memory of the incident feels very fresh, still, and surreal in the way that events that you haven’t conceived of happening do.  Our block is a longish one, but the murder happened only a few doors down, across the street from the playground where […]

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  • Still in the Published City, or Revisiting My New York Canon after the Birth of My Second Son

    We arrived home after our annual Northeast Regional Christmas late last Friday. We were overladen with gifts (Our car, which had seemed quite a nice size a year ago, struggled mightily to hold two car seats and their respective occupants, a small dog, all said respective occupants’ lounging and sleeping gear, four suitcases, many, many […]

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  • How to Love New York: Spectating (or Running) the New York Marathon

    It occurs to me, on this Saturday before Marathon Sunday, that this date has not come up in my scattered set of posts on loving this city. Ridiculous oversight, now remedied. Marathon Sunday is my favorite day of the year to be in New York. As the promotional posters avow, It Will Move You — […]

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  • School Ties (or, the Campus Novel as a Counterfoil to Yet More Motherhood)

    One of those heady, grey days. Wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour. The maple leaves outside my room are dancing like mad. The little kids at the school behind me have finished recess; the bigger ones at the school across the street are still going strong. It’s loud — a torrent of yips […]

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  • A million words for bath-pruned skin

    Pregnancy, to me, is like holding my breath: the longer it progresses, the harder it is to concentrate on anything besides its eventual end. My son has cropped up at the edge of the bed, one hand curled around the ancient Motorola cell-phone, long dead, that he carries with him everywhere. He is slurping on […]

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