Issue Fifteen – October 2009

Searching for Ichabod: His Eighteenth-Century Diary Leads Me Home

By Julie Van Camp

A washed-out sign leaning into a ditch informed me I was “Entering Whiting.” I was driving north on Vermont Route 30. The year was 1992. Clapboard farmhouses and towering feed silos dotted the sprawling fields. The horizon burned in brilliant blotches of red and

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Birds in Flight

By Paul Walsh

Darwin really nailed it, didn’t he? Really caught that melody
that matches every lyric in the song of life.
The prime IF-THEN statement buried deep
in the basic program of existence:

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A Summer of Unfinished Business

By Alie Wiegersma Smaalders

“I feel like a princess,” was my reaction to life on board an ocean liner from Rotterdam to New York. It was July 1951. I was twenty-seven. I came to the U.S. with other Dutch “Fulbrighters” for a year of graduate study. To prepare us for academic life we spent the

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Winter very quick poem

By Susan Slapin

winter very quick poem
out my window
white snow begins, again
another wondering winter blast

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By Kim Secunda

What do you use to stuff the crack under death’s door?

plain dirty laundry sweet sour and constant
the neverworn wedding dress
left hand gloves

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Old Love

By Barbara Lewis

New love is a form of madness. MRIs have proven that the brains of new lovers light up in the exact same area as those of people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorders. I read this in a weekly news magazine a few years ago, put out just in time for

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Maizie’s Hope

By Rita Larom

It was the embrace of two women who understood. Maizie had spread the quilt across her bed and called her daughter to join her. She had been working on this quilt for almost twenty-five years but hadn’t shown it to Sunny until today.

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By Jill McCabe Johnson

I put her to bed, frail as a torn rag,
and tried to erase the images
of her rickety legs at the edge of the chair,
my hands under her bony seat,

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By Elizabeth Landrum

You gave no sign of knowing
I was there
tucked behind pussywillows
at the riverbank

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A tough woman

By Eleanor Burke

A tough woman
lifts dozens of buckets of feed
and does not wince
when the hot wire fence catches her

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A History

By David Huddle

So they met for dinner
at a country inn and found
something like desire still
hovering between them.

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For Dana Mullan

By Meredith Giffith

We who live in this country
never become inured from grief.
Each time one falters it is the same:
the raw incomprehension
that this beloved could fade, or fail.

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Beauty is a feeling

By Eleanor Burke

He fed me
the root of a licorice fern,
sheep sorrel, a soup
made from stinging nettles.

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Filling Out the F.A.F.S.A.*(*Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

By Maya Borhani

“If net worth is negative,
enter zero.”
My daughter peers over my shoulder,
knows the weight of what can’t

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Mr. Talley’s Infusion

By Steve Adams

“What’s wrong with you, Talley? You’re dead out there. On the floor? You know that? Dead.”
Talley knew. He knew it deeply, in the aching calcification of his bones and the sludge that had settled sedimentarily in his brain.

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Mission Accomplished

By The Editors

When we launched SHARK REEF in June of 2001, we saw it as a new millenium online zine from a rural grassroots community. We had no thought of how it might evolve or grow up but simply wanted to give serious local writers a place where they could see their work

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By Jeff Otis

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