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I S
Editor Angela Hallstrom
Managing Editor Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury
Fiction Editor Lisa Torcasso Downing
Poetry Editor Michael R. Collings
Creative Nonfiction Editor Brittney Carman
Critical Essay Editor Karen Marguerite Moloney
Book Review Editor David G. Pace
Lead Copyeditor Elizabeth Petty Bentley
Copyediting Staff Laura Hilton Craner, Elizabeth L. Jensen, and Lotte Willian
Design Eric Lyman
Layout Marny K. Parkin

A M L B
President Eric Samuelsen
Board Members Neal Kramer, Alan Rex Mitchell, Boyd Petersen
Secretary Darlene Young
Annual Proceedings Editor Linda Hunter Adams
Webmaster Jacob Proffitt
-List Moderator Stephen Carter

Front cover: In Her Ear by Maralise Petersen


Irreantum (
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Fiction

Critical Essays

Poetry

F E

J H Calling and Election


W J JT"GUFSOPPO
D C Reap in Mercy
A C Salt Water
W M Speculations: Trees
K C Gypsy Holiday
M B Cause

 &# Going Mainstream:


 $IBJN1PUPLBTB.PEFMGPS.PSNPO-JUFSBUVSF
 ,/5 Wrestling with Motherhood:
Evolving Feminism in Josephine Spencers To Keep and
Little Mother

From the Archives


Creative Nonfiction
Reviews

H W -FBWJOH5PXFST
D Y 1PTUQBSUVN)PX-POH
N L F To Anne Katrine, Ancestor
T C 5XP1PFNTPO'BUIFSIPPE8BUDIJOH
 UIF4VOSJTFJO4U(FPSHF 6UBI'PVSUI.POUI3PTBSZ
M B %FBS'BUIFS -PWF "CJTI4XPMMFO
Coronation Plea

 +4 Little Mother


E M #FBVUZGPS"TIFs
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J L F-BOE&UFSOBM
Warren Hatchs Mapping the Bones of the World
 %( Hedges and Edges to a Genre-Based Market
Christopher Bigelows Kindred Spirits
and Eugene Woodburys The Path of Dreams
 %(1 Coffee with Levi Peterson
Levi Petersons A Rascal by Nature, a Christian by Yearning
 -1 "#BMBODFPGUIF-BSHFBOE4NBMM
Lance Larsens In All Their Animal Brilliance
A S
C
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Maralise Petersen, Fruit

-r-ntum

And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum,


which, being interpreted, is many waters.
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RVBMJUZPGXSJUJOH CPUIDSFBUJWFBOEDSJUJDBM
8FXFMDPNFVOTPMJDJUFETVCNJTTJPOTPGQPFUSZ mDUJPO DSFBUJWFOPOfiction, and plays that address the Mormon experience either directly
PSCZJNQMJDBUJPO8FBMTPXFMDPNFTVCNJTTJPOTPGDSJUJDBMFTTBZTUIBU
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sermons). Critical essays may also address Mormon literature in more
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S I
P submissions to irreantum@mormon
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floppy disk or to Irreantum, co , #PY 0SFN 
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From the Editor

W want?
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communion.
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KPVSOBMMJLFIrreantum"GUFSBMM UIJTNBHB[JOFBUUFNQUTUPCJOEUXP
impulsesthe artistic and the religious. But I see the broader definiUJPOPGDPNNVOJPOXPSLJOHTPNFIPXJOFWFSZQJFDFQVCMJTIFEJOUIJT
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*VOEFSTUBOEUIFTFDIBSBDUFSTEFTJSFT.ZPXOTFBSDIGPSDPNNVnion has led me, time and time again, to other peoples stories. To literaUVSFFCFTUDIBSBDUFSTCFUIFZGPVOEJOmDUJPOPSOPOmDUJPOBSF
those who let me know UIFNJTJOUJNBDZOPUPOMZIFMQTNFCFUUFS
understand those who live outside my personal and cultural boundarJFT CVU*CFMJFWFJUIFMQTNFLOPXNZTFMGCFUUFS UPP
*OUIFDPOUSJCVUPSTOPUFTGPSBest American Short Stories , the
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From the Editor

can help tear down the walls we humans erect around ourselves.
He says:
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PO NZ PXO DIBSBDUFS  NBLJOH NF MFTT TFMGDPOTDJPVT BOE WBJO 
more empathic and imaginative, maybe even kinder. Perhaps its
an oversimplification, but as Ive gotten older Ive come to wonder
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to engender and promote charity. Sure, literature entertains and
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FJEFBUIBUXFDSFBUFBSUBTBXBZUPFODPVSBHFDIBSJUZJTBIFBWZ
one to contemplate. But it rings true to me. As a Mormon, I believe
each individual on earth is a hero in his or her own epic, extraordinary,
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character-driven story. As I try to see the world and the people in
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I agree with Russo: my acquaintance with literature helps me live with
compassion.
As readers come to the stories and essays and poems in Irreantums
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the best art offers us. Perhaps some will see themselves in these charBDUFST ZFBSOJOHT BOE  JO UIBU SFDPHOJUJPO  HBJO B NFBTVSF PG QPXFS 
PSQFBDF*TUIJTBMPGUZHPBM *TVQQPTF#VUJGUIFSFTBOZLJOEPGMJUerature that can engender and promote charity, I believe a Mormon
literature can.
Angela Hallstrom

Maralise Petersen, On Top

Calling and Election


J H

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a hardened pit growing inside his brain. He shut the car door and
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through the darkened entryway and locked the glass doors, stopping
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he turned and went toward his pickup.
As Bishop Gordon started his truck and pulled away, Jerry Sangood
knew he had a choice. He could shake off this moment. He could go
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$BMJGPSOJBUPIFMQUIFJSEBVHIUFSBOEIFSOFXCBCZ)FDPVMEQSBZ
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pray in his secret chambers, God would still be waiting, patient as the
8BTBUDI.PVOUBJOT GPS+FSSZUPSFUVSOUPUIJTNPNFOU*OBXFFLPS
a month or a year, God would send someone to ask Jerry to put his
hand to the plow without looking back.

First place, Irreantum Fiction Contest

"TUIFUBJMMJHIUTPGUIFCJTIPQTQJDLVQEJTBQQFBSFEJOUIFEBSLOFTT 
BEVMMQBJODPVSTFEJUTXBZVQUIFCBDLPG+FSSZTOFDL"UMFBTUOPX
it made sensethe headaches, the mood swings, the memory lapses.
For weeks he had thought he was losing his mind. Hiding the pain
had only made him more irritable, had only made his behavior more
erratic. Now he walked toward the buildings double doors, pushing
back the pain by sheer will.
Dont be late, the man on the phone had said.
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IFXBTSJHIUPOUJNFi8IBUTIBMMJUQSPmUBNBO wIFUIPVHIU iJGIF
shall gain the whole world?
Waiting in the church parking lot with a tumor in his brain, Jerry
knew that God had given him so much. He and Camille had paid
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and their good reputations. Above all, they had the gospel, which had
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Even this knot growing in his brain was an invitation, Jerry believed.
God dwells in eternal burnings, the Prophet Joseph Smith had
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&WFSZUIJOHUIBUIBEIBQQFOFEXBTQBSUPG(PETQMBOFJSEBVHIUFS
and her baby in the hospitalit was a test. Jerrys headaches, and now
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Jerry paused at the church doors. He had been passing through
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metal and glass and carpet. Jerry was like this building, he realized:
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beauty that we should desire him.
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but with a believing heart, with the same heart that had moved him


Harrell: Calling and Election

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PGIJTmOHFSTUPVDIFEUIFNFUBMEPPSIBOEMF UIFIBMMXBZMJHIUTDBNF
on. An elderly man appeared in the hall, next to the stake presidents
office, his hand on the light switch. He wore a black, three-piece suit
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pulled on the door handle. It opened with ease.
Jerry stepped inside, and the man approached him. He had wireSJNNFEHMBTTFTBOEBTUPOZTNJMFUIBUTIPXFEBSPXPGDSPPLFEUFFUI
He was bald and his eyebrows were bare. Im Brother Lucy, he said,
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coming.
Jerry sensed that they were the only two in the building.
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leading him UPXBSEUIFTUBLFQSFTJEFOUTPDFiJTXJMMPOMZUBLFB
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magazines. Did you travel alone? he asked. I thought the Brethren
always traveled in pairs.
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as the saying goes. Shall we begin? he asked.
Jerry nodded, shuddering a bit at the pain in his neck.
Are you all right? Brother Lucy asked.
Just a headache, Jerry said. Ill be fine.
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business, he said. Get you home so you can rest. He took two sheets
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i#SPUIFS+FSSZ4BOHPPE XFBSFIFSFBUUIFQSPNQUJOHTPGUIF)PMZ
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your secret prayers and whispered counsel to you in your extremities.
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brethren in the priesthood have confirmed your worthiness.
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ZPV UP UIF IJHIFS CMFTTJOHT PG UIF QSJFTUIPPE F TFDPOE MFUUFS JT
addressed to the prophet. In order to receive this election, you must
sign the second letter, which states that you accept the weighty charge
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letter, I will then deliver it to the prophet. Brother Sangood, do you
understand the calling and election I am extending to you?
Its the Second Anointing, Jerry said.
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FO IF QBVTFE GPS B NPNFOU  MFWFMJOH IJT HB[F PO +FSSZi#SPUIFS
4BOHPPE wIFTBJE iBOFXEJTQFOTBUJPOBXBJUTZPV JGZPVBSFXJMMJOH
to receive it.
A new dispensation, Jerry repeated, thinking about the tumor
growing in his brain.
A literal pouring out upon your head, the man said.
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his neck.
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He circled the air above the image with a silver pen. In the black and
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%S4MBUFSTDIFEVMFEBCJPQTZGPS.POEBZ JO1PDBUFMMP)FTBJEUIFZ
wouldnt know anything until then.


Harrell: Calling and Election

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to an empty house. He picked up the cordless phone and sat on the
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had been on the plane when Gwens uterine wall broke. When she
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Jerry didnt know when Camille would be coming back, and
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on Monday. Jerry put the cordless back on its cradle. He wouldnt
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Brother Lucy had called. Now Jerry was looking at two lettersand
a new dispensation.
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XBTBTQBDFBUUIFCPUUPNGPS+FSSZTTJHOBUVSF+FSSZSFBEUIFXPSET
i4FDPOE $PNGPSUFSw BOEiTFSWF XJUI BMM NZ IFBSU  NJHIU  NJOE  BOE
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his coat pocket and handing it to Jerry.
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8IFO IF UBVHIU IJT TUVEFOUT JO TFNJOBSZ  IF PGUFO RVPUFE UIF 1SJNBSZTPOHi,FFQUIFDPNNBOENFOUT*OUIJTUIFSFJTTBGFUZJOUIJT
there is peace. He signed the letter and handed it back to Brother
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4UBOEJOHJOUIFQBSLJOHMPUXJUIUIFNBOBGFXNJOVUFTMBUFS +FSSZ
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i&BDIDBTFJTEJFSFOU w#SPUIFS-VDZTBJEPODFBHBJOFO IFMPXFSFEIJTIFBEGPSBNPNFOU TDPXMJOH MJLFBNBOBSHVJOHXJUIIJNTFMG
What is it? Jerry asked.
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impressed to caution you.
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i"MPUPGQFPQMFIBWFMJWFEPOUIJTFBSUIw#SPUIFS-VDZMPPLFEVQ
in contemplation BUUIFEBSLTLZi"OEBMPUPGQFPQMFXJMMZFUMJWFPO
this earth.
In the black and overcast sky above them, three stars had become
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IVNJMJUZBOE"MEFCBSBO UIFGPMMPXFS
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said.
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#SPUIFS-VDZTNJMFEXSZMZi#JMMJPOTPGQFPQMFIBWFMJWFEPOUIJT
FBSUI wIFTBJEi#JMMJPOTXJMMZFUCFTFOU#VUBUIJSEPGUIFIPTUTXFSF
DBTU EPXO UP FBSUI GPS SFCFMMJPOVOFNCPEJFE TQJSJUT SPBNJOH UIF
earth, seeking their brothers and sisters destruction.
In Jerrys eyes, Brother Lucy suddenly looked like a small, needletoothed mammal, MJLFBQSFEBUPSi)PXNBOZPGUIFNBSFUIFSF wIF
asked. How many spirits roam the earth, combined against each one
PGVT w
+FSSZGFMUBHMPPNUIBUTFFNFEUPFNFSHFGSPNUIFIBSEFOFEQJUJO
UIFCBDLPGIJTPXOTLVMM)FGFMUJUJOUIFBJSBSPVOEIJN JOIJTFBST 
in his nose and mouth, like a living, cancerous smoke. He clenched his
FZFTTIVU VOBCMFUPSFTJTUUIFWJTJPOPGEP[FOTPGEFWJMJTImFOETFODJScling him, entering his thoughts, taunting and tempting, blaspheming
IJTGBJUI)FGFMMUPIJTLOFFT UIFTPVOEPG#SPUIFS-VDZTWPJDFTXJSMJOHBNJEUIFEFWJMJTIBJS8SJUIJOHPOUIFQBWFNFOUPGUIF church
parking lot, Jerry struggled against the hosts that beset him. )FGFMU
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as the very pavement seemed to heave a pitch beneath him, becoming
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W J UIFQBSLJOHMPUPGUIF seminary the
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his car and walked stiffly toward the building, his muscles aching. He
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the letter. He remembered Brother Lucy talking about the hosts who


Harrell: Calling and Election

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tie gone, his hands and shirt filthy.
He put his ruined suit in a trash bag and took it out to the garbage.
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Reaching the seminary building, his limbs stiff and aching, he
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menacing animal. He remembered the words, Each case is different.
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he thought. But the lights were off, and no one responded when he
stepped inside and called out a greeting. He walked down the hall,
switching on lights and checking rooms. Everything seemed to be in
order, until he got to his own classroom.
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Gods hand in all things.
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students would be coming in at any moment. Fearing all that he had
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a flurry. Despite the ache in his limbs, despite the sharp pains in the
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hung on the walls, untouched. He rushed to his desk, vainly believing he could stuff the obscene pictures in the drawers and hide this
unreasonable, unbelievable thing that had happened. But the drawers
PGIJTEFTLBMSFBEZIBEQJDUVSFTJOUIFN EP[FOTPGQJDUVSFT OFBUMZ
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UPUIF/FQIJUFT+PTFQI4NJUI /PBI BOE*TBJBIGBNJMZQSBZFSBOE
CBQUJTN+FSSZUIPVHIUUIFOUIBUIFNVTUCFMPTJOHIJTNJOEFTF
QJDUVSFTIBECFFOPOUIFXBMMTKVTUUIFEBZCFGPSF XIJDIOPXTFFNFE
B MJGFUJNF BXBZ SPXJOH PQFO UIF MBTU EFTL ESBXFS  IF TBX B QJDUVSFPG"EBNBOE&WFJOUIF(BSEFOFJNBHFPGUIFDPVQMFIPMEing hands in Eden seemed more real than ever as Jerry stood in his
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images clutched to his chest.
His goodness stripped naked and mocked, Jerry saw three ninthHSBEFHJSMTTUBOEJOHJOUIFEPPSXBZFZTUPPEGSP[FOJOUIFJSJOOPcence, holding their books and backpacks, their eyes wide and their
mouths agape. Jerry knew these girls. He knew their parents. Hed
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crying out in shock to the other students. Just as Jerry reached the
doorway, calling incoherently to the girls, Adam Birch and Greg
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astonishment.
Jerry tried to move beyond the boys. Girls, girls! he called out in
a vulgar cough, his legs nearly giving way beneath him. Please! he
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Birch caught him by the arm. Go get Brother Severe, Adam said to
someone behind him.
Jerry tried to slough off Adam Birchs hold on his arm. He called
UIFHJSMTOBNFTi 5FSSB *TBCFMw#VUUIFZXFSFBMSFBEZPVUPGTJHIU MPTU


Harrell: Calling and Election

CFIJOE UIF DSPXE PG TUVEFOUT TUSBJOJOH UP TFF JOTJEF UIF DMBTTSPPN
+FSSZUSJFEUPQVTIUISPVHI CVUIFXBTUPPXFBLFCPZTESPWFIJN
back into the room, wrestled him to the floor.
No, Jerry managed to say as he reached out, trying to cover the
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Youre not getting to those girls.
FXFJHIUPGmWFPSTJYCPZTXBTPOIJNOPXFHBUIFSFETUVdents spun on their heels, eyes wide with dread as they saw the pictures on the wall, as they saw their teacher being held to the floor by
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Brother Lucy! God, Brother Lucy! Jerry called out. He was trying
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room at all.
When his seminary brethren burst into the room, they stopped
short, as though theyd hit an invisible wall. Brother Severe came
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FSPPNGFMMTJMFOUBTUIFUISFFNFOUPPLJOUIFTDFOFUIFJSGFMMPX
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TUVEFOUTMPPLFEBUUIFUISFFNFOFYQFDUBOUMZ3FTUJOHGPSBNPNFOU 
Jerry uttered a single pathetic moan as he let out his breath.
Brother Parker groaned, Dear Father. Brother Blaine turned
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Severe touched his sleeve, halting his exit.
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the boys released Jerry and wordlessly moved aside. Brother Severe
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)FMJGUFE+FSSZUPIJTGFFU+FSSZTUFQQFEUPXBSEUIFXBMM UPXBSEBSPX
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CFFOBMPOF)FUVSOFE BOEUIFO BTJGUIFSFIBECFFOTPNFLJOEPG


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the wall, sobbing now, pulling down a dozen or more pictures at a
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$PVHIJOH TPCCJOH +FSSZCBSLFEPVUBOJODPIFSFOUDVSTFi)FMMJG*
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on you all! he spat.
Brother Severe moved toward Jerry, but Jerry tackled him, pushing
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#MBJOFBOE1BSLFS UIFUISFFNFOUPQQMFEJOUPBXBMMPGTUVEFOUTBT
+FSSZSVTIFEQBTUUIFNBOEEBSUFEEPXOUIFIBMMFTUVOOFETUVdents cowered and gave way as Jerry raced down the hall, shouting
BOEDVSTJOH VOUJMIFmOBMMZCVSTUGSPNUIFCVJMEJOHMJLFBNBENBO
T IPVTFEJOBOFXBOOFYPGUIFIJTUPSJD TBOETUPOFGBDFEDPVSUIPVTFCVJMEJOHPO.BJO4USFFUFJOUFSJPSPGUIF
OFXKBJMXBTIBSEBOETNPPUIDPODSFUFnPPSTBOEXBMMTQBJOUFEXIJUF 
NFUBMDFMMEPPSTBEFFQCMVFFDFMMTXFSFTNBMMDPODSFUFCPYFTXJUI
CVOLCFET TUBJOMFTTTUFFMUPJMFUTJOLVOJUT BOETNBMM CBSSFEXJOEPXT
0VUTJEFUIFTJYDFMMTXBTBTLZMJUFODMPTFEBSFBXJUIUXPTUFFMQJDOJD
tables, the legs embedded in the concrete floor. As the sheriff led Jerry
JOUPUIFFODMPTVSFJOIBOEDVT +FSSZTIPXFETJHOTPGSFDPHOJUJPO)F
IBECFFOUIFSFCFGPSF BTBTUBLFPDFSDPOEVDUJOH4VOEBZTFSWJDFT
GPSUIFQSJTPOFST8IFOUIFTIFSJUPPLPUIFIBOEDVT +FSSZIFME
up his hands lamely, showing his palms. He bowed his head, and in a
whispered chant, said Amen, amen.
FTIFSJIBEGPVOE+FSSZJOBTIFFQTIFEPO(MBEF3BJOFTTGBSN
POUIFFEHFPGUPXO(MBEFIBEDBMMFETBZJOH+FSSZXBTXBOEFSJOHIJT
property, chasing sheep and shouting questions about the prophets.
Raines held Jerry at bay with a shovel until the sheriff got there, sayJOHIFEPOMZIJU+FSSZBDPVQMFPGUJNFT BOEPOMZXIFOIFUSJFEUP
HFUBXBZ%VSJOHUIFSJEFUPUIFKBJMIPVTF +FSSZIBETBUJOUIFCBDL
seat, handcuffed, muttering the lyrics to Elvis songs, mingled with
scripture.
4IFSJ'JTIFSTBU+FSSZEPXOBUPOFPGUIFUBCMFT)FTOBQQFEIJT
mOHFSTJOGSPOUPG+FSSZTGBDFUPHFUIJTBUUFOUJPOFO QPJOUJOHUPBO

Harrell: Calling and Election

PQFODFMMEPPS IFTBJE iBUTZPVSDFMM #SPUIFS4BOHPPEFSFTB


CVOLBOEBUPJMFU*GZPVEPOUDBVTFBOZUSPVCMF ZPVDBOTJUPVUIFSFBT
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+FSSZCPXFEIJTIFBEi0 (PE UIF&UFSOBM'BUIFS wIFTBJE OPEEJOH
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'JTIFSTBJEi8FSFMPPLJOHBUQSPQFSUZEBNBHFDIBSHFTGPSTVSF BOE
QSPCBCMZ B QVCMJD EFDFODZ WJPMBUJPO *MM IBWF ZPV BSSBJHOFE CFGPSF
Judge Hill in the morning.
+FSSZTUBSFEBUUIFNFUBMUBCMF4PNFUIJOHXBTTUVDLUIFSFJOGSPOU
PGIJNBOPMETUJDLFSGSPNBCBOBOB
You know Judge Hill, dont you? Sheriff Fisher asked.
+FSSZQJDLFEBUUIFTUJDLFS QVMMJOHQBSUPGJUBXBZ MFBWJOHCFIJOEBO
outline in dirt. Don Hill, Jerry said without looking up.
FTIFSJTRVBUUFEPOPOFLOFFUPDBUDI+FSSZTFZFiFSFTTPNFUIJOHFMTF wIFTBJE)FQBVTFEBNPNFOUi"DPVQMFPGUIFHJSMTTBJE
you sexually harassed them.
+FSSZTUBSFEIBSEBUUIFNFUBMUBCMF*GIFSBJTFEIJTFZFTUPPMPOH 
he might see those combined against him. Like mincing shadows with
DMBXTGPSFZFT UIFZEBTTBJMFEIJNJOUIFQBSLJOHMPUXJUI#SPUIFS-VDZ 
CVFUFEIJNBTIFXBOEFSFE(MBEF3BJOFTTTIFFQGPME
i0OF PG UIF 1FUFSTPO HJSMT TBZT ZPV NBEF TFYVBM DPNNFOUT w UIF
sheriff said.
+FSSZOPEEFEF1FUFSTPOHJSMIBEUBMLFEUPIJNBGUFSTDIPPMBOE
UPMEIJNIFSCPZGSJFOEIBEEVNQFEIFSGPSTPNFPOFQSFUUJFSi4IF
was crying, Jerry said, still picking at the banana sticker. Such a beauUJGVMHJSMw)FSFNFNCFSFEUFMMJOHIFSIPXQSFUUZTIFXBTBOEQSPNising her the other boys would see that, too. Yes, Jerry said to the
sheriff, nodding, smiling a little.
i"OEUIF$PNQUPOHJSM wUIFTIFSJTBJEi4IFDMBJNTZPVHPUPVUPG
line with her, too.
+FSSZMPPLFEVQBUUIFTIFSJ)FTIPPLIJTIFBECBDLBOEGPSUI 
TBZJOH i/P OPw)FTUBSUFEUPHFUVQ BTJGIFNJHIUXBMLBXBZF
sheriff simply sat him back down.
iF$PNQUPOHJSM wUIFTIFSJSFQFBUFE


+FSSZ DPVOUFE PO IJT mOHFST  HSBTQJOH GPS TPNFUIJOH MJLF MPHJD
iFSFWFBMJOHUPQT UIFTIPSUTLJSUT UIFIJHIIFFMTw)FEQSBZFEGPS
the girl and her parents, recently divorced. Hed cautioned her about
her appearance. Jerry looked at the sheriff pleadingly. Her bodys a
temple, he said. He returned his attention to the sticker, picking at it
studiously.
Do you realize whats happening here? the sheriff asked. Youre
in pretty deep.
Jerry looked up, abruptly confident. He smiled and patted the sheriff s arm. I was in prison and ye came unto me.
i*MMDBMMZPVSXJGF w4IFSJ'JTIFSTBJE
+FSSZMPPLFECBDLBUUIFUBCMFFBDIFGSPNUIFCMPXTPG(MBEF
Rainess shovel spoke to him like an old regret. Jerry had grown up a
long time ago, it seemed, in a small house near the railroad tracks in
1PDBUFMMP"OPMENBOMJWFEEPXOUIFTUSFFUXIFOIFXBTBCPZF
NBOIBEBLOJGFBOEIFTBJEIFDPVMEDVUP+FSSZTFBS"TVOOZBGUFSOPPO BOE+FSSZTGBUIFSXBTUIFSFFNBOTIPXFEIJTLOJGF+FSSZ
EJEOUVOEFSTUBOEUIBUUIFNBOXBTUFBTJOHIJNFO+FSSZSFNFNbered something else. Hed been a young husband. He and Camille
ESPWFBVOEFSCJSEDPOWFSUJCMFIFECPSSPXFEGSPNIJTGSJFOE3BZNPOE)BZFTFZEESJWFOUP-BT7FHBTUPTFF&MWJT)FSFNFNCFSFE
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"OE IF SFNFNCFSFE TUBOEJOH JO GSPOU PG IJT TUVEFOUT  UIF GBNJMJBS
TFOTBUJPOPGIJTMFBUIFSCPVOE#PPLPG.PSNPOJOIJTIBOE UFTUJGZJOHJOPOFPGUIPTFSBSFNPNFOUTXIFOBMMPGUIFTUVEFOUTXFSFTJMFOU 
USVMZMJTUFOJOH MJTUFOJOHOPUKVTUUPIJN CVUUPUIF4QJSJUUFTUJGZJOH
He remembered that morning, carrying his tattered, soiled suit to the
HBSCBHF MJLFBNBOIJEJOHBTIBNFGVMTJO
When Sheriff Fisher came in next, leaving the door open to the
PDF UIFPVUTJEFMJHIUGSPNUIFTNBMM CBSSFEXJOEPXXBTHSPXJOH
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FCBDLEPPSUPUIFIPVTFXBTXJEFPQFO"MMUIPTFQJDUVSFTUIFZ

Harrell: Calling and Election

XFSF QSJOUFE GSPN ZPVS DPNQVUFS"MM XF IBE UP EP XBT DIFDL UIF
computer history. It was all right there.
Jerry remembered seeing Sheriff Fisher as a boy, riding a silver
CJDZDMFBMMPWFSUPXO)FDPVMESJEFXJUIOPIBOETGSPNPOFFOEPG
UPXOUPUIFPUIFS IJTBSNTGPMEFEPWFSIJTDIFTU"TUIFTIFSJTQPLF 
Jerry reached out and patted his sleeve.
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at your computer, it was already on. It was open to your banks website.
"MMZPVSBDDPVOUTIBWFCFFO[FSPFEPVU BMMUIFGVOETXFSFUSBOTGFSSFE
We talked to the bank. Did you plan on skipping town, Jerry? Is that
why you empted the accounts? Is that why you did it while Camille
was gone?
Who needs money? Jerry said, quoting an Elvis tune.
FUFMFQIPOFSBOH BOE4IFSJ'JTIFSTUPPEVQ IFBEJOHGPSUIFPDF
i*GUIBUMJUUMFUSJDLEPXOBUUIFTFNJOBSZXBTZPVSXBZPGHFUUJOHCBDLBU
UIJTUPXOGPSTPNFUIJOH wIFTBJE iUIFOJUXBTBIFMMPGBXBZUPHPw
+FSSZTBUBUUIFNFUBMUBCMF IJTIBOETCFGPSFIJN IJTmOHFSTPVUstretched. Too many things were happening, too many things to think
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He realized that now. He could go to sleep. He looked up at the cell,
UIF EPPS TUBOEJOH PQFO F TIFSJ IBE GPVOE IJT IPVTF UIBU XBZ 
with the door standing open. He could go to sleep. He had awakened
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stepped into the cell, thinking he might shut the door behind him, but
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XBMM)FXBTHMBEJUXBTOUSBJOJOH)FEJEOULOPXJGUIPTFDPNCJOFE
against him were in the cell with him, though he knew they were in
prison. He didnt want to turn and see. He heard the sheriff talking
POUIFQIPOFJOUIFPDF)FIFBSEUIFTIFSJTBZUIFXPSET iBUT
what it looks like.
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too good.


+FSSZTBUPOUIFFEHFPGUIFCFEBOEUPPLUIFQIPOF
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I cant talk long. FZ QVU (XFO CBDL JO *OUFOTJWF $BSF 4IFT
bleeding again.
We can say a prayer, Jerry said. We can give her a blessing.
Whats happening to us? Camille asked.
Heavenly Father . . . Jerry said, unable to finish.
A long silence stretched between them. Jerry could hear her
NVFETPCT)FLOFXUIFSIZUINPGIFSCSFBUIJOH MJLFUIFQVMTF
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simply come true.
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the cell, at the metal tables outside the cells where he had given the
sacrament to the prisoners when he had served here as a stake officer.
FXPSETDBNFUPIJTMJQTi#MFTTBOETBODUJGZ wIFXIJTQFSFE
Ill try to come home, Camille said. I have to see to Gwen, too,
BOEUIFCBCZTIFTTPQSFDJPVT w$BNJMMFTBJEiJTJTBUFTU +FSSZ w
she said. Heavenly Father, she said, her own voice trailing off.
A moment later, when she said goodbye, Jerry didnt switch off the
phone. He lay there with the receiver to his ear until the sheriff came
JOBOEIFMEPVUIJTIBOEi*OFFEUIFMJOFGSFF w4IFSJ'JTIFSTBJE
5+4had three visitors who came to him
like messengers in a dream. Brother Severe asked Jerry about his
headaches.
i%S4MBUFSGPVOETPNFUIJOHJONZIFBE w+FSSZTBJE
I bet he did, Brother Severe answered, talking there in the darkOFTTPGUIFDFMM TJUUJOHPOBNFUBMGPMEJOHDIBJSi.BZCFUIBUUIJOHJO
your head drove you crazy, he added.


Harrell: Calling and Election

But Jerry knew it was more than that. He knew God was standing
above them all, greater even than the earth upon which all their lives
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the cars and the songs and the empty hearts, God moved through
their lives like a giant flaming sun rolling through space, quiet and
sure, like the very blood coursing through their veins.
I contacted Salt Lake, Brother Severe said. Youre through teachJOH PGDPVSTFFTIFSJTBJEUIFSFTOPRVFTUJPO UIFFWJEFODFJTBMM
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you remember that, that first year we worked together? You saved my
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Jerry, especially one who looked like that. He laughed a small desperate laugh, shaking his head. I thought I was beyond temptation.
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Brent Blaine came next. I was standing in the doorway, he said.
I had the tithing deposit in my hand, over twenty thousand dollars.
*DPVMEKVTUCPSSPXBMJUUMF *UIPVHIU QBZJUCBDL*LOFXOPPOFXBT
supposed to be alone with the money. You saw me, and it was like you
LOFXA )FBEFEUPUIFCBOL ZPVBTLFEA *MMHPBMPOH:PVIBEUPLOPX
And now its you. I dont get it.
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*TVQQPTFEUPEP UFMM#SPUIFS4FWFSF .S3JHIUFPVT A0I CZUIFXBZ 
*VTFEUPIBWFBOFBUJOHEJTPSEFS#VUJUTPLBZ*GPSDFNZTFMGUPFBU
and I stuff my anxieties. No one suspects it because Im a man. He
choked a laugh. You have to be crazy, Jerry, to do what you did. Who
am I going to talk to now?


+FSSZEJEOUTQFBL6OTFFOPUIFSTDMBNPSFEJOUIFBJS TPNFDPNbined against Jerry, some against Brother Parker. Jerry reached out
across the darkness, taking the young mans hand.
Im sorry it had to be you, Brother Parker said.
A , B L came. He stood over Jerry, shaking him
awake.
Its time to go, he said.Get up. Jerry put on his shoes, his head cloudy
BOEUIJDL#SPUIFS-VDZUPPLIJNCZUIFBSN TUBOEJOHIJNVQFO
Brother Lucy simply walked Jerry past the only deputy on duty, who
was sitting with his back to the door, watching FZXBMLFEPVUPG
UIFCVJMEJOHMJLFUXPBOHFMTTUFQQJOHBXBZGSPNBGBMMFOQSJTPO0VUTJEF
it was a chilly, overcast morning as they walked north on Main Street,
past Heritage Mortgage and Belknap Chiropractic, past the empty
TUPSFGSPOUXIFSF+$1FOOFZTIBEPODFCFFOFTUPSFTXFSFDMPTFEBOE
the only cars on the road were still driving with their lights on.
When the dryness in Jerrys throat cleared enough that he could
speak, Jerry simply asked, Why did they let me go?
Just walk, Brother Lucy said.
+FSSZDPVMEGFFMUIFUVNPSJOIJTIFBE DPVMEGFFMJUHSPXJOH)F
could taste it like metal in his mouth. Maybe the spirits who had
BUUBDLFEIJNJOUIFDIVSDIQBSLJOHMPUIBEHSPXOPVUPGUIFQJUJOIJT
IFBE0SNBZCFUIFZXFSFXBJUJOHUPFOUFSJOUISPVHIJU MJLFBQPSUBM
Whatever God wants, Jerry said, he can have.
Keep walking, Brother Lucy said, taking him by the arm and
XBMLJOHGBTUFS
FZUVSOFEUIFDPSOFSBOEXFOUEPXO)FBUI4USFFU IFBEJOHFBTU
Jerry looked ahead, staring into the sun. He stared at the white-hot
ball on the horizon as long as he could stand it, burning his eyes with
UIFTJHIUPGJU&WFSZUIJOHCFHBOUPCVSOJOPOIJNUIFMJGFIFXBT
MPTJOH)FMPPLFEBUUIFTVOGPSBMPOHXIJMFBOEUIFOMPPLFEEPXO 
VOBCMFUPTFFGPSBNPNFOUi8IZEP*OFFENZFZFT wIFTBJE
8IFOIFMPPLFEBXBZGSPNUIFTVO IFPOMZTBXBQJOLXIJUFOFTT
)FXBMLFEBIFBE CMJOEGPSBNPNFOU VOUJMUIFWJTJPOSFUVSOFE)F


Harrell: Calling and Election

TBXIJTOFDLUJFIBOHJOHMPPTFMZGSPNIJTOFDLi*EPOUOFFEUIJT wIF
said, taking it off and dropping it to the ground. He took off his suit
DPBUBOEBCTFOUMZMFUJUGBMMUPUIFTJEFXBMLBTXFMM
i:PVSFMJUUFSJOH w#SPUIFS-VDZTBJEiFTIFSJXJMMHFUZPVw
Whats happening to my daughter? Jerry asked. Why does she
IBWFUPCFBQBSUPGUIJT "OEUIFCBCZXIZJTOUUIFCBCZCSFBUIJOH
right? What did he do wrong?
i)FXBTCPSO w#SPUIFS-VDZTBJEiBUTFOPVHIw
Its not right. God can have him, but its not right.
FZDPOUJOVFEEPXO)FBUI4USFFU XBMLJOHPVUPGUPXOUPXBSE
the grain fields and the purple mountains in the distance. At the edge
PGUPXO XIFSFUIFTJEFXBMLFOEFE UIFZUPPLUPUIFCMBDLUPQTUSFFU 
walking parallel with the railroad tracks and East Canal, headed
UPXBSEUIFPMETVHBSGBDUPSZ
Where are we going? Jerry asked.
When you drained your bank account, Brother Lucy said, that
BDDPVOUOVNCFS*HBWFZPVXBTGPSUIF$BUIPMJD3FMJFG'VOEFZMM
CFWFSZHSBUFGVM *NTVSFw
Why did I do it? Jerry asked.
iFUIJOHXIJDI*HSFBUMZGFBSFEJTDPNFVQPONF w#SPUIFS-VDZ
said, quoting scripture.
Jerry looked at the sun again, walking into it. He didnt want to see
anymore.
We author our own hell, Brother Lucy said.
FZXFSFXBMLJOHUIFNJEEMFPGUIFCMBDLUPQSPBE BMPOHUIFDBOBM 
BSPXPGMJUUFSBOEHBOHMZXFFETCFTJEFUIFNi*WFMPTUNZMJGF w+FSSZ
said.
Youve lost nothing that matters.
iFOOPUIJOHNBUUFST w+FSSZTBJE
FZXFSFBUUIFPMETVHBSGBDUPSZOPX BCVJMEJOHUIBUIBEOUCFFO
VTFEJOZFBSTFXJOEPXTXFSFCSPLFOPVU BNPBUPGIJHIXFFET
HSFX VQ BSPVOE UIF XBMMT F TUPSJFT PG IBSEXPSLJOH .PSNPO
GBSNFSTDBSSZJOHJOMPBETPGTVHBSCFFUTJOCJH IPSTFESBXOXBHPOT
XFSFBMMHPOF UPP&BTU$BOBM BNBKPSBSUFSZPGUIFMPDBMJSSJHBUJPO

system, ran between the dilapidated building and the blacktop road
where Jerry and Brother Lucy stood. In the distance, beyond acres
PGQPUBUPBOEHSBJOmFMET UIF8BTBUDINPVOUBJOSBOHFMBZCFUXFFO
them and the distant sunrise.
Certain people in Salt Lake City were up all night talking about
you, Jerry, Brother Lucy said. Youre going to be on the news this
NPSOJOH  BMM PWFS 6UBI BOE *EBIP 4PNFPOF UPPL QJDUVSFT PG ZPVS
DMBTTSPPN FZ IBWF QJDUVSFT PG ZPV  UPP *U XBT HPPE PG ZPV UP
MFBWFUIFIPVTFVOMPDLFE0OFPGUIF(FOFSBM"VUIPSJUJFTXBOUTZPV
excommunicated. Hell probably get his way.
Jerry looked up at the old abandoned building. He had played here
as a boy, riding his bike around the place at night, throwing rocks into
the canal. Take me home, he said absently. I want to go home.
i:PVSPMEMJGFJTHPOF +FSSZ:PVTJHOFEUIFMFUUFS#FTJEFTUIBU ZPV
KVTUFTDBQFEGSPNUIFDPVOUZKBJM:PVSFBGVHJUJWF"EEUIBUUPUIF
other charges against you.
i8IZBSFXFIFSF w+FSSZBTLFEFQBJOJOUIFCBDLPGIJTIFBE
was growing warm, like something seductive and wicked.
#SPUIFS-VDZUPPL+FSSZTBSNBOEXBMLFEIJNBGFXGFFUEPXOUIF
SPBEFZTUPPEBUUIFFEHFPGUIFDBOBMi-PPL wIFTBJE QPJOUJOHUP
B EJSU BOE HSBWFM QBSLJOH MPU CFIJOE UIF TVHBS GBDUPSZ $BNJMMF XBT
UIFSF TUBOEJOHBIVOESFEZBSETBXBZ QBDJOHJOGSPOUPGIFSDBS4IF
wore blue slacks and a white blouse, the same clothes she had on when
TIFnFXPVUUP$BMJGPSOJB4QPUUJOHUIFN TIFCFHBOXBMLJOHJOUIFJS
EJSFDUJPO IFBEEPXO BSNTGPMEFEPWFSIFSDIFTU
She loves you, Jerry, Brother Lucy said, more than her whole
MJGFJOUIJTUPXO.PSFUIBOIFSHSBOEDIJME NPSFUIBOIFSEBVHIUFS
.PSFUIBOTIFMPWFTIFSTFMGw
+FSSZGFMMUPIJTLOFFTFQBJOJOIJTIFBEXBTCMJOEJOH*UXBTUPP
much to think that he had brought her to all this, their lives shattered. He
tried to stand. He stumbled, moving toward Camille, toward the canal.
-PPLJOHPOMZBUIJTXJGFBTTIFNBEFIFSXBZUPXBSEUIFN IFTUFQQFE
JOUPUIFDBOBM UIFXBUFSEFFQFSUIBOIFFYQFDUFE)JTGFFUTMJQQFEPO
the muddy bottom. He went completely under the cold mountain water
CFGPSFDPNJOHVQPVUPGUIFDVSSFOU DPVHIJOHBOETQMBTIJOH


Harrell: Calling and Election

#SPUIFS -VDZ FBTFE EPXO UIF JODMJOF BOE TUFQQFE DBSFGVMMZ JOUP
the water. Take my hand, he said.
+FSSZSFBDIFEGPS#SPUIFS-VDZTIBOE BOEJOBNPNFOUIFMBOEFE
on his back, prostrate in the water, thrashing and gasping in a panic as
Brother Lucy held him under, his knee on Jerrys chest, his hand shovJOH+FSSZEFFQFSBOEEFFQFSVOEFSUIFDVSSFOUFQBJOJOIJTIFBE 
MJLFBCMBDLDMPVEPGEFWJMT EJTPSJFOUFEIJNFO KVTUBTRVJDLMZBT
IFIBEQVTIFEIJNVOEFS #SPUIFS-VDZQVMMFE+FSSZUPIJTGFFUBOE
TIPVUFE i"SFZPVHJWJOHVQ *GZPVSFHPJOHUPHJWFVQ TQBSFVTBMMBOE
do it now.
No, Jerry said, gasping and spitting water. No, Im not giving up.
He was struggling to stand on his own, grasping at Brother Lucys
CPEZUPTUFBEZIJNTFMG
Camille stood BUUIFFEHFPGUIFDBOBMOPX SFBDIJOHGPSIFSIVTCBOE
i-FUHPPGIJNwTIFEFNBOEFEi(FUBXBZGSPNIJN-FUIJNHPw
Jerry wiped at his eyes and looked up at her, standing on the bank.
)FSIBJSXBTEJTIFWFMFEBOEIFSDMPUIFTXFSFXSJOLMFE)FSGBDFXBT
SFEBOEIFSFZFTXFSFQVZGSPNDSZJOH4IFXBTUIFNPTUCFBVUJGVM
person hed ever seen.
5BLJOHDPVSBHFGSPNUIFTJHIUPGIJTXJGF +FSSZQVTIFE#SPUIFS-VDZ
away and stood back a pace, toward the bank where Camille stood. Im
OPUHJWJOHVQNZMJGF w+FSSZTBJEi *EJEOUHJWFJUVQ:PVUPPLJUGSPNNF 
GSPNCPUIPGVTw
I didnt take anything, Brother Lucy answered. God holds your
MJGFJOIJTIBOET)FBMXBZTEJEw
i*GIFXBOUTNZMJGF w+FSSZTBJE iIFDBOIBWFJU)FTBMSFBEZQVUB
tumor in my head.
You dont understand, Camille said to Jerry. She stepped down
UIFFNCBOLNFOUBOEJOUPUIFXBUFSCFIJOE+FSSZiJTJTBMMNZGBVMU w
she said. He came to me with a paper. She pointed to Brother Lucy.
I signed it, and thats why Gwen and the baby are in the hospital.
BUTXIZBMMUIFTFUIJOHTBSFIBQQFOJOHw
Jerry looked at Brother Lucy, enraged, the pain in his head like an
angry stinger. He was ready to move toward him, angry enough to
kill him.

Dont, Jerry, Camille begged, clutching at him. Please dont.


Jerry roared at Brother Lucy, his fists hitting the water. I didnt
want this!
i:PVSMJGFJTHPOF w#SPUIFS-VDZTBJEi%POUZPVTFFUIBU :PVDBOU
have it back. Right now, someone in Salt Lake is calling your priestIPPEMFBEFSTJO*EBIPFSFTHPJOHUPCFBDIVSDIDPVSU:PVXPOU
even have your church membership!
Its not right, Jerry said in a low, angry voice. He swayed, chest
deep in the water, ready to explode. His white shirt clung to his chest.
)JTGBDFUXJTUFEXJUIQBJOBOEBOHFSi /PUIJOHBCPVUUIJTJTSJHIUwIF
roared as he sprung at Brother Lucy, putting his hands around the
PMENBOTOFDLi*XPSLFEBMMNZMJGF wIFTBJE TIBLJOHUIFNBOi"MM
NZMJGFw
#SPUIFS-VDZHSJQQFE+FSSZTIBOET BUUFNQUJOHUPQVMMUIFNGSPN
his neck. Camille pulled at Jerrys arms, crying out, calling Jerrys name
and begging him to let go.
Ive kept the commandments, Jerry cried.
FUISFFUISBTIFEJOUIFXBUFS TUSVHHMJOHUPTUBZVQSJHIUPOUIF
NVEEZCPUUPNPGUIFDBOBM#SPUIFS-VDZNBOBHFEUPHFUIJTPXO
hands between Jerrys grip and his neck. Camille had managed to get
IFSTFMGQBSUMZCFUXFFOUIFNFO
i*WFDBSFEGPSNZOFJHICPST w+FSSZTBJEJOTFMGEFGFOTFi*QVUVQ
XJUI UIFN  BOE XJUI UIFJS DIJMESFOT TJMMJOFTT BOE BMM PG UIFJS CMJOE
PCFEJFODFUPUIJTTUVQJE TUVQJEXPSMEwFO HJWJOHVQIJTIPMEPO
Brother Lucys neck, he said, And Ive loved them too! He stopped
mHIUJOHGPSBNPNFOUi*IBWFMPWFEUIFN%PFTOUUIBUDPVOUGPSBOZthing? Ive spent hours and hours on my knees, begging God to teach
me how to love them. Good God, he said, I built a reputation in this
town as a good man! Jerry shouted. And now Ive lost everything!
)FUVSOFEBXBZ TUVNCMJOHCBDLBQBDF IJTFOFSHZTQFOUFUISFF
PGUIFNTUPPEUIFSFJOUIFXBUFS
"GUFS B NPNFOU  #SPUIFS -VDZ TQPLFi8IBU IBWF ZPV MPTU w IF
asked.
Everything! Jerry said in a broken voice.


Harrell: Calling and Election

Youve lost your reputation? Brother Lucy asked.


Yes!
iFDPMMFDUJWFPQJOJPOPGGPPMT w
Ive lost my good name! Jerry said.
iFSFJTOPOFHPPECVU(PEw
i8IBUBCPVUPVSNPOFZ FNPOFZTHPOFw
Filthy lucre, Brother Lucy answered.
We could lose our daughter, Camille said.
Brother Lucy turned to her. Dear Mother, you know that childs
soul. In all the eternities, youll never lose her. How could you
doubt it?
$BNJMMFESPQQFEIFSGBDFJOUPIFSIBOETBOECFHBOUPXFFQ
Jerry went to her, put his arms around her. Her clothes and her
TLJOGFMUTPDPME4IFDSJFEJOUPIJTDIFTU FNCSBDJOHIJN)FEJEOU
DBSFBCPVUIJNTFMG4IFXBTUIFPOMZPOFPOUIJTFBSUIUIBUNBUUFSFE
)FEFYIBVTUFEBMMIJTXPSET BMMIJTEFGFOTFT)FIBEOPUIJOHCVUIFS 
OPUIJOHCVUIJTMJGFBOEIFST
#SPUIFS-VDZTUPPEPBQBDF)JTGBDFTPGUFOFEJOUPBTNJMFBT
IFMPPLFEBU+FSSZTUBOEJOHUIFSF IPMEJOHIJTXJGFi#SPUIFS wIFTBJE 
his hands outstretched. He stepped toward them, reaching out, smiling assuredly. Let go, Brother, he said, touching Jerrys sleeve. Just
let go.
Jerry shook his head. No, he whispered, rocking Camille gently
JOIJTBSNT NPWJOHGSPNTJEFUPTJEFBTTIFXJQFEIFSUFBSTBOEDPNQPTFEIFSTFMG
Your Heavenly Father loves you, Brother Lucy said. He put his
IBOE BU UIF CBTF PG +FSSZT OFDLi+VTU MFU HP PG UIJT XPSME w IF TBJE
i:PVMMTFFIJTMPWF KVTUMJLFUIFTDSJQUVSFTBZTA4USPOHFSUIBOUIFDPSET
PGEFBUIw
+FSSZMPPLFEJOUPUIFPMENBOTGBEJOHCMVFFZFT BTMJHIUBOECMVF
as a summer sky. Jerry knew his own heart. He was ready to believe,
SFBEZUPBDDFQU)FDPVMEOUEPBOZUIJOHFMTF FWFOJGJUEBNOFEIJN
)FUSVTUFEJOIJT'BUIFSTMPWF)FUSVTUFEJOUIFHPPEOFTTPGUIFFBSUI 
UIFHPPEOFTTPGIJTXJGF UIFHPPEOFTTPGNPTUPG(PETDIJMESFO)F


knew that God had his blessings in store. He knew his daughter Gwen
XPVMECFKVTUmOF FWFOJGUIFSFXBTUSPVCMFGPSBMJUUMFTFBTPO)FXBT
SFBEZUPMFUHPPGXIBUFWFSJUXBTUIBUIFIFMECBDLGSPN(PE
#SPUIFS-VDZTUPPECFTJEFUIFN IJTTPGUIBOE IJTUPVDIUFOEFSBU
UIFCBTFPG+FSSZTOFDL KVTUCFMPXUIFTQPUXIFSFBTUPOFXBTHSPXJOH
JO+FSSZTTLVMMFO+FSSZTBXBDIBOHFJO#SPUIFS-VDZTGBDFF
NFOBDJOHMPPLPGBQSFEBUPSSFUVSOFE
Dear Brother, the old man said in a voice, strong and hollow,
let go.
+FSSZGFMUIJNTFMGTMJQQJOHVOEFSUIFXBUFS CFJOHQVTIFEVOEFSUIF
water as easily as a child might dip a toy in the bathtub. He still held
POUP$BNJMMF UPPTIPDLFEUPMFUIFSHPFXBUFSXBTNVSLZBOE
cold. Camille, still in his arms, didnt struggle. She only held on to
Jerry as Brother Lucy pushed them both down, one hand on Jerrys
neck, the other hand and one knee on their bodies.
)VOHSZGPSCSFBUI GPSUIFMJHIUPGEBZ GPSMJGFJUTFMG +FSSZSFTJTUFE
UIFGPSDFPG#SPUIFS-VDZTCPEZPOUIFJST)FQVTIFEBUUIFPMENBOT
MJNCT LJDLFEVOUJMIJTGFFUTMJQQFEPOUIFNVEEZDBOBMCPUUPN)F
UISBTIFEVOUJMIFGFMUIJTCBDLIJUUIFNVDLZCPUUPN)FOFFEFEB
breath. He needed to save Camille. He needed to save them both.
FOIFGFMUJU$BNJMMFSFBDIFEBSPVOEIJTCPEZ FNCSBDJOHIJN
GVMMZ4IFXBTOPUSFTJTUJOH4IFXBTIPMEJOHPOUPIJN IPMEJOHIJN
DMPTFS MJLFBMPWFSJOCFE IPMEJOHGBTUUPIFSMPWF#FOFBUIUIFXBUFS 
JOUIFCMBDLOFTT BUUIFFOEPGIJTMJGF IFSFUVSOFEIJTMPWFUPIFS)F
IFMEIFSDMPTF BOEmOEJOHIFSGBDFVOEFSUIFNVSLZXBUFS IFQVUIJT
lips to her. He stopped fighting.
He let go.
5BOEBMMOJHIU VOBCMFUPTQFBLFZTJNQMZHPU
in the car in their wet clothes and drove until the cars engine died
POUIFFEHFPGBSVSBMUXPMBOFIJHIXBZJO/PSUI%BLPUB OFBSUIF
$BOBEJBOCPSEFS"GUFSMPPLJOHVOEFSUIFIPPEGPSBNPNFOUBOEOPU
recognizing anything there, they walked toward the nearest town. At
UIFDJUZMJNJUTPG8JDBQJXBLBO /PSUI%BLPUB 1PQ BTJHOSFBE 
i8IFSF)FMM'SFF[FT0WFSwFZSFOUFEBLJUDIFOFUUFJOBSVOEPXO


Harrell: Calling and Election

NPUFMBOETPPOHPUKPCT$BNJMMFBTBMVODIMBEZBUUIFKVOJPSIJHI 
BOE+FSSZBTBKBOJUPSJOUIFUPXOTPOMZOVSTJOHIPNF+FSSZEJEOUTBZ
anything about the pain in his head, though it rang in his skull like a
hammer. For weeks they only worked and slept, barely talking, both
PGUIFNmHIUJOHBQSPGPVOETFOTFPGMPTT
i*UTUIFCVFUJOHTPG4BUBO w+FSSZTBJEPOFOJHIUBTUIFZMBZBXBLF 
UIFJSEBSLFOFEGBDFTSFEJOUIFHMPXPGUIFWBDBODZTJHOPVUTJEFUIFJS
window.
"GUFSDBTIJOHIFSmSTUDIFDLGSPNUIFTDIPPMEJTUSJDU $BNJMMFDBMMFE
Gwen. She stood at a pay phone outside a convenience store, next to
UIFJDFNBDIJOFBUUIFTJEFPGUIFCVJMEJOHFOPJTZDBSBOEUSVDL
USBDQBTTFEPOUIFIJHIXBZKVTUBGFXZBSETBXBZ
Gwen said she was fine. She said the baby was fine. She wanted to
LOPXXIFSFUIFZXFSF XIZUIFZIBEOUDBMMFE4IFBTLFE$BNJMMFJG
Jerry was holding her hostage.
$BNJMMFSFGVTFEUPUFMMIFSXIFSFUIFZXFSFi:PVSEBEBOE*DBO
UBLFDBSFPGPVSTFMWFT wTIFTBJE4IFXBUDIFEUIFIJHIXBZBTBTFNJ
USVDLQVMMJOHBMPBEPGMPHTQBTTFE4IFIFBSEUIFUSVDLNPWFUISPVHI
its gears as it slowed to enter the city limits.
I understand about Dad, Gwen said on the phone. Some men
DBOLFFQUIBUTPSUPGUIJOHBTFDSFUGPSZFBSTw
Camille stood there, her hand on the cold metal phone cord,
while a short, dirty man in a cowboy hat eyed her as he got into his
pickup. You dont understand whats happened, Camille said to her
daughter.
Its okay, Mom, Gwen said. It doesnt mean the Church isnt true.
4PNFPGUIPTFQFPQMF%BEUBVHIU UIFZSFCMPHHJOHBCPVUMFBWJOHUIF
$IVSDI*CFUUIFZOFWFSIBEUFTUJNPOJFTJOUIFmSTUQMBDF"OEIBMG
the stuff theyre saying isnt even true, she added.
i*OFFEUPHP 4XFFUJF w$BNJMMFTBJE4IFGFMUTJDLJOTJEF
(XFOTWPJDFDBNFCBDLJOBNBUFSOBMUPOFi.PN JGZPVOFFEUP
MFBWF IJN  ZPV DBO TUBZ XJUI NF BOE /FJM 8FMM QBZ GPS UIF QMBOF
flight. I can come and get you. Whatever you need.
$BNJMMFTUPPEUIFSFJOTJMFODFGPSBNPNFOUi*MMDBMMJOBGFXEBZT w
she finally said, and hung up the phone.


"TNBMMCSBODIPGUIFDIVSDINFUPOUIFPUIFSTJEFPGUPXO
8IFO+FSSZBOE$BNJMMFTDIVSDISFDPSETDBNFJOGSPN4BMU-BLF UIFZ
listed Jerry as excommunicated. But with only twenty-five members
JOSFHVMBSBUUFOEBODF 1SFTJEFOU-FXJTHMBEMZHBWF+FSSZBKPCBTUIF
CSBODIKBOJUPS
&. he got off work at the nursing
IPNF +FSSZMFUIJNTFMGJOUPUIFCVJMEJOHUPDMFBO)FWBDVVNFEUIF
DBSQFUJOUIFFOUSZXBZBOEUIFGPVSDMBTTSPPNT)FNPWFEUIFGPMEJOH
chairs in the room where sacrament meeting and Sunday School were
IFMEBOEWBDVVNFEUIFDBSQFUUIFSF*OUIFPDFTPGUIFCSBODIQSFTJdent and the clerk, he vacuumed the carpets and dusted the desks. He
washed all the windows, and he swept the floor in the little kitchen,
XIFSFQSJFTUIPPENFFUJOHXBTIFMEPO4VOEBZ"GUFSUIBU IFDMFBOFE
the bathrooms.
0OFXJOUFSBGUFSOPPO XIJMFPOIJTIBOETBOELOFFTXJQJOHUIF
floor around the urinal, a simple thought came to him: he was cleaning
CBUISPPNTGPS+FTVT XJQJOHVQVSJOFGPS(PETUSVFDIVSDI4PNFPOF
IBEUPEPJU+FSSZQBVTFEGPSBNPNFOU XSJOHJOHPVUIJTDMFBOJOHSBH
JOBCVDLFUPGTPBQZXBUFS*G(PETLJOHEPNXBTEFTUJOFEUPmMMUIF
whole earth, someone would have to wipe up the piss. Kneeling there
JOUIFTNBMMCBUISPPNJOUIFFNQUZCVJMEJOH +FSSZGFMUBTXIPMFBOE
IBQQZBTBDIJME0OMZUIFOEJEIFSFBMJ[FXIBUIFIBEMPTUBOEXIZ
JUEJEOUNBUUFS0OMZUIFOEJEIFSFBMJ[FUIBUUIFQBJOJOIJTIFBEIBE
MFGUIJN
BUXFFLFOE UIF3FMJFG4PDJFUZQSFTJEFOUBTLFE$BNJMMFBOE+FSSZ
UPHPEPXOUP#JTNBSDLUPQJDLVQUIFXFMGBSFPSEFSBUUIFCJTIPQT
TUPSFIPVTF*UXBTBUXPIPVSUSJQEPXO)JHIXBZ UISPVHIBMJHIU
TOPXBOEIB[F"GUFSUIFCBDLTFBUBOEUIFUSVOLPGUIFJSDBSXFSF
filled with canned goods, dry cereals, and boxed dinners, they stopped
at the Bismarck Temple to walk the snowy grounds in the evening
MJHIUFUFNQMFJUTFMGXBTTNBMMDPNQBSFEUPUIFPUIFSUFNQMFTUIFZE
seen, oblong and blockish with only one level above the ground. It was
CFBVUJGVM UIPVHI XJUIUIFMJHIUTJMMVNJOBUJOHUIFXBMMTBOEUIF"OHFM


Harrell: Calling and Election

Moroni statue, and the plaque above the door that said T H
L in gold letters on white marble.
"T+FSSZBOE$BNJMMFXBMLFEUIFHSPVOET BGFXQBUSPOTDBNFBOE
XFOU  DBSSZJOH UIFJS TNBMM TVJUDBTFT PG UFNQMF DMPUIFT BOE XBMLJOH
CSJTLMZJOUIFMJHIUTOPXGBMMBOEUIFDIJMMZXJOET+FSSZBOE$BNJMMF
XBMLFEVOUJMUIFZSFBDIFEUIFCBDLDPSOFSPGUIFCVJMEJOH QBTUBXIJUF
CSJDLGFODF BOECFZPOEUIBU UPBESJWFXBZUIBUMFEBMPOHTJEFUIFBJS
DPOEJUJPOJOH VOJUT BOE UIF HBSCBHF EVNQTUFS FZ TUPQQFE BU UIF
FEHFPGUIFESJWFXBZ TFFJOHUISFFBHFENFOBEP[FOPSTPZBSETBXBZ 
TUBOEJOH OFYU UP UIF MPBEJOH EPDL  UBMLJOH BOE MBVHIJOH F NBO
standing closest to the service door was dressed in a white temple suit.
FPUIFSUXPNFOXFSFXFBSJOHEBSLTVJUT XIJUFTIJSUT BOEUJFT
0OFPGUIFNXBT#SPUIFS-VDZ
6QPOTFFJOH+FSSZBOE$BNJMMF UIFNFOTMBVHIUFSTVCTJEFEF
other man in the dark suit dropped a cigarette to the pavement and
DSVTIFEJUPVUFOUIFNBOJOUIFXIJUFTVJUIBOEFE#SPUIFS-VDZ
BOFOWFMPQFCFGPSFEJTBQQFBSJOHJOUPUIFUFNQMF UISPVHIUIFNFUBM
door. Brother Lucy nodded to his companion, who got inside a black
Chrysler parked near the loading dock.
Ive been wondering when youd turn up, Brother Lucy said. Still
having those headaches?
Jerry looked at him narrowly. Lets go, he said to Camille.
Youll be back, you know, Brother Lucy said, holding his attenUJPO iJOTJEFPGBZFBS *QSFEJDU*WFTFFOJUCFGPSFFYDPNNVOJDBUFE
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Jerry and Camille stopped, their backs to the bald man in his dark
suit. Looking down at the sidewalk brushed with snow, Jerry imagJOFE#SPUIFS-VDZTUBSJOHBUUIFCBDLPGIJTOFDL TFFJOHJOUPIJTTLVMM
XIFSFBTUPOFUIFTJ[FPGBRVBSUFSTMFQU XPVMEDPOUJOVFUPTMFFQ GPS


BUMFBTUBZFBS+FSSZTUPPENPUJPOMFTT CSBDFEGPSXIBUFWFSJDZUSVUI
waited in Brother Lucys words.
i3FNFNCFSUIJT w#SPUIFS-VDZTBJEiJOLPOUIJT wIFTBJEi&WFO
your goodness is your enemy.
It was the truth, and Jerry knew it.
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waited like a cancer with them in the car. It was in the snow and in
the icy pavement on the road. It was in the very sky. But Jerry didnt
NJOEJU)FDPVMEBMSFBEZGFFMIJNTFMGJOUIFUFNQMF ESFTTFEJOXIJUF 
XFBSJOHBIBJSOFUBOEBQBQFSBQSPO EJTIJOHQPUBUPFTBOEGFFMJOHUIF
4QJSJUPG(PE



This Afternoon
W J

S "BSPO)FTTUBZJOHPWFSOJHIUBUBOPMENPUFMKVTU
PVUPGEPXOUPXO4BMU-BLF UIF%FTFSU1BMN4IFEPFTOULOPXXIBU
his story is, and may not ask himprobably that hes photographing
a wedding in Logan or someplace and had better stay over. Whatever,
JUTHPJOHUPHPUPXBTUFCFDBVTF4BSBDPVMEOUUIJOLPGBOPWFSOJHIU
TUPSZUIBUXPVMEXPSLTIFTUPME3ZBOTIFTHPJOHUPNFFU-FTMJFJO
4BMU-BLFGPSMVODIBOETIPQQJOHBOEXJMMCFCBDLJOUJNFGPSEJOOFS 
which its Shannons turn to fix tonight.
Which makes two things bad about it today: the specific lie added
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"BSPOXJMMIBWFPOMZUISFFBGUFSOPPOIPVST OPUUIFOJHIU4IFDBOU
TUPQUIJTBSJUINFUJDBEEJOHUIFDPMVNOTPGHPPEBOECBE BOEXPSTF 
UIFNJOVTDVMFUPUBMPGIPVSTPVUPGIFSXIPMFMJGFUIBUIBWFIJTMJGF
UIFJSMJGFJOUIFNUPP-FTTUIBOBEBZTPGBS-FTTUIBOBEBZPVUPG
IFSBMNPTUGPSUZZFBST4IFXPOUMJWFMPOHFOPVHI JGTIFTFFT"BSPO
BUUIFQSFTFOUSBUFPG TBZ UXFOUZIPVSTBZFBS UPCSJOHJUVQUPNVDI
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PGOJOFUZZFBST4IFTUPPHPPEBUUIJT UIFTFSVUIMFTTDPNQVUBUJPOT 
overwhelming even when she stays with finite numbersplease no
FUFSOJUZ OPXBOE TIFT GVSJPVT XJUI IFSTFMG  TIFE IBNNFS PO UIF
TUFFSJOHXIFFMJGTIFEJEOUIBWFUPCFDBSFGVMUPLFFQJOIFSPXOMBOF
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Aaron told her, two or three times ago, how the first time shed
UPVDIFEIJN IFSIBOEDBTVBM CSJFG BUUIFTNBMMPGIJTCBDLBTUIFZ

QBTTFEUISPVHIBEPPSXBZ i +VTUGPSUIBUJOTUBOU FWFSZUIJOHSBDFE-JLF


gunning a motor in neutral. I couldnt believe it. Did you notice?
No, she told him, I dont remember it at all.
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BDPVQMFPGUJNFTJOUIFSFWFBMJOHJNQFSTPOBMXBZZPVDBOXJUIOFBS
strangers, about work, houses, car troubles, children. It was at some
high school GVODUJPO TFNJPDJBM TFNJTPDJBM IFEHPOFUPCFDBVTF
POFPGUIFPDFST BGSJFOE IBEBTLFEIJNUPUBLFDBOEJETIPUTGPSB
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BOECSPXOJFTBGUFSXBSE TIFETFFOIJNXJUIIJTDBNFSBTMVOHGSPN
IJTOFDL QBQFSQMBUFBOEDVQCBMBODFEJOIJTSJHIUIBOE MFGUIBOE
mEEMJOHXJUITPNFUIJOHPOUIFDBNFSB GTUPQ IFMBUFSUPMEIFS
TIFE
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parking lot together. And shed touched him. When?
I dont remember it at all, she told him, lying against him warm
BTBTXBUIPGXJOUFSTVOPOBSVHi.BZCFZPVXPVMEOUFJUIFS JGXF
hadnt She pressed her head harder into his shoulder.
i.BZCF"MM * LOPX JT * EJE  * DPVMEOU HFU UIBU PVU PG NZ NJOE 
*LFQUXPOEFSJOHIPXZPVEJEUIBUUPNFXIFO*XBTOUMPPLJOHGPSJU 
not even thinking about itanything.
I didnt know. How could I miss it? I dont want ever to miss anything again.
4IFXPOEFST TJHOBMJOHGPSUIFPSBNQ IPXNVDIFMTFTIFIBT
missed with Aaron, not in the hours that arent theirs but in the ones
that are. How did you learn to be there, all there, where you are?
8JUIIJNTIFIBTGPVOEBOEIFMEJU OPULOPXJOHIPX FBDIUJNF
BGUFSUIFmSTUUJNFTIFLJTTFEIJN*OBXBZ TIFENJTTFEUIBUUPP BOE
Aaron told her the next time they met, It was astounding when you
EJEUIBU:PVXFSFDPNQMFUFMZFWFSZUIJOH OPUIJOHPGZPVXBTBOZwhere else, I could tell that.
4IFHSJQQFEIJTBSNIBSEFSBOEBUFOEPOKVNQFEVOEFSIFSUIVNC
I was. I didnt know it then. I was and it scares me. Because even then
TIFXBTTUJMMUFMMJOHIFSTFMGUIFZXFSFKVTUTVEEFOMZDMPTFGSJFOET TIF
IBELJTTFEIJNUIBUPODFUPTBZIPXNVDITIFFOKPZFEBOEDIFSJTIFE


Jorgensen: This Afternoon

IJN BTTIFXPVMEPUIFSGSJFOET PSGBNJMZ4IFIBEOUUIPVHIUQBTTJPO 


FWFSZ XBMM GBMMFO  CVU XIBU IF TBJE XBT USVF BOE JU NFBOU UIBU )F
didnt ask why it scared her, and a sudden shamed gratitude washed
through her.
FOIFTBJE i3ZBOTBMVDLZNBOw
She looked downthe buttons on his shirt. Not as much as you
UIJOL"BSPOwTIFMPPLFEJOUPIJTGBDFBHBJO UPTFFJGIFXBTXJUI
her, might move as she might be about to, and couldnt tell and went
POiUIBUEPFTOUIBQQFO IBTOU GPSVT GPSMPOHFSUIBO*LOPX BOE*
dont know why and didnt even know till now.
He held still.
Aaron, I never should have met you.
4IFMFBOFEJOUPIJN MBJEIFSGBDFBHBJOTUIJTDIFTU MJGUFEIFSBSNT
BCPVUIJTTIPVMEFST MFUPVUBMPOHCSFBUI GFMUIJTIBOETDPNFVQUP
IFSCBDLFZTUPPENPUJPOMFTTBMPOHUJNF CPSOFJOTJMFODF GPSFWFS
Neither said anything. She moved her hand to his shoulder, slid it
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POUIFNVTDMFPGIFSCBDL mOHFSUJQTJOUIFHSPPWFPGIFSTQJOFFZ
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to hold still as to get anywhere, learning in smallest increments how
UIFZNJHIUNFFUBOEmUFJSFBSOFTURVJFUBOETUFBEJOFTT TUFBEZJOH
each other, still as two wary animals.
4IFGFMUIJNLJTTIFSIBJS UIFOIJTNPVUIBUIFSUFNQMF IFSDIFFLCPOF BMNPTUUSZJOHUPMJGUIFSGBDF CVUTIFIFMEJUBHBJOTUIJTDIFTU 
then she bobbed her mouth against his breastbone, then deciding,
EFDJEFE TIFSBJTFEIFSGBDFUPIJT UIFSFFOUJSFMZ LJTTFEIJNMPOHFS 
TPGUFS BDDFQUJOHXIPMMZXIBUTIFXIPMMZHBWF
I will love you always.Had she actually said that?
Sara is going to Aaron, and going to him she tingles (the word she
has used to tell him about this) hair to heel. Her whole body, supple
nFTI PO KPJOFE CPOFT  B TUSJOHFE JOTUSVNFOU UVOFE UP B SJDI NBKPS
chord, lowest bass to highest treble, and now sounding praise with
TPNFIVHFSFTPOBODFGSPNUIFBJS IJTSFTPOBODFBTTIFDPNFTOFBSFS


*OBQFSGFDUTUSJOHUIFSFTPOBODFXPVMEOFWFSEJNJOJTI OFWFSEBNQ
with time, would remain a standing wave. But in the long, irregular
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*UJTIFSIPVTFUIBUEPFTUIJT IFSGBNJMZ NBSSJBHF BOEUIFUIPVHIU
is intolerable. Marriage, she thinks, is where you are to yield and be
mMMFE CFGFEBOEGFEVQPO XIFSFUPCFGFEVQPOTIPVMECFUPCFGFE 
ZPVSCPEZBOEGFFMJOHTEBJMZCSPLFOBOETIBSFEMJLFMPBWFTBOEmTIFT 
replenished and inexhaustible. But hers, good enough as it has been,
JTOPUTP OPUUIFTUJMMQPJOUJOUIFUVSOJOHXPSME*GNBSSJBHFTIPVMECF
thatand so she believed, still believesthen what she and Aaron
OPXIBWF VOTBODUJPOFE VODPOTVNNBUFE MFTTUIBOBGPYTIPMFGPSJUT
QMBDF JTOFBSFSBUSVFNBSSJBHFUIBOIFSTBGUFSUXFOUZZFBST
It is sacrilege to think this, yet she does, driving up Main now,
BJNFEBUUIFQMBDFXIFSFXJUI3ZBOTIFNBEFBNBSSJBHFJOUFOEFEGPS
FWFS"OETIFVOEFSTUPPEXIBUJUNFBOUUPCFBXJGFTIFNVTUUSZUP
mOEJOIJNBMMTIFDBOOPUIBWFCFDBVTFTIFIBTIJN0OMZCZOPXJUJT
UPPNVDIUSZJOH UPPMJUUMFmOEJOH0ODFJOIFSMBUFUXFOUJFTTIFXBT
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BCTFODF i#FGPSF*HPUNBSSJFE*OFWFSDPVMEVOEFSTUBOEIPXBOZPOF
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NFBOUFSFJTBOBNFGPSUIJT GPSIFSFSFVTFEUPCFJOTJHOJB
0S JT JU UIF SJHIU OBNF ZFU  5FDIOJDBMMZ NBZCF OPUUIFZ IBWF
OPUIBETFY BOEOPUGPSMBDLPGEFTJSFPSDIBODFT4IFEFQMPSFT OP 
EFTQJTFT UIBU QISBTF IBWF TFY"EVMUFSZ PG UIF IFBSU  UIFO IF UIBU
MPPLFUIVQPOBXPNBOUPMVTUBGUFSIFS UIFSFGPSFTIFUIBUMPPLFUI
VQPOBNBOUPMVTUBGUFSIJN UIFSFGPSF"OEXIBUXBTMVTU 8BOUJOHTPNFPOFZPVDPVMEOPUIBWF "NBUUFSQVSFMZPGMFHBMJUZ CPVOEBSJFTESBXOBSPVOEQPTTJCMFPCKFDUTPGEFTJSF QPTTJCMFBDUT QFPQMFUP
love? Property rights?
4IFIBTUPTUBSUGPMMPXJOHIJTEJSFDUJPOTOPX NFNPSJ[FE BTFRVFODF
PGMFGUTBOESJHIUTUIFBEESFTTMPPLTTJNQMFFOPVHI CVUTPNFTUSFFUT
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PGEFTJSF BNBUUFSPGRVBMJUZOPUBDUPSPCKFDU *XBOUZPVSCPEZGPS


Jorgensen: This Afternoon

BUIJOH UIFSFGPSF*MVTU *XBOUUPVTFJU UIVT*MVTUBGUFSJU 4IFNVTU


be getting near now, and there it is: patched pale stucco walls vaguely
4PVUIXFTUFSO  B XBTIFEPVU TJHO JO UIF TIBQF PG B QBMN  NPTU MJLF
coconut, probably ought to be date, rimmed with neon tubing, below
that the expected glowing dim red. She passes, instructed to
QBSLBCMPDLPSTPBXBZUPBWPJEBOZDIBODFPGUIFNBOBHFSPSEFSJOH
IFSDBSUPXFEPVUPGUIFMPU BOZDIBODFPGTPNFPOFSFDPHOJ[JOHIFS
car parked too near.
F DIBODF MPPLT SFNPUF JT OFJHICPSIPPE IBT SFBMMZ HPOF UP
TFFEIPVTFT UIBU NVTU IBWF MPPLFE QMFBTBOU JO UIF UIJSUJFT PS GPSties now with cardboarded windowlights or sagging screen doors,
depressed values, almost impossible to sell or rent except to the desQFSBUF  UIF NBSHJOBM PS FYDMVEFE 0O POF XJEF QPSDI GPVS MFGUPWFS
longhairs lounging in a row stop talking to watch her car glide by.
"UBOZSBUFUIFSFTQMFOUZPGDVSCTJEFQBSLJOH4IFQJDLTBOBNCJHVPVTTQPUOFYUUPBGFODFSVOOJOHCFUXFFOBIPVTFBOEBXFFEZFNQUZ
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TPDJBMXPSLFS /PUMJLFMZJOEFTJHOFSKFBOT DBMGCPPUT UBJMPSFEMFBUIFS
KBDLFU OPDMJQCPBSEPSCSJFGDBTF4IFMPDLTUIFEPPST TUBSUTEPXOUIF
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XFBUIFSIBTIFMEVOTFBTPOBCMZXBSNGPS/PWFNCFS TIFTHMBEPGUIBU
Winter would make this harderexpose it more pitilessly. What
does Aaron do while he waits? Sit, pace, lie on the bed, watch JG
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ghostly camera hovering near, something like a guardian angel, attenUJWF LJOEMZ OPUJOUFSGFSJOH"OFEEZJOUIFTMJHIUXJOEMJGUTBGFXMFBWFT
GSPNUIFTUSFFUKVTUBIFBEPGIFS TQJOTUIFNVQXBJTUIJHIJOBTUVCCZ
conical spiral, and something plays back in her head: to such torment
are condemned the carnal sinners who subject reason to desire. Paolo and
Francesca. She hasnt read the canto in years, but some things stay
with you: That day we read no farther. And Dantes swoon she can still
quote in Italian: E caddi come corpo morto cade. Its a shame not to
VTFXIBUZPVLOPXTIFPVHIUUPUSZBHBJOUPHFUQBSUUJNFUFBDIJOH
Slogan: hire the hypocritical.


FKPLFEPFTOUUBTUFHPPE*UNJHIUCFFBTJFSJGUIJTXFSFTJNQMF
MVTU TPNFHSPTTBWJEJUZPGUIFnFTIJGUIFSFJTBOZTVDIUIJOH8IBU
TIFGFFMTJTTFOTVBMBOEDBSOBMFOPVHICVUOPUPOMZUIBU*GJUXFSF TIF
NJHIUCZOPXCFGBSHPOFJOIBSEFOFETJOPSNBVEMJOQFOJUFODF PS
CPUI#VUCZFWFSZSBUJPOBMKVEHNFOUTIFDBONBLF TIFMPWFT"BSPO
besides desiring his whole presence she desires his good. Which is why
TIFEPFTOUXBOUIJNUPMFBWFIJTXJGF CFDPNFBNBOXIPCSFBLTIJT
GBNJMZ4PJGZPVSFBMMZMPWFIJN TIFIFBSTBWPJDFMJLF3ZBOTDPVOTFMing, admonishing, you will not continue this making you both betrayers, covenant-breakers and hypocrites. Relinquish then, like some
IFSPJOFPVUPG)FOSZ+BNFT 8IBUDBOTIFBOTXFSUPUIBUFYDFQUTIFT
not strong enough, not yet at least, not enough to want to. She can go
days, weeks, without seeing or talking with Aaron, and the enormous
OFFEPGIJN UIFUPXFSJOHBCTFODF XJMMOPUEXJOEMFPSSFDFEF"OE
when she is with him, then she is strong, she is whole. She can call this
DMJDI  EBNO IFSTFMG GPS B IPQFMFTT VOSFDPOTUSVDUFE SPNBOUJD TFOUJmentalist, but it doesnt change what happens when they meet, what
UIFUXPPGUIFNGBDFUPGBDFJOQBUJFOUZFBSOJOHBUUFOUJPONBLF/P
CFBTUXJUIUXPCBDLTPSJGBOZUIJOHMJLFUIBU UIFOTJYXJOHFEBOE
crying out holy holy holy.
Monstrous and intolerable. Loving a man not your husband must
CF GBS XPSTF UIBO NFSFMZ MVTUJOH GPS POF  TDSFXJOH POF 'BS EFFQFS
CFUSBZBM BTJOPGXJMMOPUBQQFUJUF4IFCFMPOHTJOUIFMPXFTUDJSDMF
with the traitors.
#VUBMSFBEZTIFTFFTIFSTFMGBUUIFEPPS 3PPN GFFMJOHBTJGB
XJOETQMJUTIFSDMPUIJOH IVTLTIFSUPIFSCBSFTUTFMG"OEBUUIFTBNF
time she sees two other pictures: the one with pale Jesus standing at
a door knocking, which all the girls in get (one hangs in ShanOPOTSPPN
BQJFDFPG4VOEBZTDIPPMTFOUJNFOUBMJUZIPXFWFSQPUFOU
BOEUSVFJUTTDSJQUVSBMTVCUFYUUIFPUIFSQFSIBQTFRVBMMZTFOUJNFOUBM
UIPVHIUFDIOJDBMMZTVQFSJPS TFFOPOBCPPLKBDLFU UIFFQJDFOFmHVSFPG
BEPMFTDFOU&SPTBCKFDUCFGPSFBEPPS IFBECPXFEBHBJOTUUIJDLQMBOL 
thin arm and supplicant hand stretched toward a massive bronze ring.
Love Locked OutFUXPBSFEFmOJUJPOT JOUFSQSFUBUJPOTPGIFS XBSOings she is only too competent to read. But she is going to Aaron.


Jorgensen: This Afternoon

4IFTGPSHPUUFOTIFIBTUPQBTTUIFSPXPGMPVOHFSTPOUIFQPSDI 
UIFDIPSVTSFDSVJUFEGPSUIJTFQJTPEF"OETVSFFOPVHI PODVFUIFZ
incant their ode.
Hey honey, come on up, its good to see you.
Stop by a while.
How about a ride in the pretty car?
Honey you been gone so-o lo-ong.
Turn, counterturn, stand. She goes in all directionsback to the
car, across the street, up to the porch, straight into the air, plumb to
UIF DFOUFS PG UIF FBSUI 4USBJHIU PO UPXBSE "BSPO  RVJDLFOJOH IFS
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She has been gone so longso long she didnt know it. Whether
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#SVOIJME TMFFQJOHOFBS UIF DPSF JG OPU UIF DPSF JUTFMG  BOE JT BMJWF
again since shes chosen to love Aaron.
Shes going to him. She passes the sign buzzing like a
wasp, passes shut door shut door shut door to the right number, the
one that will open.
She stands at the door and knocks.



Leaving
H W

When I leave the house


*MPPLBUFBDIPGUIFUIJOHT
*UIJOLPGBTCFJOHNJOF
a nightstand crowded
with papers, small books.
0OF BTMFOEFS(PFUIF 
bound in red buckram,
with a verse or two
GPSFBDIEBZPGUIFZFBS
*DBOmOENZGPSUVOF
GPSUIFEBZ
like my mother did
when she opened the Bible
and blindly stabbed her finger
at Job, Jeremiah,
PSUIFFOEPGUIFXPSME
6OEFSUIFSFEMFBUIFSPG(PFUIF
MJFTUIFQBTTQPSUPGNZNPUIFS
now dead
still valid.

Wegner: Poems

Towers

FZIBWFUBLFOBXBZIFBWFO 
UIFTQBDFPG(PEBOE)JT 
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like a park
GPSBOJNBMT 
endangered
but unloved.

Maralise Petersen, Tree of Life

Reap in Mercy
D C

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+STBJE i*UTOPMPOHFSBQBZJOHQSPQPTJUJPO &BSM wBCJHQJDLVQGSPN
#JOHIBN'BSNTQVMMFEJOUPUIFZBSESPVHIUIFPQFOLJUDIFOXJOdow, Earl Haws watched the driver get out, heard the trucks door
latch. For a while the driver, Winn Bingham, stood studying the old
MPHTIPQ QVNQIPVTF GVFMUBOLT BOEUIFIBOEDMVUDI$BTFUSBDUPS
BOETFWFSBMTUFFMXIFFMFEJNQMFNFOUTQBSLFEBHBJOTUUIFMPOHXBMMPG
the empty calving shedthe only machinery spared in the auction
five months earlier.
FTRVFBLPGUIFTDSFFOEPPSBHBJOTUUIFTUSBOHFRVJFUPGUIFZBSET
workday idleness seemed to catch Winn Bingham off guard, and his
greeting came out too exuberant.
i)FZ IFZ &BSMJF%JE*DBUDIZPVFOKPZJOHSFUJSFNFOU w
Earl closed the distance between them so as not to have to match
his neighbors volume. Its not all its cracked up to be, he said, hesitatJOHPOMZBOJOTUBOUCFGPSFFYUFOEJOHIJTIBOE6OBJEFECZUIFTFUUJOH
BOEIBCJUPGQSJFTUIPPENFFUJOHJOUIF3BMTUPO8BSEPGUIF(BSMBOE
8ZPNJOH4UBLF UIFHFTUVSFGFMUTUSBOHF
FSFIBECFFOOPEFX*OBmFMEOPUTPGBSEJTUBOU 8JOO#JOHIBNT
XIFBUDPNCJOFTXFSFDVUUJOHUIFJSmSTUTXBUITPGUIFEBZ"MSFBEZB
IB[FPGEVTUBOEDIBSPTFJOUIFGSFTITLZ
You went and rented to somebody else, Winn said with his pecuMJBS TNJMFGSPXO iXIJDI * XJTI ZPVE FYQMBJO UP NF TPNFUJNF #VU
maybe I can talk you into helping me now.

Second place, Irreantum Fiction Contest

Earl waited, curious. He knew that, in the house, Ruby also waited
curious.
iFXIFBUTKVTUTUBSUJOH w8JOOTBJE iBOEBGUFSUIBU CFBOT"OEXJUI
the late spring well likely be in the beets until November. He looked
UPXBSEUIFDPNCJOFT UIFOCBDLBHBJOiBUTBMPUPGUSVDLJOH &BSMw
From that day on, Earl never could decide how much that last line
XBTJOUFOEFEBTBOBDLOPXMFEHNFOUPG8JOOTOFFEPSBQSFTVNQUJPO
PGIJTPXO
i8IBUBSFZPVTUFXJOHBCPVUJUGPS w3VCZTBJEBUTVQQFSi*UTBKPC
BUTXIBUZPVXBOUFEw4IFTFUBTBVDFSPGQJFBOEJDFDSFBNPOUPQ
PGUIFXBOUBETIFXBTSFBEJOH BOETBUEPXOCFTJEFIJNi4JYmGUZ
an hour is a whole lot better than nothing. And right now, thats what
you need.
i4PNFUIJOHUPCVZUIFHSVCXJUI w'SFUU+SIBETBJEBTQBSUPGIJT
BEWJDFMBTUXJOUFSBCPVUiTFDVSJOHwPGBSNFNQMPZNFOU
In the Marines, Earl said, browsing the ads, we passed a physiDBMBOEUIFKPCXBTXBJUJOHGPSVTJO,PSFB#VUOPX TJYUZZFBSTPME 
Im stuck selling Avon, assembling products in my home, doing other
peoples taxes.
Youre sixty-one, and youd have to learn to do your own first.
&BSMUPPLBCJUFPGQJF TBJEBCTFOUMZ i*BMXBZTmHVSFECZUIJTUJNF
*E CF IFMQJOH POF PG NZ PXO LJET GBSN UIF QMBDF 4PNF TPOT TUJMM
come back and do that, you know. Look at Emery Bingham. Him and
his old man must be tending three thousand acres.
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you a lot more than youre getting.
Winn Bingham? Farming my QMBDF w )F TIPPL IJT IFBEi* KVTU
couldnt find it in me.
4JUUJOHJOUIFTBNFNFBMUJNFQSPYJNJUZUIFZIBETIBSFEGPSNPTU
PGGPVSEFDBEFT 3VCZQMBDFEIFSIBOEPOIJTBSN TBJE i"SFZPVTVSF
thats the only thing you couldnt find in you?
)FTFUIJTGPSLEPXOi*MMTBZUIJTGPS&NFSZ#JOHIBN"UMFBTUIF
didnt go off to college a dozen years more than any normal person
needs and outsmart his testimony and dive off the deep endtaking
XJGFBOELJETXJUIIJN"OEOPXMPPLBUIJN"CJTIPQ my bishop.


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

Rubys hand slid atop his and squeezed. Lyndons a grown man,
Earl. We did the best we could.
Earl looked into her bright, unblinking gray eyes and said, Bad as
JUJT UIBUTOPUUIFXPSTUPGJUXPOEFSJOHIPX*XFOUXSPOHw
Still she didnt blink.
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stationary threshers, Earl climbed on the bean wagon hitched to his
dads McCormick tractor and hunkered cold all the way to the rocky,
sloping acreage Arvy Bingham had homesteaded on the river rim in
#ZUIFUJNFUIFCFBOXBHPODSPTTFEUIFPMEUJMFDVMWFSUBOESPMMFE
JOUPUIFUIJSUZmWFBDSFmFMEBUEBZCSFBL NPTUPGUIFSJHTQMFEHFEJO
the last priesthood meeting had arrived.
5XPNPOUITTIZPGIJTUXFOUJFUICJSUIEBZ &BSMMPPLFEBUUIFPWFSSJQF
beans and at the hayracks and wagons there to help harvest them, and
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i)FTPVSOFJHICPS wTBJE'PMFZ)BXTi)PXBCPVUXFKVTUMFOEUIF
IBOEXFDBOMFOEBOELFFQPVSKVEHNFOUTUPPVSTFMWFT w
*OBTIPXPGDPVOUZGBJSOPTUBMHJB BTPQQPTFEUPBOZTFSJPVTJOUFOtion to haul beans), stake high councilor A. Frett Maxwell and a drowsy
mGUFFOZFBSPME'SFUU+SQVMMFEVQTJUUJOHIJHIPOUIFTFBUPGBCSJHIU
SFEXBHPOESBXOCZBUFBNPGQBSBEFNVMFT
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and real estate would have filled his parade wagon several times over.
I had a buyer waiting all night in my driveway. War is hell, he added
JOIJTCPPNJOHWPJDF iCVUUIBUMBTUPOFTVSFXBTHPPEGPSCVTJOFTTw
Later, with the dew burned off and the thresher receiving the mornings loads one by one, Earl stayed with Winn Bingham out in the field
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IPXUPXPSLBQJUDIGPSLw
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FWFSZQJMF PFSFEMJUUMFCJUTPGBEWJDFi +VTUHPXJUIUIFGPSL &BSM%POU


mHIUJUw"MMUIJTBNJEQSPGBOFDPNNFOUTPOCPPUDBNQIBJSDVUT PO
UIFFFDUTPGTBMUQFUFSPOCFBSEHSPXUIBOEMJCJEP POIJTPXOFOWJable sexual exploits over the past three months. And all this around
BDVEPGXJOUFSHSFFOTOVUVDLFEEFFQBMPOHIJTKBX VOOPUJDFBCMF
until he spit.
#ZNJEBGUFSOPPO &BSMIBETVFSFEBMMUIFDPBDIJOHBOEDPNQFUJtion and digs he cared to suffer. So what about you? he asked finally.
8JOOXBTUXFOUZGPVSBOEOFWFSIBETFSWFEBEBZJOUIFNJMJUBSZ OPU
even the Reserves.
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i'MBUGFFU wIFTBJEiFNJHIUZNJMJUBSZEPFTOUXBOUNFwFOIJT
SFTUMFTTGPSLTUPQQFEFZXFSFTUBOEJOHBUUIFGBSFOEPGUIFmFME 
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going on a mission pretty soon.
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UIFOFXTGSPNIPNF 8JOOBOEUIFNJTTJPOIFXBTHPJOHPOQSFUUZ
TPPO&WFSZMFUUFSSFQPSUFESFGPSNFEIBCJUT JODSFBTFEDPOWJDUJPO#FFS 
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the steering wheel, running resupply through the Suipchon ValMFZ 8JOOQSFQBSFEUPTFSWFUIF-PSE)FCPVHIUBTVJUBOEBTFUPG
scriptures with his nameWinn P. BinghamFNCPTTFEPOUIFGSPOU
covers, impressed sacrament meeting and fireside audiences with his
testimony, attended two or three going-away parties held in his honor.
But all the build-up and preparation ended one February mornJOHJOXIFO BUIJTXJGFTCJEEJOH "SWZ#JOHIBNMFGUBQMBUFPG
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Keeping him home, Sister Bingham claimed, was Gods compensation
GPSUIJTHSFBUMPTTJOUIFJSMJWFT"OE TIFTBJE JOJUTPXOXBZ GVMmMMJOH
his obligations at home was as much a mission as any he might have


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

gone on. So, in answer to a thousand well-meant queries, twenty-fiveZFBSPME8JOOCSBWFMZTBJEIFQMBOOFEUPXPSLUIFGBSNBOEDBSSZPO


W E PGUIFTFSWJDFJOMBUF.BZPG UIFOJHIUNBSFPG#VOLFS)JMMXBTBMNPTUUXPZFBSTCFIJOEIJN BOEXPSSJFT
closer to home soon supplanted it.
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climbed off the bus in Garland to meet a mother whose purse hung
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three.
It was late in the planting season. But Earl drove tractor until
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NVSLZMBNQNPVOUFEPOUIF.D$PSNJDLTGFOEFS"TJEFGSPNDIVSDI 
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But, as he was soon to find out, his parents werent the only ones
who had lived through a hard spring.
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he was riveting the last new cutter section onto the sickle bar, Winn
Bingham chugged into the yard in a battered pickup, rolled to a stop,
and sat a long time behind the wheel. When finally he shouldered
open the badly dented door, he had one message:
Im in a bind, Earl. Im in a terrible bind.
T SFGSBJOPWFSUIFOFYUUISFFZFBSTNBEFJU
OPFBTJFSUPIFBSXJUISFGFSFODFUPUBSEZQMPXJOH QMBOUJOH IBZJOH 
cultivating.


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TFBTPOi*MMHFUNZGFFUVOEFSNFPOFPGUIFTFEBZTw
*UXBTSJHIUUPIFMQBOFJHICPS4UJMM &BSMXPVMEIBWFQSFGFSSFEUP
be somewhere else when the other men turned to him on Sunday
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those meetings, Winn was cast as the lone son, still grieving, and now
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gamely, courageously, admirably.
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at his livelihood. And he lived his religion. Not Winn. Even in sumNFS IFTFMEPNHPUPVUCFGPSFUFOPDMPDL EFWPUFEIJTNFBHFSMBCPST
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"OEJUXBTOUHSJFGBOEPCMJHBUJPOXFJHIJOHIJNEPXO CVUESJOLJOH
BOEUPNDBUUJOHTBNFFOUFSUBJONFOUTIFIBEFOKPZFEJOIJHITDIPPM
BOENPTUMJLFMZOFWFSBCBOEPOFEFWFOEVSJOHUIFUJNFIFUBMLFEPG
HPJOHPOBNJTTJPO0OMZOPX 8JOOXBTQVTIJOHUIJSUZ BOEUIFDPOTFRVFODFTPGIJTDIPJDFTXFOUCFZPOEUFBSGVMDPOGFTTJPOTJOUIFPDDBTJPOBMUFTUJNPOZNFFUJOH"TJEFGSPN8JEPX#JOHIBNBOEUIFIJSFE
hand Eugenio, Earl was the only other person living with those conseRVFODFTCFUXFFO4VOEBZT"OEIJTDIBSJUZCFHBOUPGBJM
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QFSTVBEFE&BSMBOE3VCZUPHPBIFBEBOEHFUNBSSJFEJOTUFBEPGXBJUing until November.
Wise move, the stake president said when he signed Earls temple
recommend. Youre whattwenty-six? Why risk improprieties at
this point?
8IFOUIFZHPUIPNFPO4VOEBZFWFOJOHGSPNUIFJSPOFEBZIPOeymoon in Jackson Hole, his parents house was dark. Tentatively
PQFOJOHUIFGSPOUEPPS UIFZXFSFNFUXJUIUIFTNFMMTPGGSFTIQBJOU
BOECMFBDIDMFBOTFS&BSMnJQQFEPOBMJHIU0UIFSUIBOFTTFOUJBMT
ice box, cookstove, table and chairs, couch, rockerthe place was


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

FNQUZGPSUZZFBSTXPSUIPGPSEFSMZDMVUUFSBOEBDDVNVMBUJPO HPOF
&WFSZTVSGBDF FWFSZDVQCPBSEBOEDPSOFSIBECFFOTDSVCCFEFSF
XBTGPPEJOUIFSFGSJHFSBUPS LJOEMJOHBOETQMJUXPPEJOUIFmSFQMBDF 
and, in what had been his parents room, a made-up bed covered with
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UIFmSFQMBDFSFnFDUJOHPUIFCFETCSBTTIFBECPBSE UIFZESJGUFEUP
TMFFQUPUIFTPVOEPGSBJOPOXJOEPXQBOFT
&BSMZ .POEBZ BGUFSOPPO  JO B XFBLFOJOH ESJ[[MF  B USVDL GSPN
the implement dealer rolled into the yard towing a brand new InterOBUJPOBM  #FBO 4QFDJBM QVMMCFIJOE DPNCJOF 6Q IJHI JO UIF DBC 
beside the driver, sat Foley Haws.
You didnt have to go and move into town in a rush, Earl said.
And we cant afford a new combine.
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TUSPLFBJDUFENBOOFSPGTQFFDIiIBN"OEJGZPVBOEUIJTOJDFHJSM
BSFHPJOHUGBSNUIJTQMBDF ZPVHPJOHUIBWFUIFIPVTF"OEZPVHPJOH
t start with a new combine.
&BHFS UP JNQSFTT IJT XJGF PG UISFF EBZT  &BSM MPTU OP UJNF IJUDIJOHUIFOFXNBDIJOFUPUIF.D$PSNJDLBOEHSFBTJOHFWFSZKPJOUBOE
bushing. By dusk, the sky had cleared, and the radio weather report
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DSPQMFGUmGUZBDSFTPGCFBOTUIBUIBEMBJOJOXJOESPXTTJODFFBSMZ
Septemberhe was eager to get started.
"UKVTUBMJUUMFQBTUEBXOPO5VFTEBZ &BSMXBTBSPVTFEGSPNIJT
UIJSEOJHIUPGDPOKVHBMTMFFQCZBWBHVF GBNJMJBSDIVHHJOHTPNFXIFSF
JOBGBSPMBOEPGSJWFST DBOBMSPBET DBUUMFQBTUVSFT8IBUFWFSJUXBT 
it needed a muffler badly, gurgled closer and closer until it threatened
to come straight through the bedroom window.
FOIFXBTBXBLF*OBDPMEQBOJD IFnVOHCBDLIJTIBMGPGUIF
honeymoon quilt, bolted up, and stood dumbly on the wood floor,
goose flesh overspreading thighs, loins, belly, chest. Blinking like a
TUVOOFE IFO  IF GVNCMFE GPS VOEFSXFBS BOE QBOUT BOE TIJSU  GVNbled in his mind to close doors, latch shutters and screens, pull blinds,
throw down timbers and sandbagsanything to keep that chugging
FOHJOF PVU PG UIFJS OFXMZXFE DIBNCFS )F IBMGFYQFDUFE UP IFBS B


SBQQJOHPOUIFCFESPPNXJOEPX UPTFFBGBDFQFFSJOHUISPVHIUIF
glass. What you doing in there, Earl?
Just as Earl got to the kitchen, the chugging died. At the sink he
TQMBTIFEXBUFSPOIJTGBDF ESJFEPXJUIBTUSBJOJOHDMPUI BOEmOHFS
combed his hair, all the while watching through the window. Behind
him, he heard the bathroom door close. Presently he heard the toilet
nVTIBOEUIFTRVFBLPGGBVDFUTSFFEBZTNBSSJFEBOEBMSFBEZIF
LOFXIPXGBTU3VCZDPVMEESFTT
0VUJOUIFZBSE JOUIFmSTUTVOOZHMPXPGBmOFEBZ 8JOO#JOHIBNIFTJUBUFEGPSBNPNFOUBHBJOTUUIFEFOUFEQJDLVQEPPSCFGPSF
NBLJOHIJTXBZUPUIFGSPOUTUFQ*UXBTKVTUQBTUTJYUIJSUZ UPPFBSMZ
JOUIFEBZGPSDPNCJOJOH#VU XJUIUIFEFX JUXBTKVTUSJHIUGPSDVUting and raking dead-ripe beans, which is what Winn should have
been doing.
Earl met him at the porch door. Youre out early, he said, conTDJPVTPG3VCZJOUIFLJUDIFO UIFTPVOEPGBGSZJOHQBOPOBCVSOFS 
UIFEPPSPGUIFJDFCPYi)BWFZPVIBEZPVSCSFBLGBTU w+VTUCZMPPLing, he knew Winn hadnt eaten a proper mealor attended in any
PUIFSXBZUPUIFDBSFPGIJTQFSTPOJOBXFFL)JTIBJSBOEDMPUIFT
XFSFEJTIFWFMFE GPSFIFBEPJMZ FZFTCMPPETIPU MJQTESZ"SBTIPGBDOF
BMPOHIJTOFDLBOEKBXHBWFIJTXIJTLFSTUIFMPPLPGNBOHF8IFOIF
stepped across the threshold, he paused and tried to tuck in the tail
PGIJTTIJSU
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GSPN QPSDI UP LJUDIFO8JOO #JOHIBN UVSOFE IJT IFBE SPCPUJDBMMZ 
TUBSFEBTJGDPOGVTFECZIFSQSFTFODF
i8JOO UIJTJTNZXJGF 3VCZw
Winn kept staring, made no response when she offered her hand.
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CFNBEFCZ&BSM)BXTCFGPSFJUXBTNBEFCZIJN
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ESZQBMNi1BZIJNBMMUIJTUJNF wIFCFHBO XJUIOPQSFGBDF OPUSBOTJUJPO OPNPWFUPXBSEUIFDIBJS&BSMPFSFE iBGVMMUXPCJUTCFUUFSUIBO
labor wagesgive him a house, garden spot, truck to drive, all the
BQQMFTIFXBOUTGSPNNZUSFFT BOEIFVQBOERVJUTNF KVTUMJLFUIBUw


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

He reached a trembling hand, laid it on Earls shoulder, gripped a


IBOEGVMPGTIJSUi -FGUNFJOUIFMVSDI *NUFMMJOHZPV4BJEIFXPVMEOU
XBJUOPNPSFGPSIJTNPOFZ4BJEIFXBTHPJOHCBDLUP5FYBTw
i*UTOPUUIFFOEPGUIFXPSME w&BSMTBJE QSZJOHUIFIBOEGSPNIJT
shoulder, only now realizing that the traitorous ingrate in the story
was Eugenio, the hired hand.
I wouldve paid him, Winn said. Soon as I got my beans out.
)F NPBOFE BU UIF WFSZ NFOUJPO PG CFBOTi'JGUFFO PS UXFOUZ BDSFT
UPUISFTI BOEUIFXFBUIFSBJOUHPJOHUPIPMEwJTUJNFIFQMBDFEB
IBOEPO&BSMTVQQFSBSN TBJE i*NJOBBXGVMCJOE &BSM(PELOPXT
*NJOBBXGVMCJOEw
F decades Earl remembered the morning he
QVMMFEUIFXFEEJOHHJGUDPNCJOFBXBZGSPN'PMFZ)BXTTDFEBSMPH
TIPQJOUIFGBMMPG BXBZGSPNUIFCFBOTXBJUJOHJOIJTPXOmFME
)FSFNFNCFSFEUIF.D$PSNJDLIVNNJOHJOGPVSUIHFBSEPXOUIF
HSBWFMDBOBMSPBE UIFOmGUIHFBSPOUIFQBWFEDPVOUZSPBE UIFDPNbine trailing smoothly behind, remembered coming finally to the
rocky field on the river rim.
When Earl eased through the gate and over the narrow tile culvert,
IFGFMUBLJOEPGEFTQBJS'JGUFFOPSUXFOUZBDSFT PVHI&VHFOJPIBE
DVUBOESBLFEJOUPXJOESPXTFWFSZQPEBOEWJOF UIFSFXFSFTUJMMBGVMM
UIJSUZmWFBDSFTUPDPNCJOF"OESPDLTXFSFPOMZQBSUPGUIFNJTFSJFTPGUIPTFBDSFT8JUIFOPVHIXBUFS UIFDPCCMFZJFMEFETVSQSJTJOHMZ
good pintosand astounding weeds.
4IPXJOHNPSFMPZBMUZUIBO8JOOHBWFIJNDSFEJUGPS &VHFOJPIBE
made a good start cleaning the windrows, disentangling ragweed and
QJHXFFEBOEDPSOUBMMTVOnPXFSTGSPNDMJOHJOHCFBOT DBTUJOHUIJDL
TUBMLT JOUP SBLFTXFQU TQBDFT TBGFMZ CFZPOE UIF SFBDI PG DPNCJOF
UFFUI#VUBTXBTTPPOFOPVHIFWJEFOU IFMFGUGPS5FYBTCFGPSFHFUUJOH
UISPVHIFWFOBUFOUIPGUIFmFME
FOXIBUBCSFBLJOHJOGPSUIFOFXNBDIJOF"HBJOBOEBHBJO SPPU
DMPETIJUUIFUISFTIJOHDZMJOEFSMJLFUXPCZGPVST LFQUUIFBJSBSPVOE
UIF DPNCJOF DMPVEFE XJUI QPXEFSZ EJSU UIBU TJGUFE JOUP &BSMT IBJS 
FZFCSPXT MBTIFT BOEEVMMFEUIFTIJOFPGCSBOEOFXQBJOU8PPEZBT


UJNCFS UFOTJMFBTDBCMF XFFETUBMLTXFSFGPSFWFSXSBQQJOHBSPVOEBOE


DIPLJOHTIBGUTBOEESVNT EFmBOUUPQPDLFULOJGFCMBEFT TDSFXESJWFST 
IBNNFSDMBXT#FGPSFMPOH PWFSDBVUJPVTPGCPUIXFFETBOESPDLT &BSM
DPNCJOFEBUBDSBXM DMVUDIJOHFWFSZJODIPGFWFSZSVOVQBOEEPXO
the slope. Time and again he stopped completely, set the tractors brake
against the hills slope, chocked the big tires with rocks, and climbed
PWFSUIFQJDLVQDBSSJBHFUPDMFBSXFFETGSPNUIFDPNCJOFTQBSUTF
tearing and unwrapping dyed yellow gloves green, and strained finger
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QBTTJOHIPVSDPNQPVOEFEUIFBXBSFOFTTUIBUJUXPVMEOUIPMEGPSFWFS
Poor guy, Ruby said that night, holding Earl close. And, misconTUSVJOHUIFPCKFDUPGUIBUDPNQBTTJPO &BSMUPPLDPNGPSUVOUJMTIF
added, drowsily, innocently, His mother must really appreciate him.
#BEBTUIFZXFSF UIFCJHXFFETQSPWFEBGBSMFTTFSDVSTFUIBOUIF
short, bushy, seemingly harmless berry weed. At first contact with
vibrating machinery, the plants pea-sized berries shook loose and
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PQFOCFUXFFOmYFEBOENPWJOHNFUBM GPVMFEFWFSZJOUFSJPSTVSGBDFPG
UIFOFXDPNCJOFXJUICJUUFS TFFEZQVMQFPUIFSIBMGNBEFJUJOUP
the hopper intact, the worst possible tare.
8IFO CFSSZ QVMQ mOBMMZ HVNNFE UIF BVHFS UP B IBMU  &BSM GFMU
TPNFUIJOHIFOFWFSIBEGFMUCFGPSF FWFOJOXBS6OEFSBOBTUZTLZ UIF
IPQQFSXBTNPVOEFEXJUICFBOTCFBOTUIBUIBEUPCFVOMPBEFEJG
he was to finish this field and get back to his own crop, which waited
FWFSNPSFWVMOFSBCMFUPGSPTUBOEXJOE"HBJOBOEBHBJOIFKBNNFE
the long rod lever to engage the auger drive-belt. Again and again the
GPSDFEJEMFSFFDUFEPOMZBTIVEEFSJOH POMZBIFBWJOHSFTJTUBODFJO
the tractors HFBST"NJEDIBUUFSJOHMJOLBHFBOETNPLFGSPNUIF
TMJQQJOH CFMU  BU UIF DPOTJEFSBCMF SJTL PG JNQBMFNFOU  QPMFBYJOH  PS
mangling, he tried a pry bar, then a shovel handle, resorted finally to
LJDLJOHUIFQVMMFZTQPLFTVOUJMIJTIFFMCPOFGFMUCSVJTFE
Damn him! Earl yelled into the wind. Damn him to berry weed
hell!
Finally he took pliers and loosened the wing nut latch on the little
EPPSBUUIFCPUUPNFOEPGUIFBVHFSUVCF FWFSZUISFBEBTUSBJOGSPN


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

UIF XFJHIU PG CFBOT  MFU JU TMBN PQFO VOEFS UIF nPX"T UIF CFBOT
FNQUJFEPOUIFHSPVOE IFKVNQFEJOUP8JOO#JOHIBNTUSVDLBOE
QVMMFEJUDMPTF TMJEUIFTDPPQTIPWFMGSPNCFIJOEUIFTUSBQCSBDJOHPG
UIF UBJMHBUF 'BTUFS BOE GBTUFS IF TIPWFMFE  IJT NPUJPOT BMNPTU GSFO[JFE VOUJMIJTTIJSUXBTTPBLFEBOEIJTNPVUIESZ&WFSZGFXTUSPLFT
he searched the fields border, hoping Winn would show up to find
TPNFPOFFMTFTIPWFMJOHIJTUBSFUIJDLCFBOT QFSIBQTTIPWFMTPNFPG
UIFNIJNTFMGFFYFSUJPOXPVMEEPIJNHPPE TXFBUTPNFPGUIF
QJDLMJOHPVUPGIJTTZTUFN0SNBZCF XJUIBOZMVDL LJMMIJN
He didnt show up at all? Ruby asked on a subsequent night as she
SVCCFEUIFBDIFGSPNIJTCBDLBOETIPVMEFSTi1PPSHVZw
Whats so poor about him? Earl asked, speaking into his pillow.
FSVCCJOHTUPQQFE
iBUT XIBU FWFSZCPEZ JO QSJFTUIPPE LFFQT TBZJOHA1PPS 8JOO
8IBU DBO XF EP UP IFMQ QPPS8JOO  %P ZPV TFF BOZ PG UIFN PVU
UIFSFmHIUJOHQPPS8JOOTCFSSZXFFE -FUUIFNTIPWFMGPVSIPQQFST
PGIJTmMUIZCFBOT BOEUIFZETJOHBEJFSFOUUVOF*IBWFIBMGBNJOE
UPQVMMPVUBOEMFUUIFTPSSZCFHHBSTUFXJOIJTKVJDFTw
FCFESPPNCFDBNFWFSZRVJFUi&BSM wTIFTBJE iIFTIBEBSPVHI
UJNFPGJU-PTFZPVSEBEBOEOPUHFUUPHPPOBNJTTJPOBUTB
hard blow. Everybody knew how bad he wanted to serve.
Right.
I remember when he came and talked to our class in Mutual.
FSFXBTGPOEOFTTJOIFSWPJDFi8FBMMUIPVHIUIFXBTTPDVUFw
i)PXPMEXFSFZPV 5XFMWF JSUFFO w
i'PVSUFFOBOEBIBMG0MEFOPVHIBOZXBZUPLOPXXIBU*XBTIFBSJOHw
You were hearing bullcrap.
iBUTOPUGBJS)FXBTWFSZTJODFSFw
&BSM SPMMFE POUP IJT CBDL BOE MPPLFE VQ BU IJT XJGF PG BMNPTU B
XFFLi1SPEJHBMDIBSNFSTXFBSTPTOVBOECFFSGPSIBMGBOIPVS 
bears testimony with tears in his eyes, and girls melt. I dont get it.
4IFMPPLFEBUIJNBTJGBUBTUSBOHFSi4PNFUJNFT &BSM)BXT ZPVSF
not a very nice person.
/PUVOUJMUIFTIPWFMJOHPGUIFUIJSEIPQQFSUIFOFYUBGUFSOPPOEJE
Winn Bingham finally show. Driving his pickup with the dented door,


IFSPBSFEUISPVHIUIFHBUF CPVODFEIBSEPWFSUIFIVNQPGUIFUJMF
DVMWFSU CVNQFEBDSPTTUIFIBSWFTUFEQPSUJPOPGUIFmFME DBNFPOJO
BDMPVEPGEVTU)FQVMMFEVQBUBOPEEBOHMFCFUXFFOUSBDUPSBOE
DPNCJOF SBOPWFSTPNFPG&BSMTQJMFUPHFUDMPTFFOPVHIUPCFIFBSE
without having to do more than roll down his window.
Something wrong with your auger?
%FTQJUFBOPWFSDBTUTLZBOEDPMEXJOE &BSMGFMUIJTGBDFnVTI IJT
UISPBUUJHIUFO LFQUTUBCCJOHUIFXJEF nBSFECMBEFJOUPUIFNPVOEPG
beans, again and again, hoisting in steady arcs over the trucks sideCPBSEiFSFXBTOU wIFTBJE iVOUJM*HPUJOUPZPVSCFSSZXFFEw
-FBOJOHPOUIFTUFFSJOHXIFFM TIBLJOHIJTIFBEJOEJTCFMJFG 8JOO
said, Berry weed? In this field?
Yep, right here.
i8FMM  *MM CF KJHHFSFE w8JOO TBJE FO  BGUFS B QBVTF i"OE ZPV
EJEOUIBWFBQJFDFPGUBSQUPESPQUIPTFCFBOTPO w
&BSMTUPQQFE0OFNPSFXPSEBOEIFXPVMEIBWFHSBCCFE8JOO
#JOHIBNCZUIFTIJSUGSPOU XPVMEIBWFESBHHFEIJNPVUBOEHSPVOE
his nose in green-black berry pulp.
i/P *EJEOUIBWFBUBSQIBOEZ 8JOO*GZPVXBOUPOF ZPVDBOHP
get one. In the meantime, he said, pointing to the loaded truck, You
best run that to the mill, and Ill keep at it here.
%FTQJUFUIFTMPXOPEEJOH BOFNCBSSBTTFEMPPLPGDPOGFTTJPODSFQU
PWFS8JOOTVOTIBWFOGBDFi*DBOUSVOBOZUIJOHBOZXIFSF wIFTBJE
iFZUPPLNZMJDFOTFMBTUXFFL'PSTJYNPOUIT*BJOUFWFOTVQQPTFE
UPHPGPSHSPDFSJFTwFOIFCSJHIUFOFEi#VU*DBOTUBZBOEDPNCJOF 
Earland let an old Marine trucker run the beans to town.
FUPOFXBTNPSFJSLTPNFFWFOUIBOUIFUIPVHIUPG8JOO#JOHIBNPOIJTNBDIJOFSZPSBOZXIFSFDMPTFUPXPSLIFDPVMECPUDI0O
UIFPUIFSIBOE FWFSZXJOESPXPGUIFTFCFBOTSVOUISPVHIUIFDPNbine put Earl one closer to getting back to his own. So on a chilly
BGUFSOPPOJOFBSMZ0DUPCFSPGIFXFOUUPUPXOXJUIBMPBEPG
hand-shoveled pinto beans. And when he got back an hour or so later,
IFDPVMETFF FWFOCFGPSFIFDSPTTFEUIFDVMWFSUPOUP"SWZ#JOHIBNT
SPDLZIJMMTJEF UIFCSBOEOFXDPNCJOFTUBMMFEBTLFXJOUIFNJEEMFPG
the field.


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

I dont know what happened, Winn said over and over, poking his
head here and there around the silent machine, thumping and wiggling uselessly, his chaotic hair blowing in the cold wind like electrimFENPQTUSBOETiFEBOHUIJOHKVTUVQBOERVJUNFw
"T&BSMTPPOEJTDPWFSFE UIFDPNCJOFVQBOERVJUCFDBVTFPGBSPDL
wedged between the threshing cylinder and its sheet metal housing.
And then?
FZiIBE XPSET w BT 'PMFZ )BXT XPVME IBWF TBJE CFGPSF IFBU
stroke impaired his speech.
Judas Priest, Winn.
*OGBDU UIFXPSET&BSMSFNFNCFSFEXFSFNPTUMZIJTPXO BDDPNQBOJFE HSPUFTRVFMZ CZmOHFSQPJOUJOH BSNXBWJOH GPSFIFBEDMBQQJOH
F XFEEJOHHJGU DPNCJOF IF IBE DPEEMFE UISPVHI UIF OBTUJFTU
beans in the Ralston Valley, without a breakdown, the machine he
needed to finish harvesting his own crop, now stood idle. All because
8JOO#JOHIBNTCMPPETIPUFZFTIBENJTTFEBSPDLUIFTJ[FPGBNFMPO
And only a ridiculously high DPVMEFYQMBJOUIFFYUFOUPGUIFEBNBHFUISFTIJOHESVNEFOUFEBOEQVODUVSFE JUTTIBGUXBSQFE CFBSJOHT
CVSOFE DIBJOMJOLTPOFJUIFSTJEFPGUIFMBEEFSGFFEFSTOBQQFEMJLF
candy canes.
How blind do you have to be?
F POF OFX QJFDF PG NBDIJOFSZ JO &BSMT GBSNJOH DBSFFS  BOE JU
would never be the same. And a weekat least a weekto get parts
in and fix everything that needed fixing. And over all this hung the
UISFBU PG GSPTU BOE TOPX UIBU EJE JOEFFE FOE VQ TQPUUJOH BOE NBSSJOHBOENBLJOHTFDPOETPGIJTPXOCFBOTCFGPSFIFDPVMEHFUCBDL
UP UIFN #VU OP BCBOEPOJOH PG UIF mFME  OP CSFBDI PG QSPNJTF  OP
RVJUUJOHUIPVHIUIFNPNFOUXBTSJQFGPSJU
W NFO XIP GBSNFE TFBTPO BGUFS TFBTPO PO
BEKPJOJOHQSPQFSUJFT XFBOFEUIJSUZmWFDBMGDSPQTPOCPSEFSJOHQBTture, and lived in houses not a mile apart? Two men who went each
4VOEBZ PG UIPTF UIJSUZmWF ZFBST UP UIF TBNF DIVSDI NFFUJOHT  MJTUFOFEUPUIFTBNFUBMLTBOEMFTTPOT QBSUPPLPGUIFTBNFTBDSBNFOU 
renewed the same covenants?


0I ZFT 8JOOXFOUCBDLUPDIVSDIBOEDIBOHFEIJTMJGF UIBOLT


NPTUMZUPIJTNBSSJBHFUPUIFQSFHOBOUBOEKJMUFEEBVHIUFSPG#SPUIFS
"'SFUU.BYXFMM NBUFSJBMMZTVDDFTTGVMCBOLFSBOEPXOFSPGXFMMLFQU
QBSBEFNVMFTFNBSSJBHFIBQQFOFEJOFBSMZ KVTUBGUFS&UIB
#JOHIBNBTLFE&BSMUPGBSNIFSIVTCBOETQMBDFUIFOFYUTFBTPO KVTU
CFGPSF8JOODBODFMMFEUIFEFBM"GUFSUIFXFEEJOHJOUIF3FMJFG4PDJFUZSPPNBOESFDFQUJPOJOUIFDVMUVSBMIBMM 8JOOBOE1BUSJDJBMFGUGPS
their honeymoon in a brand new Ford Galaxy.
"GUFSUXPXFFLTJOTVOOZ'MPSJEB UIFZDBNFIPNFUPBOFXQJDLVQ 
OFXUSBDUPS OFXTPGBBOEMPWFTFBUBOEFJHIUZGPSFDMPTFEPOBDSFT
BDSPTTUIFDBOBMUIBU&BSMIBEIBEIJTFZFPO"MMDPVSUFTZPG#JH'SFUU
BUOFYU"VHVTUCBCZ&NFSZXBTCPSO KVTUBXFFLCFGPSF-ZOEPO
)BXTFUXPCPZTXFSFCMFTTFEEVSJOHUIFTBNFGBTUBOEUFTUJNPOZ
NFFUJOH CBQUJ[FEUIFTBNFBGUFSOPPO PSEBJOFEEFBDPOTPOUIFTBNF
Sunday.
i8FSFTPIBQQZGPS#SPUIFSBOE4JTUFS#JOHIBN wUIFCJTIPQTBJE
XIFOIFBOOPVODFEUIFGBNJMZTTFBMJOHJOUIF4BMU-BLF5FNQMF
SPVHIBMMUIFZFBST UISPVHIUIFCJSUITPGPUIFSDIJMESFOJOFBDI
GBNJMZ TDPVUTBOETFNJOBSZ QFSJPETPGIPNFUFBDIJOHFBDIPUIFS DPOTUBOU BTTPDJBUJPO JO NFFUJOHT BOE DMBTTFT BOE RVPSVN QSPKFDUT BOE
potluck dinners, Earl got along with Winn Bingham. Even as Winn
was called to preside over him as quorum president, then as counselor
JOUXP CJTIPQSJDT XIJMF &BSM GPVOEIJNTFMG DMFSLJOHPSSJOHJOHUIF
hall buzzer to dismiss Sunday School classes, he kept his mouth shut
and never was pointedly unsupportive.
#VU IF HPU BMPOH CZ SFTJHOBUJPO  OPU SFDPODJMJBUJPO  B GFFMJOH SFJOGPSDFEXJUIFWFSZOFXGBSNJOHTFBTPO"TIFSFQBJSFEBOESFVTFEBOE
XFOUXJUIPVU 8JOOCPVHIUOFX"TIFGPVHIUXFFET SPDLT IBSEJSSJHBUJPO 8JOOBWBJMFEIJNTFMGPGUIFXPOEFSTPGNPEFSOTQSBZFST SPDL
pickers, sprinkler systems. Whereas Earl made a living, Winn prosQFSFE:FUGPOEBT8JOO#JOHIBNXBTPGUFMMJOHQFPQMFBCPVUIJTIVNCMFCFHJOOJOHT IFOFWFSTFFNFEUPSFDBMMDFSUBJOEFUBJMTPGUIPTFFBSMZ
ZFBST TFFNFEDPNQMFUFMZUPIBWFCMPUUFEPVUUIFCFBOIBSWFTUPG
*OUSVUI UIPVHI XIFO&BSMUIPVHIUCBDLPOUIBUUJNFJOIJTMJGF BT
IFPGUFOEJE JUXBTOUTPNVDIUIFIBSWFTUUIBUTUVDLJOIJTNFNPSZ


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

not the damaged combine or sacrificed bean crop. What he remembered was the winter evening three months later, when Etha Bingham
DBNFUPUIFIPVTFBMMCZIFSTFMGBOEBTLFEIJNUPGBSNIFSIVTCBOET
homestead the next year. He remembered her standing on the stoop
in Arvys old denim coat, with the hood drawn so tight it seemed to
constrict her eyes and nose and mouth to a small, cherry-red oval. He
remembered her sitting next to the fireplace, clenching and unclenchJOHUIFIBOETJOIFSMBQFNFNPSZPGUIBUBDUJPOBMXBZTDBMMFEUP
mind Lyndon, sitting in the same place, confiding one night not long
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later, that he was going to teach philosophy at a university in Illinois
BOE IBE QBSUFE XBZT XJUI UIF $IVSDI FO BMXBZT  BMXBZT &BSM
remembered the last words Etha Bingham said to him on that cold
+BOVBSZOJHIUJO KVTUXFFLTCFGPSFTIFEJFEPGBCMPPEDMPUJOIFS
MVOHi"MMNZMJGF*IBWFUSJFEUPTPXJOSJHIUFPVTOFTT wTIFTBJE TUBSJOH
JOUPUIFmSFQMBDF DMFODIJOHBOEVODMFODIJOHIFSmTUT i CVUGPSUIFmSTU
UJNFJOTJYUZPEEZFBST UIFMBXPGUIFIBSWFTUJTOPDPNGPSUw
*  +  with no other work to buy the grub with, Earl
)BXT  BU BHF TJYUZPOF  CFHBO USVDLJOH XIFBU GPS 8JOO #JOHIBN
BOEIJTTVDDFTTGVMTPO&NFSZ'BVMUZCBUUFSJFTBOESBEJBUPST TMJQQJOH
clutches and transmissions, broken door latches, radios, gaugesall
XFSFUIJOHTPGUIFQBTU"TJGUPSFNJOEUIFNCPUIPGUIBUGBDU 8JOO
BTTJHOFEIJNUPPOFPGIJTOFXUBOEFNT BIVHF with a diesel
engine and two baffled, upright, chrome exhaust pipes flanking its cab.
i/PXUIBUTBMPUPGUSVDL &BSMJUP:PVDBOTFFXIZ*EPOUMFUKVTUBOZ
old wetback behind the wheel.
F QFPQMF BU DIVSDI TBJE i* IFBS ZPVSF IFMQJOH #SPUIFS 8JOO
Hows that going?
Ever seen so much wheat, Earlie? How about it, Earlie? Enough to fill
the granaries of Egypt, dont you think, Earlie?
He does pay every week, Ruby said one night, rubbing lotion on
IJTCBDLUPTPPUIFUIFJUDIPGDIBi"OEUIJTJTOUGPSFWFS &BSMw
8IFBU UIFOCFBOT"VHVTU UIFO4FQUFNCFSFSFDBNFUIFJOFWJUBCMF BGUFSOPPO XIFO &BSM TBX UIF OFBU XJOESPXT TUSFUDIJOH BXBZ


CFMPXIJNPOUIFSPDLZTMPQFEBDSFBHFPGUIFSJWFSSJN'PSBOJOTUBOU
BNFNPSZTUJSSFETPTUSPOHMZUIBUUIFMFHSFTUJOHJOUIFDBCPGUIFCJH
UBOEFNUSVDLXBTPODFBHBJODMVUDIJOHUIF.D$PSNJDLBIFBEPGUIF
POFOFXDPNCJOFIFIBEPXOFEJOIJTMJGFFPMEGFODFXBTHPOF 
the once overgrown ditch banks scorched clean with a propane torch.
1JMFT PG NBDIJOFQJDLFE SPDL BOE CVMMEP[FE TBHFCSVTI CPSEFSFE B
field twice as big as when Earl had seen it last.
FPOMZUIJOHVODIBOHFEBCPVUUIFmFMEXBTUIFOBSSPXUJMFDVMWFSU
affording passage into it. Earl swung wide to approach the crossing
TRVBSFMZ 8IZ  PO B TMPX NPSOJOH  DPVMEOU CJHGBSNFS 8JOO #JOHIBNTFOEBGFXPGIJTNBOZIJSFENFO-FPOM 5FNP )FDUPSUP
bury a new culvert in a place like this? He had several sitting in his
NBDIJOFSZZBSE"OE JOUIFTBNFZBSE BCBDLIPFBUUBDINFOUGPSBOZ
OVNCFSPGCJHUSBDUPST"OEMPBEFSTXJUISFMJBCMFIZESBVMJDT/PUIJOH
QBUDIFEPSTDBCCFEPSNBLFTIJGU8JUIBDIBJOIBSOFTTBOEBMJUUMF
shovel work, Leo and the other boysmaybe Leo and Earliecould
IBWFUIJTDSPTTJOHmYFEJOOPUJNFFOUSVDLTHFUUJOHJOBOEPVUPG
the field wouldnt have to split inches with big tires and great weight.
i"JOU UIBU POF IFBSUTUPQQFS PG B DMPTF mU w TBJE8JOO #JOHIBN 
proudly.
To tell the truth, Earl said, its got me a little spooked.
Spooked! You? BUPVHIUUPCFBQJFDFPGDBLFGPSBOPMEXBSWFU
Marine like Earl Haws.
Its got nothing to do with that, Winn. Earl could not keep the
FEHFPVUPGIJTWPJDFiFDSPTTJOHJTKVTUQMBJOUPPOBSSPXw
Something flared in Winn Binghams eyes, and the affability they
IBE CFMBCPSFE GPS TJY XFFLTBOE NBZCF UIJSUZmWF ZFBST CFGPSF
UIBUGFMUTVEEFOMZTUSFUDIFEUPJUTMJNJU
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PUIFSTUPUBLFZPVSUSVDLBDSPTT JGUIBUTXIBUXFOFFEUPEPw
No, Earl said, swallowing the insult. Ill manage.
0OUIFTFDPOEEBZJOUIFmFMEPOUIFIJMMTJEF UIFXFBUIFSDIBOHFE
Daylight brought gathering clouds and a rising wind. At noon, Winn
Bingham dispatched a second combine, and, spitting straw, the two
CJHNBDIJOFTNPWFEVQBOEEPXOXJOESPXTGBTUFSUIBOBNBODPVME


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

trot. Nothing slowed themcertainly no sunflowers or berry weed.


-PBEBGUFSUSVDLMPBESPMMFEPVUPGUIFJNNFOTFmFME BDSPTTBEJUDIGVM
PGXBUFSSVOOJOHUISPVHIUIFUJMFDVMWFSU
#ZUISFFPDMPDLUIFKPCXBTBMMCVUmOJTIFEOPUFWFOUXPEBZT
UPEPXIBUPODFIBEUBLFO&BSMNPSFUIBOUXPXFFLT)FUIPVHIUPG
this, again, as he eased the BXBZGSPNUIFDPNCJOFTIPQQFSTQPVU
GPSUIFMBTUUJNF BOEBJNFEUPXBSEUIFOBSSPXDSPTTJOH)FDIFDLFE
IJTNJSSPSTFUSVDLXBTIFBQFE PWFSGVMM KVTUUIFXBZ8JOOMJLFE
to see it. Fill it up! he had yelled on the very first day back in July,
XIFO&BSMTUBSUFEUPQVMMBXBZGSPNUIFDPNCJOF BDDVTUPNFEUPUIF
DBQBDJUZPGIJTPXOUSVDLTiBUBJOUOPXIFFMCBSSPXZPVSFESJWJOH
anymore, Earl. Fill it up!
At fields edge, he geared down to a crawl, inched the big tires
UISPVHIUIFMBTUSPVHIDPSSVHBUJPOT BDSPTTUIFTDBSPGUIFCPSEFSGVSSPX UIFOVQBGBJSMZTUFFQUSBDLUPXBSEUIFDVMWFSU)FDPVMETFFPOMZ
UIFVQTUSFBNFOEPGUIFUJMFQJQF NBSLFECZBUVGUPG+PIOTPOHSBTT
flattened and yellowed under ten-ply tires. He would hug that end
and, by so doing, would square with the other.
'PSBOJOTUBOU BGUFSUIFDBCDMFBSFEUIFEFFQEJUDI XIFOUIFGVMM
XFJHIUPGUIFMFGUUBOEFNXIFFMTDBNFUPCFBSPOUIFDVMWFSU BOEUIF
UJMF XJUIUIFGBJOUFTUXFUQPQQJOH CFHBOUPGSBDUVSF IFUIPVHIUUIF
FOHJOFXBTGBJMJOHFOUIFCJHQJQFDPMMBQTFE MJLFBDBTLFUMJEVOEFS
B DPWFSJOH PG MPOHTFUUMFE EJSU  DSVNCMFE CFOFBUI UIF UJSFT  KVTU GFMM
BXBZFUSVDLTIVEEFSFE HSPBOFEJOJUTCFBNT BOEESPQQFEXJUI
BUSFNFOEPVTTQMBTIFXSFODIJOHPGUIFGSBNFKPMUFE&BSMTOFDL
BOEKBX TMBNNFEIJTUIJHIJOUPUIFTUFFSJOHXIFFM UISFXIJNLOFF 
FMCPX BOETIPVMEFSBHBJOTUUIFEPPS BOEMFGUIJNTUBSJOHVQXBSE
UISPVHIBXJOETIJFMEUIBUOPXGSBNFEPOMZTLZ
FFOHJOFIBEEJFE)JTmOHFSTXFOUCMJOEMZUPUIFJHOJUJPOTXJUDI 
DSBOLFEBOEDSBOLFEVOUJMUIFCBUUFSZGBEFE*OBOBHPOZPGVSHFODZ
and helplessness and shame, he climbed out the passenger door, ran
CBDLBSPVOEUIFUSVDLFUXPQBJSTPGXIFFMTXFSFXFEHFEUJHIU 
EBNNJOHUIFnPXBTJGDVUUPmUUIFDPOUPVSTPGUIFEJUDI"MSFBEZ
UIF SPJMJOH XBUFS UISFBUFOFE UIF CBOLT F CFE XBT UJMUFE QSFDBSJPVTMZ UIFGSBNFCFOFBUIJUDPOUPSUFE#FTJEFTEVNQJOHBHPPENBOZ


bushels, UIFESPQIBETIJGUFEUIFCVMLPGUIFMPBEBHBJOTUBTJEFQBOFM
OPXnFYFEUPUIFQPJOUPGTQMJOUFSJOH
You stuck good, said Hector, whose heaped truck stood behind
&BSMT XBJUJOHUPFYJUUIFmFME)FDIFDLFEUIFDSVNCMFEDVMWFSUGSPN
TFWFSBMBOHMFT TUVEJFEUIFPEEQPTJUJPOPGUIFUBOEFNUJSFT UIFnPPEing ditch water, then whistled. Whoo-ee pendejo. You stuck good.
An empty returning truck stopped nose to nose with the F
driver hopped out, curious and gawking, and added his opinion that
Earl was stuck.
FODBNFPOFPGUIFDPNCJOFPQFSBUPSTPOGPPU0VUTJEFBOEBQBSU
GSPNUIFIJHIDBCPGUIFNBDIJOFIFMJWFEJOEVSJOHIBSWFTUTFBTPO 
IF TFFNFE EJTFNCPEJFEi*N GVMM  CPZTw IF DBMMFE PVUi8IBUT UIF
hang-up?
&BSMTMJEUIFTDPPQTIPWFMGSPNJUTQMBDFJOUIFUBJMHBUFBOE TMPHHJOH
JOUIFPWFSnPX CFHBOUSZJOHUPnBUUFOUIFEJUDICBOLBIFBEPGUIF
mSTUQBJSPGXIFFMTFTDPPQTBMVNJOVNCMBEF JUTFEHFCMVOUBOE
XPSOJOBOVOFWFODPODBWF XBTOPHPPEGPSUIFKPC4UJMM IFKBCCFE
and scraped.
From somewhere two or three more hired hands had showed up,
TUPPEOPXXJUIUIFPUIFSTJOUIFXJOEZBGUFSOPPOBOEXBUDIFE&BSM
nPVOEFSPOUIFXBUFSTMJDLHSBTTPGUIFEJUDICBOLFZXBUDIFEIJN
KBC BOE TDSBQF  XBUDIFE UIF TIPWFM CMBEF HMBODF P TPE  TUJMM CSJDL
IBSEBUJUTSPPU XBUDIFEIJNDMVNTJMZDIFDLUIFNPNFOUVNPGFBDI
swing and draw back to try again.
Hector said, Save your energy, man.
A low buzz arose among the others, and along with it, the sound
PGBOFOHJOF&BSMLOFXXFMM"ESFBETFUUMFEJOUPIJTNPUJPOT BOEIF
KBCCFEBUUIFTPEBTJGIJTMJGFEFQFOEFEPOIBHHMJOHPVUBDIVOLPGJU
FDIJMMPGEJUDIXBUFSIBEMPOHTJODFDVUUISPVHICPPUMFBUIFSBOE
QBOUDMPUI BOEXBTXPSLJOHJUTXBZVQXBSEFOIFIFBSEUIFWPJDF 
measured the stride in his mind, and he knew, he knew, the instant
Winn Bingham arrived and stood looking at his back.
Well, Earl! Winn Bingham said. How did this come to pass? He
QBVTFEBMPOHUJNF XBJUFEVOUJM&BSMUVSOFEBSPVOEFWPJDFXBT
UPPKPWJBM UPPVOEJTUSFTTFE FWFOBTUIFFZFTUPPLJOFWFSZQBSUJDVMBS
PGUIFNJTIBQ


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

i*GZPVSFBMMEPOFTJHIUTFFJOH w8JOOTBJEUPUIFPUIFSIBOET iTPNFCPEZHFUVQUPUIFnVNFBOEUVSOUIFXBUFSPwFOIFTRVBUUFEPO


the ditch bank the better to see the trucks undercarriage. He whistled
MJHIUMZUISPVHIIJTUFFUI SVCCFEIJTFZFT UIFCBDLPGIJTOFDL IJT
DMFBOTIBWFO KBX  TBJE i)PMZ cow  &BSMw 0OMZ OPX EJE JNQBUJFODF
and authoritativeness strain the tone.
iFDVMWFSUDBWFEJOFGSPOUHPUBDSPTTPLBZ BOEw
i*UKVTUVQBOEDPMMBQTFE w%FTQJUFIJTTNJMFPGGPSCFBSBODF BDIBMlenge crept into the question. Drive across this thing ten thousand
hell, ten milliontimes, and it picks today to disintegrate? Winn
#JOHIBNMPPLFEBSPVOEBUUIFGBDFTPGIJTDSFXBTJGUIFJNQMBVTJCJMJUZ
PGTVDIBUIJOHTIPVMECFDMFBSFWFOUPUIFMJLFTPGUIFN)FQPJOUFE
UP POF PG UIF NFOi-FP OFWFS IBE BOZ USPVCMF XJUI JUw 1PJOUFE UP
BOPUIFSi0S5FNPw&BSMSFTUFEUIFTIPSUIBOEMFPGUIFTDPPQTIPWFM
BHBJOTUUIFUSVDLTSVOOJOHCPBSE GPMEFEIJTBSNTBHBJOTUXIBUFWFS
else was to be said. I mean, cripes, Earl, the thing must have been
here twenty years, people crossing inhe swung his arms in exaggerated crossing motionsand people crossing out, all that time.
Its older than that, Earl said.
8JOOUVSOFEUPGBDFIJN
*OUIBUNPNFOUUIFJEMFPOMPPLJOHPGUIFPUIFSTSFHJTUFSFEPOMZBT
a vague periphery.
FO8JOO#JOHIBNTFZFTGFMMUPUIFTDPPQTIPWFM BOEIJTMBVHI
came out like a bark. I dont know what good you think thats going to
do, he said, kicking the shovel aside, hard. As overloaded as you got
UIJTUSVDL JUTHPJOHUPUBLFBDSBOFUPXJODIJUGSFFw
A anything else to him?
Not a word. Not a wave. Not a greeting or handshake. Not then
BOE OPU JO GPVS BOE B IBMG ZFBST UIFSFBGUFSUISPVHI DPVOUMFTT TBDrament services, Sunday School classes, priesthood meetings, stake
DPOGFSFODFT8IBUBGFBU TVDITJMFODF"OEBMMUIFBUUFOEBOUEPEHJOH
BOEQMPUUJOHBOENBOFVWFSJOHUPNPWFJOUIFTBNFNJYPGQFPQMF UP
travel the same roads, yet avoid every contact that could be avoided.
Forgive our debtors, Foley Haws used to say with considerable
wryness, because they need it worse.


It all started at the crumbled culvert, which, despite Rubys moteBOECFBNMPHJD DPVMEOPUCFDBMMFEBMJUUMFUIJOHSPVHIUIFFOEMFTTBGUFSOPPOPG8JOOTTVQFSWJTJPOBOETXFMMJOHNBHOBOJNJUZ &BSM
CJUIJTUPOHVFUPSJCCPOT0OMZCFDBVTFIFXBTobliged to help, only
CFDBVTFPGUIBUEJEIFTUBZQVU MJHIUFOJOHUIFMPBEPOUPBIVHFOFX
UBSQQSPEVDFEVQPOEFNBOE JOTUBOUMZGFUDIJOHCMPDLTBOEKBDLT 
tow chains, cribbing beams, slipping and flailing in the slick ditch bottom, kneeling in the muck to position and align boards.
Broad side down, Earlie. Under the axle.
0I  IPX IF IVTUMFE )PX IF XPSLFE 4PMJDJUPVT 4VCNJTTJWF
Penitent.
#VUPOMZVOUJMUIFUSVDLXBTGSFFE UIFBDDJEFOUDMFBSFE UIFDSPTTJOHSFJOGPSDFEXJUIUJFTBOEQMBOLT UIFMBTUMPBETPGCFBOTPOUIFJS
way to market.
We all make mistakes, Earl.
0OMZVOUJMIFUSVTUFEIJTTPSFUPOHVFUPTBZIFXPVMEOUCFCBDL
the next day or ever again.
Dear, I dont think its just your tongue thats hurting.
'PSUZZFBSTPGSFTFOUNFOUVOSFESFTTFE VOSFTPMWFE VOSFQFOUFE
PGVOUJMJUXBTBMNPTUUPPMBUF VOUJMKVTUBGUFSUIFIFBSUTVSHFSZUIBU
TQBSFE8JOO KVTUCFGPSFUIFQOFVNPOJBUIBUEJEOU
*UXBTFBSMZ"VHVTU-ZOEPO POPOFPGIJTMPOHTVNNFSWBDBUJPOT
GSPN IJT QIJMPTPQIZ QSPGFTTPSTIJQ BU UIF VOJWFSTJUZ JO *MMJOPJT  IBE
CSPVHIUIJTGBNJMZGPSBSBSFWJTJU0GMBUF IFTBJE IFIBEGFMUBTUSPOH
EFTJSF GPS IJT DIJMESFO UP LOPX TPNFUIJOH PG UIFJS HSBOEQBSFOUT
XPSMEiUIFJSIFSJUBHF JGZPVXJMMw*OUIFBCTFODFPGCFBOTUPXFFE
BOEIBZUPIBVMGPSPMEUJNFTTBLF UIFHSBOEDIJMESFOQMBZFEBNPOH
UIFNPTUMZWBDBOUCBSOT BNJEUIFJSNPUIFSTTPCFSXBSOJOHTPGIPSnets and snakes and rusty nails.
0OBOBGUFSOPPOXIFOUIFDIJMESFOTNPUIFSXBTHPOFXJUI3VCZ
UP#JMMJOHT UIFPMEFTUHSBOETPOGPVOEUIFTFBUMFTTNPUPSTDPPUFSTVQQPSUJOHBQJMFPGHVOOZTBDLTJOUIFDBMWJOHTIFE8JUI-ZOEPOmTIJOH
down on the river and Earl taking a nap, the grandson somehow got
UIFTDPPUFSSVOOJOH6TJOHBSFDUBOHMFPGQMZXPPEGPSBTFBU IFTUBSUFE
giving rides around the yard, then around the little pasture, then
PQFOJOHBHBUFBSPVOEUIFDBUUMFUSBJMTPGUIF#JOHIBNTQBTUVSFF


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

CPZTDJSDVJUHSFXVOUJMJUUPPLJOUIFQMBOLGPPUCSJEHFBCPWFUIFCJH
JSSJHBUJPOnVNFJTXBTUIFnVNFUIBUTVQQMJFEUIFSPDLZIJMMTJEF
BDSFBHFBZPVOH"SW#JOHIBNIBEHSVCCFEPVUPGTBHFCSVTIXJUIB
mattock.
8JUI FBDI SJEF  UIF CPZ HSFX NPSF EBSJOH VOUJM  XJUI UIF GPVS
ZFBSPMECFIJOEIJN BUPPGBTUBQQSPBDIBOEUIFCVNQBUUIFQMBOLT
VOCFWFMFEFOEUISFXIJNPCBMBODF*OUIFTQJMM CPUIGFMMDMFBSPGUIF
TDPPUFS IJUUIFNPTTZDPODSFUFPGUIFTUFFQnVNFXJUIPVUCSFBLJOH
BCPOF BOEIVSMFEUPUIFEFFQQPPMCFMPXBTJGPOHSFBTFESVOOFST
While Earls grandson could swim, his granddaughter could not.
"TXBTIJTIBCJUTJODFVOTIPVMEFSJOHUIFNBOBHFNFOUPG#JOHIBN
Farms, and especially since his surgery, Winn was out riding his property on horseback, heard the trespassing engine, saw the whole thing.
"QBJSPGSFTPMVUFIFFMTJOUIFNBSFTnBOLT BOEIFXBTUIFSFCFGPSF
the boy had time to realize this water was not chlorinated and he had
no idea where his sister was.
Despite carrying seventy years and a long scar down his sternum,
8JOOXFOUEJSFDUMZGSPNTBEEMFUPXBUFS XJUIJOGPSUZTFDPOETIBEUIF
little girl fished out on the bank, coughing ditch waterand breathJOH"TTPPOBT8JOOWFSJmFEMVOHGVODUJPO IFTFOUUIFTQVUUFSJOH
CPZBGUFSIJTEBEFOIFXSBQQFEUIFHJSMJOIJTTIJSU DSBEMFEIFS
JOGSPOUPGIJNPOUIFTBEEMF BOE XJUIUIFNBSFSVOOJOHGVMMPVU 
SFUSBDFEUIFTDPPUFSTSPVUF XIJDI HJWFOUIFMBZPGUIFQBTUVSFMBOE 
HPUIJNUP&BSMTIPVTFCFGPSFIFDPVMEIBWFHPUUFOUPIJTPXO
0O B TPGB CZ UIF mSFQMBDF  &BSM USBEFE UIF XFU TIJSU BSPVOE IJT
HSBOEEBVHIUFSGPSBWFSZPMEIPOFZNPPORVJMU BOEBTLFE8JOOUP
ESJWF UIFN UP UIF EPDUPSKVTU UP CF TVSF" DVU PO IFS TDBMQ XBT
CMFFEJOH BOETIFIBEBCBELOPUFZXFSFBCPVUUPHJWFIFSBCMFTTJOHXIFO-ZOEPOSVTIFEJO GSBOUJD)FXBTTUJMMJOIJTIJQXBEFST
"GUFSUIFSFUFMMJOHBOEFYQMBJOJOH IFMPPLFEGSPNIJTGBUIFSUP8JOO
BOECBDLBHBJO SFNPWFEIJTmTIJOHIBU UIFOOPEEFEGPSUIFNUPHP
BIFBE'PSPOFJOTUBOUJUMPPLFEBTJGIFXBTHPJOHUPMBZIJTIBOET
with theirs on the little girls head.
W W B is still down with pneumonia comes
POF4VOEBZNPSOJOHJOQSJFTUIPPENFFUJOHFOFXTUSPVCMFT&BSM


NPSF UIBO IF DBO TBZ 0O UIF XBZ IPNF GSPN DIVSDI  MJTUFOJOH UP
3VCZTQFBLPGUIFJMMOFTT IFGFFMTIJTFZFTXFMMJOHXJUIUFBST'PSB
moment he has all he can do to whisper, Poor guy.
FSFJTOPRVFTUJPOOPXBCPVUXIBUIFTIPVMEEPBOEXIFO
)BMGBOIPVSMBUFS TUJMMJOIJTXIJUFTIJSUBOEUJF IFTUBOETBUUIF
UISFTIPMEPGBCBDLSPPNPG8JOO#JOHIBNTCJHCSJDLIPVTF8IFO
the swinging door clears a certain point, like a stage curtain, Earl sudEFOMZTFFTXIBUIFIBTPOMZBOUJDJQBUFE0OUIFGBSTJEFPGUIFSPPN
Winn Bingham lies rigidly in the big bed. He looks small. From a
UBCMFTFUDMPTFCZ BWBQPSJ[FSTFOETBTUFBEZNJTUJOUIFEJSFDUJPOPG
IJTGBDFFTQJUUJOHIJTTPGUIFTUFBNCMFOETXJUIUIFSBTQPGCSFBUIJOHJTTBNFUBCMFTFSWFTBTBTUBOEGPSBGPMEFEXFUXBTIDMPUI IPU
XBUFSCPUUMF KBSPG7JDLT XBETPGUJTTVFTDBUUFSFEBSPVOEB,MFFOFY
CPY  B CVCCMFMJLF CSPODIJBM JOIBMFS  CPUUMFT PG QJMMT BOE DBQTVMFT  B
HMBTT PG XBUFS XJUI B TUSBX JO JU  BOPUIFS PG KVJDFOFJUIFS NVDI
depletedand a bedpan. It occurs to Earl that Winn and Pat have
TIBSFEBCFESPPNKVTUBTMPOHBTIFBOE3VCZIBWF
i4P w1BU#JOHIBNTBZT UPPDIFFSGVMMZ NPWJOHUPXBSEUIFCFE i MFUT
TFFJGXFDBOSPVTF4MFFQJOH#FBVUZw
Let him sleep, Earl says. I can come back.
She doesnt hesitate. No, lets let you see him while youre here. He
OFFETUPCFBXBLFBXIJMFBOZXBZPTFQJMMTLFFQIJNJOUIFEBSOFEest stupor all the time. She points apologetically to the bedpan. He
GFMMXJUINFZFTUFSEBZJOUIFCBUISPPN8IFOIFXBTOUHFUUJOHBOZ
CFUUFS *XBOUFEIJNIPNFJODBTF8FMM KVTUJODBTF*JOTJTUFE#VU
I had no idea hed be so weak. He cant even sit on the toilet, Earl.
Gently she shakes Winns shoulder, and when at last his eyes flutter
PQFO XIFOTIFIBTXJQFEIJTNPVUIBOEOPTFBGUFSBDPVHIJOHTQBTN 
she says, loudly, Winn? Winn, Earl is here to see you. Earl Haws.
'PSBNPNFOUUIFFZFTSFNBJODMPVEFEFO XIFOUIFBOOPVODFment has arrived somewhere deep within him, Winn Bingham turns
his head and smiles weakly.
i*MMMFUZPVCFGPSBXIJMF w1BU#JOHIBNTBZT UVHHJOHBOETNPPUIJOH UIF CFE DPWFST CFGPSF TUFQQJOH BXBZ *O UIF EPPSXBZ  TIF UVSOT
Hell be glad you came.


Cozzens: Reap in Mercy

"MPOFXJUI8JOO#JOHIBNJOUIFCFESPPN &BSMOFFETOPGPSDFPG
habit to take the waxy hand in his own. For the first time he notices,
JOUIF7PGUIFPQFOQBKBNBDPMMBS UIFHSJ[[MFETUVCCMFPGDIFTUIBJS
BOEUIFUPQFOEPGBTDBSBTUIJDLBOEQJOLBTBOFBSUIXPSN8JOO
Bingham blinks, gags on a cough, swallows laboriously. Earl shudders
at the imagined ache in his neighbors chest and at what is not imagJOFEJOIJTPXOBOLTUP8JOO BHSBOETPOIBTOPUIJOHNPSFUSBHJD
UIBOBGPPMJTIBDDJEFOUUPQVUCFIJOEIJNBOLTUP8JOO BHSBOEdaughter will grow to womanhood. How could such ever be repaid?
i$BO*EPBOZUIJOHGPSZPV w&BSMBTLT
)JTXPSETFDIPPEEMZPUIFIJHIDFJMJOH"HVTUPGXJOESBUUMFT
UIF CFESPPNT OPSUI XJOEPX  BHBJOTU UIF TPVOE PG UIF WBQPSJ[FST
XBSNTQVUUFSJOH)FXBJUT IPMEJOHUIFGBNJMJBSIBOE MFTTBXLXBSE
with each moment, and gradually finds more words. Looks to be a
hard winter. Its a good thing the beans are all in.
But when that hand suddenly clasps his with unexpected strength,
Earl is moved to wordlessness. All that passes between them, when
their eyes meet now, is a peace and a healing.



Postpartum
D Y

Sucked dry, her ashy body flakes away.


She bows her head into the blessing blast,
the showers streaming fingers pulling past
IFSFBSTBOEUISPBUJOXFCTPGTUSFBNJOHHSBZ
FXBUFS TOBLJOHEPXO HBUIFSTIFSUFBST
and curls past swollen breasts in milky flood
to swirl around her ankles with her blood:
shell leak and melt until she disappears.
Her hands, unanchored, pass along her thighs,
IFSIJQT IFSTBHHJOHXPNCFQPVOEJOHSBJO
DBOUXBTIUIFFDIPFTPGIFSCBCZTDSJFT
Young husband comes to watch through smudgy pane
her edges blur. He squints and wonders why
shes staring, always staring at the drain.

Young: Poems

How Long?

*mOENZTFMG-FIJ FODBNQFEJOBUFOU
Its pleasant enough here, with plenty to do.
Arise, retire.
Arise, retire.
Work and pray and dance.
Retire.
I could build a house here and let go the dream
PGUIFTXBZJOHPGDBNFMT UIFTBMUXBUFSMBQQJOH
But I heard a voiceand its memory has me
stretching my neck at the dry desert wind.
4UJMM*IFBSPOMZXIJTQFSPGTBOEBOEUFOUnBQQJOH
Arise, retire, and I used to pray
at every new dawn, Lord, is it today?
Arise and retire. I no longer ask
but remain in my tent. You know Ill obey.
Ill make it my work to arise and retire
BOEDMJOHUPUIFHIPTUPGUIFWPJDFJOUIFmSF
But, Lord, theres the ocean.
"OEXIBUTIBMM*EPXJUIUIJTMBDLPGNPUJPO

Maralise Petersen, Patched

Salt Water
A C

T G S L isnt real. At least not the way people want


it to be. Not the way IXBOUJUUPCF8BUFSBMGBMGBXJUIJU UIFMFBWFT
ZFMMPX BOE DVSM %SJOL B HMBTT PG JU  ZPVS TUPNBDI DMFODIFT 4FOE
4QBSLZPVUGPSBTXJNJOJU BOEIFDPNFTCBDLDPVHIJOH(SPXJOH
VQ *VTFEUPUIJOLUIFHSFBUMBLFXBTUIF1BDJmD0DFBO-VTIOFTTXBT
UXPDMVNQTPGTBHFCSVTIHSPXJOHDMPTFFOPVHIUPTIBSFUJDLT.JHIUZ
SJWFSTXFSFDSFFLT*DPVMEKVNQBDSPTTCFUXFFO+VMZBOE+BOVBSZ"OE
*XBTEFJUZJOFNCSZP(SBOENBUBVHIUNF iFXPSMEJTCVUBTQFDL
in the universe, the universe but a speck in Gods hand. And you are
the glimmer that makes him look twice.
Saltaire Resort was built a glittering delusion on the lakes south
TIPSF*UTUISFFTUPSJFTPG.PPSJTIHMPSZTIPOFFMFDUSJDXJUIHFOUJMF
EBODJOH BT JG JU XFSF BO BODJFOU QBMBDF JO B LJOEMJFS XJMEFSOFTT *UT
where Grandma first met Grandpa.
FNBKPSJUZPGUIFCVJMEJOHCVSOFEUPUIFHSPVOEJOFSF
BSFCJUTPGJUTTLFMFUPOMFGU4PNFCBUUFSFEXBMMT"GFXPGUIFUIJDLFS
CFBNT UVSOJOH ESJGUXPPE #VU OPCPEZ TFFNT UP DBSF F MBLF JT B
MJFQFPQMFOPMPOHFSMJTUFOUP OPMPOHFSOPUJDFFZESBUIFSTFDVSF
their gaze eastwardat the mountainsthen at the open wound. Id
QSPCBCMZJHOPSFUIFMBLFNZTFMGJG(SBOENBIBEDIPTFOUPFOEIFS
MJGFBOZXIFSFFMTF
* PGUFO QJDUVSF UIF BDU JO NZ NJOE BMUIPVHI * EJEOU XJUOFTT
JU * XBUDI (SBOENB TUFQ GSPN UIF TIPSF BOE MFU UIF XBUFS HSBC BU
IFSGFFU UIFOIFSLOFFT UIFOIFSOBSSPXXBJTUFJNBHFSFNJOET
NFPGNZPXOCBQUJTNBUBHFFJHIU CFJOHJNNFSTFEJOBCMVFUJMFE

Honorable mention, Irreantum Fiction Contest

GPOU0OMZ(SBOENBEPFTOUDPNFCBDLVQ)FSIFMNFUPGDVSMTHPFT
EBSL BOE nBU  nPBUJOH NPNFOUBSJMZ PO UIF TBMUZ XBWFT "GUFS TIFT
JOHFTUFE IFSJNBHFnJDLFSTPOUIFTVSGBDF BZPVOHFSTFMG EBODJOHJO
GSPOU PG UIF CSPLFOEPXO QBMBDFT SFNBJOT 4IFT EBODJOH GPS NF
IFS POMZ HSBOETPO * TUVEZ UIF EJTUBOU EFUBJMT PG IFS MPTU CFBVUZ BT
* IBWF QBJOUFE QIPUPHSBQIT PG IFS GSPN CFGPSF UIF XBSQFSNFE
UVGUTPGMJHIUCSPXO BESFTTPGZFMMPXDIJPO MJQTHMPTTZXJUIBSUJmDJBMBMJ[BSJODSJNTPO#VUUIFJNBHFBMXBZTXBWFSTBGUFSBNPNFOU
extinguishes.
*OSFBMJUZ *EJEOUTFF(SBOENBVOUJMTIFXBTGSFFEGSPNUIFMBLF
Bodies normally roll like logs buoyed on the brackish waters, but
(SBOENB QMBOOFE GPS UIBU +VOF   IBE TUBSUFE PVU UIF NPTU
JNQPSUBOUEBZPGNZZPVOHMJGFNZTJYUFFOUICJSUIEBZBOENZPSEJOBUJPOUPUIFQSJFTUIPPE*UFOEFEJOTIPDLBUOJHIU *XBTBCPVU
UPTFUUMFJOUPUIFTPGBBOEnJQPOUIF when Grandpa answered the
QIPOF"GUFSBNPNFOUIFESPQQFEUIFSFDFJWFSBOEXIJTQFSFEXJUI
XJEFFZFT i4IFTHPOF /PSNBOFZTBJETVJDJEFw
I looked down the hall at Grandmas rocking chair. Mom slouched
in it, snoring. When I picked up the phone off the counter, a man
was speaking on the other end, unaware his audience was no longer
MJTUFOJOHi -PPLTMJLFTPNFLJOEPGNFTTBHFPOUIFCVDLFUPGDPODSFUF w
I heard him say. Were investigating.
(SBOEQB TIPPL IJT IFBE  IJT FZFT TIVU  BT IF XBMLFE PVU PG UIF
SPPNiBUEBNOXPNBOXJMMEPVTJOZFUw
W , Grandma was pulling me, not yet breathing,
GSPNBXBUFSZXPSME4IFTBJEUIFSFXBTBTQBSLXIFOTIFmSTUIFME
NZMJNQJOGBOUCPEZ"MJUFSBMFMFDUSJDKPMUUISPVHIIFSCPEZi *CFMJFWF
JOTJHOT /PSNBO wTIFBMXBZTUPMENFi#VUTJHOTEPOUDPNFPVUPG
nowhere. Something somewhere sets one off.
(SBOENB UPME NF IPX TIF TQFOU BMM EBZ GPMMPXJOH NZ CJSUI
TFBSDIJOH GPS QPTTJCMF DBUBMZTUT UP UIJT FMFDUSJD TJHOQPTU 4IF GSBOUJcally flipped through newspapers, magazines, and even local ward
CVMMFUJOT"TUPSZSFQPSUFEGSPNIFSIPNFMBOEPO News Radio
mOBMMZTBUJTmFE(SBOENBFYQMBJOFEUIBU KVTUBT*XBTGPSDJOHNZXBZ


Cope: Salt Water

through Moms birth canal, sixteen shipwrecked Danish fishermen


XFSF IBVMFE UP TBGFUZ BGUFS BO IPVS BOE B IBMG JO UIF GSJHJE /PSUI
4FB(SBOENBDBMMFEPWFSTFBTUPWFSJGZUIFJODJEFOU4VSFFOPVHI BT
UIFmTIFSNFOXFSFXBMLJOHBDSPTTUIFEFDLPGUIFSFTDVFTIJQ *XBT
UVSOJOHCMVFFOJUIBQQFOFE4PNFUIJOHTQBSLMJOHXBTMPXFSFEPO
mTIJOHMJOFGSPNIFBWFO BOE BUUIFTBNFUJNF TPNFUIJOHDMBXFEVQ
IVOHSZGSPNEBSLCFOFBUI(SBOENBTBJE*PQFOFENZUJOZmOHFST
BOE TOBUDIFE UIF TIJOJOH QSPNJTF PG MJGF CFGPSF PUIFS IBOET DPVME
SFBDI JU 4P UIF JOTUBOU * JOIBMFE NZ mSTU UBTUF PG EFTFSU BJS  UIPTF
%BOJTITBJMPSTTUFQQFECFMPXGPSBIPUESJOLBOEESPQQFEEFBE BMM
TJYUFFOPGUIFN UIFJSDPOTUSJDUFEDBQJMMBSJFTSFPQFOJOHJOUIFXBSNUI 
their blood pressure collectively plummeting.
i#VUSFBMMZ w(SBOENBMJLFEUPTBZ i *UXBTBDPTNJDUSBEFFJSMJWFT
GPSZPVST*UTBCPZXJUIHSFBUQPUFOUJBMXIPTFXPSUIFRVBMTUIFTPVMT
PGTJYUFFOTBJMPST4PZPVCFHSBUFGVMw
.Z NFNPSJFT PG (SBOENBT OBSSBUJWF IBWF HSPXO nVJE PWFS UIF
ZFBST  TP * IBWF OP XBZ PG WFSJGZJOH UIF TUPSZT BDDVSBDZ"OZ USVUI
in it has boiled down to two words that ride heavy with memory on
my tongue, but which flutter delicately in my mind and threaten to
EJTCBOEMJLFBMFBGXPSOUPWFJOT8BUFS#PZ
i:PVCFHSBUFGVM 8BUFS#PZw
Youve never been wet till youve sat on the Danish coast during a
storm, Water Boy.
I declare your hair an impossibility, Water Boy.
Ignore your grandpa, Water Boy. Leave me to deal with him.
Water Boy. Water Boy. Water Boy.
*% (babies all the time. She thought
my mother was overdue because she measured so big. Grandma told
the story the same every time. For over twelve hours Mom winced and
XSJUIFEXIJMF(SBOENBTBUBUUIFGPPUPGNZCJSUICFEPOBCVDLFUPG
DPODSFUF QPJTFEUPDBUDI.PNTXBUFSCSPLFBUUIFMBTUNJOVUFBU
XBTBMMJUUPPLGPSNZIFBEUPFNFSHF5VSOTPVU*XBTFBSMZ.PNXBT
KVTU QBDLJOH UPP NVDI BNOJPUJD nVJE "T NZ XBSN  TPEEFO XPSME
released me with a whoosh, my body hung limp in Grandmas hands,


BMNPTUESPXOFE VOUJMTIFDMFBSFEGSPNNZNPVUIUIFHPPFZSFNBJOT
PGNZDPOmOFNFOU
i:PV OFBSMZ UVSOFE NZ CVDLFU PG DPODSFUF CBDL JOUP DFNFOU w
Grandma would say. What would I have done with that LJOE PG
mess?
(SBOENBBMXBZTTBJEUIBU.PNSPMMFEPWFSBOENPBOFE SFGVTJOH
to offer a breast, even to look at me. Apparently she received no sign
PGBOZLJOEXJUIUIFBSSJWBMPGIFSPOMZDIJME"MM(SBOENBSFDBMMFE
.PNTBZJOHBCPVUNFJOUIPTFmSTUGFXXFFLTXBT i)FTFFNTMJLF
some stranger. Some tiny, wrinkly, old, black man.
M PG (SBOENB JT TUJMM BT DMFBS BT NPVOUBJO
SVOPJO1BSMFZT$BOZPO.ZmWFZFBSPMETFMGTUPPEXBUDIJOHIFS
DPPLPOFEBZ CPSSPXJOHIFSSFECVDLFUGPSBTUPPM(SBOENBDBSSJFE
UIBU CVDLFU PG DPODSFUF FWFSZXIFSF *U XBT MJLF B IFBWZ QFU XJUI B
QMBTUJDIBOEMFJOTUFBEPGBDPMMBS(SBOEQBVTFEUPQSPEIFSUPIJEFJU
TPTIFXPVMEOUFNCBSSBTTVTJOQVCMJD#VUFWFOUVBMMZ BTJGUIFCVDLFU
were some stray dog worth pitying, even he got used to its presence.
*OUIFLJUDIFOUIBUEBZ *MJHIUMZUBQQFEUIFQBJMXJUIUIFIFBMTPGNZ
tiny sneakers while watching Grandma stuff a turkey with bread
crumbs, mixed with seasoned newspaper. She smiled when she saw
me watching.
i*G*DVUUIFQJFDFTTNBMMFOPVHIBOENBLFUIFNUBTUFKVTUTP ZPVS
grandpa wont know. Grandma shoved more clippings into the raw
turkey. Her voice turned almost giddy with delight. He loved the
DBUGPPENFBUMPBG%PFTOUOPUJDFTBOEJOBOZEJTI)FFWFOUIPVHIU
UIFDIJDLFOXJSFDBTTFSPMFXBTTPNFLJOEPGNBHJDIFBMUIGPPEUIBU
DMFBSFEIJTCPXFMTw4IFQBVTFEBOEMFBOFEUPXBSENFBTJGUPEJWVMHF
UIFTFDSFUPGBGBNPVTGBNJMZEJTIi8JUIBHPPEQBJSPGXJSFDVUUFST
you can get the pieces so small theyre actually quite easy on the teeth.
4IFMJGUFEBTIBLFSBOETQSJOLMFETBMUPWFSUIFUVSLFZMJLFGBJSZEVTU 
BOEUIFOSBJTFEIFSmTUi*UTXIBU*MJWFGPS:PV PGDPVSTF BOEUIJT
little game. A secret? Eh, Water Boy? Watch me tonight. I wont serve
this to you, Water Boy, only Grandpa. And hell say, Diana, thank
you. You are truly Gods gift to this man. Grandma sniffed and wiped


Cope: Salt Water

IFSOPTFXJUIUIFTMFFWFPGIFSCMVFDPUUPOTNPDLi8FMM UIJTJTNZ
HJGUUP #SJHIBNw4IFQVODIFEUIFUVSLFZXJUIBOPUIFSmTUGVMPG
stuffing and giggled. And hell really think its delicious. Your grandGBUIFSMPWFTBOZUIJOHIFXBOUTUPMPWF)FMMMJDLIJTmOHFST:PVXBUDI 
Water Boy. Just you watch. Her smirk was contagious, even though
her actions baffled me.
*SFBMJ[FETVEEFOMZUIBU BMUIPVHITIFXBTNPSFGBNJMJBSUPNFUIBO
anyone in the world, I had no idea what was going on in Grandmas
IFBE*LOFXTIFDPVMECFDPVOUFEPOUPGFFEBOECBUIFNF*LOFX
IFSOBNFXBT%JBOB#BBETHBBSECFGPSFTIFCFDBNFNZ(SBOEGBUIFST
XJGF BOEUIBUTIFJNNJHSBUFEUPUIF6OJUFE4UBUFTBGUFSDPOWFSUJOHUP
.PSNPOJTN *LOFXTIF QSFGFSSFECSJHIUMZDPMPSFE MJQTUJDLT  DSVTUZ
bread, and peaches that are so overripe that the skins burst when she
QSFTTFTIFSUIVNCJOUPUIFN4IFDBOUGBMMBTMFFQXJUIPVUBOFMFDUSJD
GBOSVOOJOHOFBSCZ
But all these things added up to nothing. I had no idea what was
HPJOHPOJOIFSIFBE*IBEOPXBZPGFWFSLOPXJOH
Grandma?
4IF UJMUFE IFS IFBE UPXBSE NF CVU MFGU IFS HB[F PO UIF UVSLFZ
Hmmm?
How do I know when I see blue and you see blue, were seeing the
same thing?
4IFUIPVHIUGPSBNPNFOU BOEUIFOTBJE i*HVFTTZPVEPOULOPXw
How do I know when you eat turkey and I eat turkey, it tastes the
same way?
I suppose you cant.
i:PVNFBOSBTQCFSSZKBNUPZPVDPVMEUBTUFUIFXBZQPPQXPVME
to me?
4IFDMPTFEIFSFZFTGPSBNPNFOUBOEUIFOBOTXFSFE i*UDPVMECF
so, Water Boy.
As Grandma affectionately patted her finished turkey, a heavy
XFJHIUTFFNFEUPTMJQJOUPNZMJGFTQBDLBOETJOLUPUIFCPUUPN"MM
UIFXPSETTIFVTFEUPQBJOUXIBUUIFJOTJEFPGIFSNJOEMPPLFEMJLF
would never equal being a resident in her psyche. I desperately tried
UPVOEFSTUBOEUIFGFFMJOH

No one will ever think my thoughts, I said. No one will ever see
XIBU*TFFGSPNCFIJOENZFZFTw
Grandma looked up, suddenly listening without distraction. Her
NPVUIXBTESBXODMPTFE BQVDLFSPGCSJHIUQJOL)FSMJNCTCFDBNF
as still as her raw poultry.
*XBOUFEUPCFMJFWFUIBUTIFIBEBOTXFSTGPSNF UIBU*XBTNFSFMZ
MFBSOJOHTPNFUIJOHGVOEBNFOUBMFWFSZPOFFMTFIBEmHVSFEPVU MJLF
the difference between boys and girls, or whites and blacks. So no
POFXJMMFWFSLOPXXIBUJUNFBOTUPCFNFw*DMJNCFEGSPNUIFCVDLFU
and took a seat at the kitchen table.
(SBOENBHMBODFEEPXOBUUIFUVSLFZBOENBEFBHOBSMFE EFGFBUFE
OPJTFUIBUTPVOEFEMJLFPOFPGIFS%BOJTIXPSETi"DDDIw4IFTUBSFE
BUUIFSBXNFBUGPSBNPNFOUFOXJUIBCVSTUPGTFFNJOHSFTPMWF 
she tipped the tray and let the naked bird slide on its limp, pink legs
into the garbage can. Plop!
(SBOENBBCBOEPOFEUIFDPVOUFSBOETBUBDSPTTGSPNNF MPPLJOH
BUBOEUISPVHINZGBDF4IFBCTFOUMZmOHFSFEUIFSJNPGBOFNQUZ
HMBTTPOUIFUBCMF UIFOMJGUFEJUBOEUPPLJOBMPOHTJQPGBJS)FSCMVF
eyes clouded over, graying in the dim light, and her knobby fingers
MPPTFOFEFHMBTTTMJQQFEGSPNIFSIBOE TIBUUFSJOHPOUIFSFEUJMF
nPPS(SBOENBGBJMFEUPnJODI FWFOUPCMJOLIFSFZFT
Norman, she whispered, my room is empty, too.
*BT*ESPWFUPUIFMBLFUPTFF(SBOENBGPS
UIFMBTUUJNF"IVOESFENFNPSJFTPGIFSnPPEFENZNJOE$PVME
she really be gone?
Suddenly I second-guessed my ability to handle this situation. Id
OFWFSTFFOBEFBECPEZCFGPSF MFUBMPOFTPNFPOF*MPWFE.ZCMPPE
flow seemed to sputter, so, as I continued driving, my limbs buzzed,
NBLJOHJUEJDVMUGPSNFUPTFOTFUIFQSFTTVSF*QVUPOUIFHBTQFEBM
I wiggled my fingers on the wheel and tensed my leg muscles, but to
no avail.
'JOBMMZ *QVMMFEPWFSPOUIFOBSSPX SJHIUTIPVMEFSPGUIFGSFFXBZ 
TUJMMNJMFTGSPNNZEFTUJOBUJPO*USJFEUPGPDVTPOSFMJFWJOHUIFUJOHMJOH


Cope: Salt Water

IFBWJOFTTJONZMJNCT"GUFSVOMBDJOHNZTIPFT *PQFOFEUIFEPPSBOE
TXVOHNZGFFUPVUTJEF TRVJOUJOHCFZPOENZDBSTIFBEMJHIUTBDSPTTUIF
barren salt flats. Even though the sun was down, a little residual orange
MJHIUDMVOHUPUIFIPSJ[POBOEJMMVNJOBUFEBCSPLFOMJOFPGTJMWFS
FMBLF
Just then a red Buick pulled in behind me and a tall, gray-haired
man stepped out.
Hello, young man.
I gave a shallow wave.
You need help?
Nope.
Gotta flat?
Nope.
Car wont start?
i-PPL &WFSZUIJOHT mOF * KVTU IBE UP QVMM PWFS BOEUBLF NZ
shoes off.
i5BLFZPVSTIPFTP wFNBOSBJTFEBOFZFCSPXBOEUIFOTUPQQFE 
MPPLJOH B MJUUMF DMPTFS BU NFi4BZ  ZPVSF UIBU CPZ * KVTU TBX PO UIF
news. Norman, is it?
Yep.
Hot dog. I knew it was you. Congratulations on your ordination.
*UIJOLUIJTJTBHSFBUNPWFGPSUIF$IVSDI:PVNVTUGFFMTPQSPVE
BOEKVTUXFMM KVTUIBQQZ *NTVSFw
*XBOUFEUPQVODIIJN*UPPLBEFFQCSFBUIBOEJOTUFBEQFSGPSNFE
a little ritual I did at least once or twice a day between age twelve and
twenty-six. I slipped my hand into my pants pocket, gripped the lip
CBMNJOTJEF BOEQVMMFEJUTDBQPFOJOPOFRVJDL QSBDUJDFENPWF 
I popped the cap back on with my thumb, pretending it was a button
UIBUDPVMEEFUPOBUFBOZUIJOH*XJTIFE*OUIJTDBTF UIFNBOTGBDF
#BDL PO UIF SPBE  * USJFE OPU UP  CVU * UIPVHIU BHBJO PG IPX
(SBOENBIBEESPQQFEUIBUHMBTT BOEPGUIFFNQUJOFTTUIBUIBECFFO
DSFFQJOHJOTJEFNFTJODFUIFO*UFYQBOEFEFWFSZUJNF*BTLFENZMJGFT
great, unresolved question. Why do I have a mom, a grandma, and a
grandpa, but no dad?

* mSTU BSUJDVMBUFE UIJT RVFTUJPO BT B DIJME *U XBT B TVNNFS BGUFSOPPOTIPSUMZBGUFS(SBOEQBCSPVHIUNFIPNFGSPNDIVSDI*BTLFE
Grandma while she sat knitting in her bedroom.
i:PVSGBUIFSXBTMJLFUIFXJOE wTIFTBJEi /PPOFSFBMMZTBXIJNGPS
XIBUIFXBT CVUIFCMFXUISPVHIIFSFXJUIBGPSDFUIBUDBVTFEFWFSZ
MFBGUPUSFNCMFw
Where is he now?
Grandma sighed and set down her needles. You should ask your
mother.
.ZTUPNBDITBOL4PNVDIGPSmOEJOHBOTXFST*LOFX*DPVMEOU
FYQFDU BOZUIJOH GSPN .PN 4IF MJWFE XJUI VT #VU TIF XBT NPSF
MJLFBTUFQTJTUFSUIBOBQBSFOU4IFUSFBUFENFBTJG*XFSFUIFXPSTU
PGQFTUT
I dont want to ask her, Grandma. You tell me.
Stories are like possessions. You can only properly tell the ones
that belong to you.
.PN XBT XBUDIJOH SFSVOT PG Little House on the Prairie in her
TUSJQFEIPVTFDPBUBOEFBUJOHBCBHPGDIFFTFQVTXJUIBXPPEFO
spoon. Your dad died trying to hike Mount Everest, she said simply,
licking orange powder off her upper lip.
*CBDLFEPVUPGUIFSPPNXJUIBTNJMFPONZGBDF*UXBTBPOFMJOF
story. But it inspired volumes in my mind. At my young age, death
IBEMJUUMFNFBOJOH*ONZNJOE %BEXBTTUJMMIJLJOHBOEUIJOLJOHPG
NFXIJMFIJTTUSPOHCMBDLMFHTQSFTTFEGPSXBSEFJEFBUIBUIFXBT
EFBEPOMZNFBOUIFXBTOUJO6UBI"OE.PVOU&WFSFTUMPPNFEJO
my mind like any old mountain, nothing more impressive than the
IFSEPGUIFNPVUTJEFNZGSPOUEPPS UBMMFOPVHIUIBU*DPVMECBSFMZ
TFFUIFJSQPXEFSFEXJHTPGXIJUFUISPVHINZTFDPOETUPSZ CFESPPN
window.
&WFSZGFXZFBST*ESBOLJO.PNTQSPOPVODFNFOUBTJGJUXFSFB
HMBTT PG DPME MFNPOBEF PFSFE EVSJOH UIF KBXT PG +VMZ F PMEFS *
CFDBNF BOEUIFNPSFNFBOJOHGVMUIFXPSEiEFBUIwHSFX UIFIBSEFSJU
was to quench my curiosity.
i8JMMNZGBUIFSFWFSOPUCFEFBE w
When did he die?


Cope: Salt Water

i8IZEJE*HFUNZTLJODPMPSGSPNIJNBOEOPUZPV w
How exactly did he die?
.ZNPUIFSTSFTQPOTFTOFWFSTBUJBUFEi)FKVTUEJFEw4IFEBMXBZT
say. I couldnt decipher her expression. Her eyebrows would lower
while her mouth would hint at a grin, yet her blue eyes were cold
BOEBNCJWBMFOU*UEJEOUNBUUFSJG*DBVHIUIFSXFBSJOHIFS,FOUVDLZ
'SJFE$IJDLFOVOJGPSNPSIFSGSBZFEQJOLQBKBNBCPUUPNTUIFMPPL
POIFSGBDFXBTBMXBZTUIFTBNF*SFDPHOJ[FOPXTIFXBTMZJOH
i.BNB EJEIFGBMM w
i%JEIFGSFF[F w
Please tell me more.
Norman shut up. I dont know how JU IBQQFOFE )F KVTU GSP[F w
TIFTBJEPOFEBZi)BQQFOTUPBIVOESFEOPHPPENFOJOGBODZTOPX
pants every year. Would you get over it?
4P * TUPQQFE BTLJOH .PN BCPVU NZ GBUIFS #VU * EJEOU TUPQ
BTLJOHMJGF
*(  I devoured everything I could about
mountain climbers and their perils. I learned that everyone who dies
PG GSFF[JOH HPFT UISPVHI UIF TBNF QSPDFTTB TMPX GFFMJOH PG QFOF
trating cold that turns their limbs slowly stiff and oddly hot, almost
like theyre being baked. Some hallucinate that theyre burning and
tear off their clothes, but that only speeds up the process.
* EJTDPWFSFE JO BO FODZDMPQFEJB UIBU GSFF[JOH UP EFBUI DBO NBLF
ZPV UIJSTUZ :PV NJHIU NJTUBLF UIF FYQFSJFODF GPS EFIZESBUJPO "T
*SFBE *CFDBNFVOCFBSBCMZQBSDIFE BOE*DPVMEOUEJTUSBDUNZTFMG
GSPNUIFESZGFFMJOHJONZUISPBU*UTFFNFEKVTUCZSFBEJOHBCPVUJU 
*XPVMETVFSNZGBUIFSTGBUF
*OBOPUIFSCPPL *MFBSOFEUIBUJGZPVCFDPNFMPTUBUTFBBOEZPV
drink the salty water, you will actually die more quickly.
"GUFSSFBEJOHUIJT *SBOUPUIFLJUDIFOBOEmMMFENZGBWPSJUFSFE
mug with tap water. Drank without breath. But when I finished, I still
GFMUQBSDIFE*SFmMMFENZNVHBOEESBOL"HBJO"OEBHBJOFNPSF
I drank the thirstier I became. Finally, I vomited into the sink, heaving until I was beyond empty. But when my stomach finally relaxed,


I still thirsted. In desperation I drank until my stomach tightened and


churned and again threatened to give up what Id put in. So I stopped.
#VU JOTJEF * SFNBJOFE VUUFSMZ  VOCFBSBCMZ EFTJDDBUFE  GSJHIUFOFE CZ
UIFVOBQQFBTBCMFCFBTUPGUIJSTUBSPVTFEXJUIJONF
Panting like some desert wanderer, I staggered back to Grandpas
MJCSBSZJOTFBSDIPGTPMVUJPOTGPSEFIZESBUJPO0OFXJMEFSOFTTTVSWJWBM
CPPLSFWFBMFEUIBUTUSBOEFEIJLFSTPGUFOTVDLPOSPDLTUPUSJDLUIFJS
CSBJOTJOUPCFMJFWJOHUIFZSFESJOLJOH*UPSFUIFQBHFGSPNUIFCPPL
and held it, flapping flag-like as I sprinted outside and down the street
UPUIFFNQUZDPSOFSMPUPOPVSCMPDL*TFBSDIFEVOUJM*GPVOEUIFQFSGFDUTUPOF*UXBTBTNBMM nBUPWBMUIFTJ[FPGBRVBSUFSBOEUIFDPMPSPG
GSFTIMZNJYFEDFNFOU$PMEJONZIBOET
*TMJQQFEUIFTUPOFJOUPNZNPVUI3FMJFGXBTJOTUBOU0OFDBSFGVM
TXBMMPXPGNZTBMJWBDMFBSFEBXBZUIFVOQMFBTBOUFBSUIZnBWPS BOE
PWFSUIFOFYUGFXNJOVUFT *TFUUMFEJOUPBDBMNJOHSIZUINPGUPOHVF
SPMMJOHSPDL SPMMJOHUPOHVF SPMMJOHSPDL*JNBHJOFENZTUPOFTGBWPSJUFTFHNFOUPGJUTNVMUJNJMMFOOJBMFYJTUFODFIBECFFOBTBSJWFSQFCCMF
and that I had restored it to happiness.
In the years to come, no matter how much I sucked on that rock, it
XBTTUJMMBTDPPMBOEDPNGPSUJOHBTXIFO*mSTUUBTUFEJU#ZUIFUJNF*
was old enough to realize that my dad had probably never seen Mount
&WFSFTU  MFU BMPOF DSVODIFE B GPPUQSJOU PO BOZ PG JUT TOPXDPWFSFE
TUPOFT UIFSPDLJONZNPVUIXBTBQBSUPGNF*OFWFSPODFSFNPWFE
JU GPS FYBNJOBUJPO &WFO UIPVHI JU DBVTFE NF UP TQFBL XJUI SPVOE 
SFUBSEFEXPSET&WFOUIPVHIJUGPSDFENFUPTXBMMPXGPPEDBSFGVMMZ
BOEESJOLGSPNTUSBXT&WFOUIPVHIJULFQUNZDVSJPTJUZBCPVU'SFODI
LJTTJOHGSPNFWFSCFJOHFYQMPSFE
I reflection in the rearview mirror as I pulled up to
UIFTPVUITIPSFPGUIF(SFBU4BMU-BLFBOEXBUDIFENZKBXTIJGUBT
my tongue worked, rolling my stone around and around.
*VTFEUPGBODZNZSFnFDUJPOBDUVBMMZCFMPOHFEUPNZGBUIFSF
UIJDL VQQFS MJQ  UIF NBTT PG CMBDL  XJSZ IBJS  UIF FZFT UIBU TUBSFE
CBDLIJN"OEBOZUJNF*OFFEFEBMJUUMFBEWJDFIFXBTXBJUJOHGPS
me in the closest mirror.


Cope: Salt Water

* OFWFS TBX NPSF UIBO POF PS UXP BDUVBM CMBDL QFPQMF JO 6UBI
Both at the airport on the same day and at a considerable distance, so
NZPXOJNBHFQSPWJEFEUIFPOMZCBTJTGPSJNBHJOJOHNZGBUIFSBTB
OPOXIJUF0OUIFPUIFSIBOE NZQIZTJDBMCPEZOFWFSSFBMMZGFMUDPOnected to my essence. How could it be that I didnt look a thing like
UIFCMPPESFMBUJWFTXJUIXIPN*MJWFE *GBODJFENZTFMGUPUBMMZXIJUF
POUIFJOTJEF KVTUDPWFSFEXJUIBEBSLPVUFSQFFMMJLFBDPDPOVUPS
BQQMF*TVQQPTFJUIFMQFEUPMBCFMUIFPOMZQIZTJDBMSFNJOEFSPGNZ
great differencemy reflectionas someone else.
Is she really gone? I asked as I looked into the rearview mirror.
%BET EBSL CSPXO FZFT TUBSFE CBDL XJUI B LJOE PG CMBOL UFSSPS
*UVSOFEPUIFDBSBOEUJNJEMZTUFQQFEPVUFBJSXBTIFBWZXJUI
UIFTNFMMPGCSJOFBOEEFDBZ*MPPLFEVQFTLZXBTBOBWZLJOE
PGEBSL TUJMMIBOHJOHPOUPBCJUPGCMVF*UIBECFFOOFBSMZBOIPVS
TJODF(SBOEQBBOE*XFSFmSTUOPUJmFEPG(SBOENBTEFBUIFMBLFT
TVSGBDFTIJWFSFEBOEEJNQMFEMJLFCBSFTLJO TIVEEFSJOHJOUIFDPPM 
EJNNJOHMJHIU5XPHJBOUXIJUFFZFTPGNPPOTUBSFEBUNFTJEFXBZT
POFEPXOGSPNUIFTLZ XIPMF JODFTTBOUBOEPOFVQGSPNUIFMBLF 
CMJOLJOHXJUIBQPMPHZGPSJUTVOZJFMEJOHUXJO
I immediately spotted Grandmas body zipped up near a Sheriff s
USVDL)BE*OPUFYQFDUFEUIFJNBHF *XPVMEIBWFUIPVHIUJUBGBDFMFTTTFBDSFBUVSF MJLFBTFBMPSBTNBMMXIBMF CFBDIFEPOUIFTBOEF
OFYUUIJOH*LOFX BOPDFSBTLFENF i"SFZPVBOJNNFEJBUFGBNJMZ
NFNCFSPG.T8BSSFO w
i4IFXBTNZHSBOENPUIFS w*BOTXFSFE GBDJOHIJNFTUPOFJONZ
NPVUITMJQQFEGSPNJUTDPNGPSUBCMFQMBDF NBLJOHNZXPSETTPVOE
muffled and hollow.
FPDFSMPXFSFEIJTHMBTTFTBOEUPPLBDMPTFMPPLBUNF QSPCBCMZUSZJOHUPTVSNJTFJG*XBTNFOUBMMZSFUBSEFEPSKVTUIBEBTQFFDI
impediment.
Ill need to see some , young man.
I gripped my lip balm and repositioned the stone in my mouth.
Why?
F PDFS TJHIFEi*UT KVTU OPU SFBEJMZ BQQBSFOU ZPVSF B CMPPE
relative.


Yeah, Im black. But shes still my grandmother. You want me here


or not?
You have some ? Show me your license.
I only have my permit. Its my sixteenth birthday today. I was going
UPQJDLVQNZMJDFOTFUPNPSSPXw*QBVTFEGPSBNPNFOU CSFBUIJOHJO
EFFQMZUPLFFQNZWPJDFGSPNDSBDLJOHi(SBOENBXBTHPJOHUPESJWF
with me.
F PDFS TJHIFE  QVMMFE B UIJDL CBMMQPJOU QFO GSPN IJT TIJSU
pocket, and clicked out its point. Name?
I told him my name and watched him write it down, slanting the
MFUUFST)FEJEOUTFFNUPSFDPHOJ[FJUPSNZGBDF1FSIBQTIFIBEOU
XBUDIFEUIFOFXTQSPHSBNTBCPVUNZPSEJOBUJPOi /PSNBO FI wF
PDFSLFQUIJTDIJOEPXOCVUSBJTFEIJTFZFTUPNFFSFXBTBIJOU
PGBNVTFNFOUJOIJTWPJDF*LOPXIFXBOUFEUPBTLJU CVUIFXBT
polite enough not to. You a Mormon?
%FWPVU.PNOBNFENFBGUFSNZGBUIFS XIPOFWFSXBTBNFNCFS
PGUIF Church, probably didnt really know what a Mormon is.
+VTUMJLFUIFJSSFMBUJPOTIJQ *NUXPIBMWFTPGUIJOHTUIBUXFSFOFWFS
NFBOU UP NJYMJLF NBLJOH IPU DPDPB XJUI XIJUF QBJOU JOTUFBE PG
NJMLFSFTVMUJTNF BMXBZTPOFMFUUFSTIPSUPGOPSNBM BMXBZTUIF
VOJOUFOUJPOBMKPLF/PSNBOUIF.PSNPO
Earlier in the day, when Grandpa had placed his hands on my head,
along with my bishop and home teachers, and said my name, it had
actually sounded dignified. Normon Kimball Warren. His voice was
SPMMJOHBOEEFFQ BSJWFSPGCBSJUPOF BTJUBMXBZTXBTXIFOSFQPSUFST
BSFQSFTFOUi 8FDPOGFSVQPOZPVUIFQSJFTUIPPEPG"BSPOBOEPSEBJO
ZPVUPUIFQPTJUJPOPGQSJFTUw
People get ordained to the Mormon priesthood every day. Its usually nothing newsworthy. But I was the first black person to receive any
office in the Church. I mean the first. Grandpa typed up a press release
UIFEBZCFGPSFNZPSEJOBUJPOBOESFQSFTFOUBUJWFTGSPN6UBITUISFF
CJHHFTUQBQFSTXFSFJOBUUFOEBODFi$IVSDI%JSFDUPSPG$PNNVOJDBUJPOT DPOGFST QSJFTUIPPE VQPO HSBOETPO UIF EBZ BGUFS UIF .PSNPO
$IVSDITIJTUPSJDBOOPVODFNFOUUIBU GPSUIFmSTUUJNFJOJUTIJTUPSZ 
BMMNBMFNFNCFST SFHBSEMFTTPGSBDF XIPBSFEFFNFEXPSUIZXJMMCF


Cope: Salt Water

FMJHJCMF UP IPME UIF QSJFTUIPPE PG (PEw .Z CJH NPNFOU XBT FWFO
SFDPSEFEMJWFGPS$IBOOFM/FXT)PVSBU/PPO BOE*MBUFSEJTDPWFSFEUIFUISFFOBUJPOBMTUBUJPOTQJDLFEJUVQGPSUIFJSOJHIUMZSFQPSUT
#FGPSFIBOE (SBOEQBUPMENFOPMFTTUIBOUXFOUZmWFUJNFTOPUUP
say a single word on camera. Just smile, he instructed with his hands
PONZTIPVMEFSTJOBHFTUVSFPGTVQQPSUi:PVMMEPmOFw
I thought I did pretty well, but Grandpa later told me my eyes
looked as wide as cracked eggs on t.v. screen. Why? he wanted to know.
Nervousness? Pride? Joy? Gas? You should have thought about peanut butter sandwiches, he told me. I always do. Its the first thing
they teach in PR school. When on camera, think about something
DPNQMFUFMZEJTDPOOFDUFEGSPNUIFTJUVBUJPO*UHSPVOETZPVw
Most Church members seemed relieved by the change in policy.
0GUIPTFUIBUSFTJTUFE *WFIFBSEBIBOEGVMXFSFEJTJMMVTJPOFEFOPVHI
to be excommunicated in the weeks surrounding my ordination. But
*EJEOUNVDIUIJOLPGUIFN"UUIFUJNFPGNZCMFTTJOH *XBTPWFScome with awe, thinking about the great white peanut butter sandXJDI*XBTmOBMMZHPJOHUPCFJOUIFNJEEMFPG
8IBULJMMTNFJT *EPOULOPXJG(SBOENBXBTUIFSFEVSJOHUIFEBZT
events. I was too excited to notice. She could have been in the lake long
CFGPSFUIFCMFTTJOHFWFOPDDVSSFE#VU*IBWFUIJTMJOHFSJOHTVTQJDJPO
that she timed her death with my blessing. Maybe thats why I sometimes imagine Grandpas hands concurrently pressing down on both
our heads, holding hers under the salt water and mine in a new, fixed
position.
8IBU*FYQFDUFEOFYUGSPNUIFPDFSBMFDUVSFBCPVUOPUESJWJOH
XJUIPVUBOBEVMUJOUIFDBSVOUJM*XBTGVMMZMJDFOTFEEJEOUIBQQFO
)JTUPOFTPGUFOFEi*NTPSSZGPSZPVSMPTT .S8BSSFOw
-PPLJOHBXBZGSPNUIFMBLF *HBUIFSFE(SBOENBTGBDFJONZNJOE
UIFCMVFFZFTIBEPXUIBUDPMMFDUFEJOUIFDSFBTFTPGIFSMJETBOEUIFTUSPOH
BSDPGIFSQPXEFSFEOPTF*DPVMEBMNPTUTNFMMUIFHMVFBOEUJOPEPSPG
IFSIBJSTQSBZUIBUGPMMPXFEIFSBSPVOEMJLFBDMPVE"MMIFSEFUBJMTXFSF
GSFTIJONZNFNPSZ
And yet, I worried. Without makeup, wet, she might look like somePOFFMTF*GJUXFSFOUGPSUIFDPOmSNBUJPOPGIJTWPJDF *XPVMEOULOPX


Grandpa in the morning when his eyes are puffy and his hair rises off his
TDBMQJOTUJHSBZnBNFT8IBULJOEPGTJHOBMDPVME(SBOENBHJWFNF
to assure she wasnt some other womanwithered, dripping, gone?
*DBMMFE(SBOEQBGSPNBQIPOFCPPUIPVUTJEFUIFPME4BMUBJSFTHJGU
TIPQ*UPOMZUPPLIBMGBSJOHGPSIJNUPQJDLVQ
Norman?
Hi, Grandpa.
Holy Moses. What took you so long to call? What happened? Are
there reporters there? Who knows about the situation? Did they give
you problems?
*DPWFSFEUIFQIPOFXJUINZMFGUIBOEBOETQPLFTPGUMZFWFOUIPVHI
OPPOFXBTBSPVOEi*EPOULOPXBOZUIJOHBUUIJTQPJOU-PPL *KVTU
wanted to let you know Ive arrived. Give me a minute and Ill call you
back.
i*GUIFSFBSFSFQPSUFST ZPVXPOUTQFBLUPUIFN XJMMZPV w(SBOEQB
asked. Actually, maybe you should. Talk things up, like. Tell them
about your grandmothers Kiwanis Club activity. Dont make it seem
like a
Like a what?
You know. Like a situation we hadnt expected. Your grandmother
was troubled. Im the first to admit that. But do we need the whole
world to know?
Gotta go, Grandpa.
No! Wait!
Click.
I sat on the concrete pad under the phone and thought. For the last
UXFOUZGPVSIPVST JUIBETFFNFE(SBOEQBIFMEBMMUIFBOTXFST)F
was the one chosen to read the announcement over the radio about the
QSJFTUIPPE*UIBEHPOFTUSBJHIUGSPN(PETNPVUIUPUIF1SPQIFUT
NJOEUPNZHSBOEGBUIFSTFBSUPUIFXPSME*IBEIPOFTUMZUIPVHIUthis
would be the event that brushed away all my doubt. But underneath,
I worried it would all be a disappointment when the curtains closed.
I still wonder . . .
* XPOEFS JG BOZPOF SFBMMZ UIPVHIU JU XPVME FWFS IBQQFO "MM BU
PODFMJLFUIBUFnJQPGBTXJUDIB. Heres the priesthood. So


Cope: Salt Water

TPSSZ8FXFSFOUXSPOHJOXJUIIPMEJOHJUGSPNCMBDLNFNCFSTPGUIF
DIVSDI BOEDFSUBJOMZXFSFOPUSBDJTU8FXFSFKVTUXBJUJOHGPSJOTQJration. Now you have the power to act in Gods name.
*BMTPXPOEFSJGUIFSFTTPNFUIJOHXSPOHJOTJEFNFUIBULFQUNF
GSPNGFFMJOHTPNFUIJOHNPSFQPXFSGVMUIBOUIFXFJHIUPGUIFIBOET
UIBUPSEBJOFENFUIFEBZPG(SBOENBTEFBUI4IPVMEOUUIFSFIBWF
CFFOTPNFTPSUPGSFDPHOJ[BCMF[JOH "SFBM CPOBmEF (SBOENBLJOE
PGTJHO 4VSFMZXIFOPUIFSQFPQMFXFSFPSEBJOFE UIFZGFMUBEJTUJODU
KPMUPGTPNFLJOEBT(PEDIBOOFMFE)JTQPXFSUISPVHIUIFmOHFSTPG
UIFQSJFTUIPPETUBOEJOHJOUIFCMFTTJOHDJSDMF*GFMUOPUIJOH
.PTUPGBMM *XPOEFSJGBOZPGUIPTFGSFF[JOH %BOJTITFBNFOXIP
EJFEPONZCJSUIEBZXFSFCMBDL*XPOEFSJGUIFZLOFXXIFOUIFZ
SVTIFEUPXBSEUIFHMPXPGXBSNUICFMPXEFDLUIBUFWFOTMJHIUNPWFNFOUDPVMETFOEUIFJSIFBSUTJOUPXJMETQBTNTPGWFOUSJDVMBSmCSJMMBtion. And yet, I know what its like to be on the outsideand so did
(SBOENB *TVTQFDUSVCCJOHZPVSGSP[FOIBOETUPHFUIFSXIJMFZPV
look at a glowing window, when the only thought screaming in your
mind can drown out all reason. Let me in!
When I turned twelve and the other boys my age were being
anointed deacons, I started asking questions. Why not me? Id been
SBJTFEJOUIF$IVSDIKVTUMJLFFWFSZCPEZFMTF*ECFFOCBQUJ[FE HJWFO
UIFHJGUPGUIF)PMZ(IPTU4VSF *IBECMBDLTLJOGSPNTPNFCMBDL
GBUIFS*EOFWFSTFFOBut come on, I thought. My own grandfather is
Brigham Young Warren, practically a general authority.
8IFO*BTLFE(SBOEQBEJSFDUMZBCPVUNZGFFMJOHTIFTBJE i :PVHFU
BIFBEJOUIJT$IVSDIPOMZJGZPVdontBTLUIPTFLJOETPGRVFTUJPOT
Besides, Joseph Smith asked the important questions. And on the offDIBODF UIFSF IBQQFOFE UP CF TPNFUIJOH TNBMM IF GPSHPU  EPOU ZPV
think God would bop the current prophet on the head with it?
8POEFSJOHIPXMPOH(SBOEQBMJTUFOFEUPUIFEJBMUPOF*MFGUIJN
with, I rose off that concrete pad and walked back to the officer. Tell
NFIPXZPVGPVOEIFS w*TBJE
FPDFSFYQMBJOFEIPXIFIBEEJTDPWFSFE(SBOENBTCPEZJOB
TIBMMPXXBTIKVTUCFMPXUIFTVSGBDF UJFEBUUIFXBJTUUPUIFCVDLFUPG
DPODSFUFMJLFBOBODIPSFOIFMPPLFEBXBZ OFBSMZXIJTQFSJOH i*U


XBT BO PEE JNBHF 4IF DPVME IBWF QJFSDFE UIF TVSGBDF XJUI IFS mOHFSTJGTIFESFBDIFEUIFNVQw)FDMFBSFEIJTUISPBUBTJGUPUSBOTJUJPO
to more official business. Did you know anything about this plastic
bucket?
* OPEEFE 0G DPVSTF * LOFX BCPVU UIF CVDLFU  * UPME UIF PDFS
(SBOENBIBEDBSSJFEJUXJUIIFSFWFSZXIFSFGPSBTMPOHBT*DPVME
SFNFNCFS*UXBTIFSRVJSLUIFCJHHFTUTDSBUDIPOIFSSFDPSEJGZPV
XJMMFPOMZSFBMTJHOJONZNJOEUIBUTIFNJHIUOPUCFJSPOFEPVU
VOEFS IFS TPGU GSJMMT F GBEFE  SFE CVDLFU XFOU VQ UIF CVT TUFQT
with her and out to the raspberry bushes. It was in every grocery cart,
BMXBZTBUUIFGPPUPGIFSCFEXIFOTIFTMFQU*OFWFSSFBMMZUIPVHIU
about it. Besides, dragging around that absurdly heavy thing made
IFSUIFmUUFTUPMEXPNBOJOUPXO*XBTLJOEPGQSPVEPGUIBU
Do you recall writing on the bucket? the officer asked.
No. It was plain red.
FPDFSUPPLBEFFQCSFBUIBOEMPXFSFEIJTFZFCSPXTi8IFO
XFGPVOEUIFCVDLFU UIFSFXBTBNFTTBHFPOJU XSJUUFOJOQFSNBOFOU
marker.
Can I see what she wrote?
iBUTQBSUPGUIFJOWFTUJHBUJPOSJHIUOPX#FTJEFT XFTNBTIFEJUw
What?
We broke open the bucket, he said simply. Hammered the conDSFUF"TDBSFGVMMZBTXFDPVME NJOEZPV8FIBEUPTFFXIBUXBT
JOTJEFw )F QBVTFE BT JG XBJUJOH GPS NF UP SFWFBM TPNFUIJOH  UIFO
spoke slowly. Do you know what was inside the bucket?
Concrete, I answered blankly.
FQPMJDFNFOTFYQSFTTJPOTFU)FXBJUFEBTJGUPFOTVSF*XBTmOished, and then slowed his speech. Do you know what was in the
concrete?
I had never considered the possibility that there could be anything
in the solid mass. Was there some strange chemical in the mix? A stash
PGNPOFZIJEEFO *TUVEJFEUIFPDFSTTUFSOFYQSFTTJPO CVU*GPVOE
no answer.
F PDFS GPMEFE IJT BSNT BOE TJHIFE FO IF BSUJDVMBUFE NZ
grandmothers great, hidden burden to me. It only took two words, but


Cope: Salt Water

IFUISFXUIFNBUNFXJUIPVUDVTIJPOUIFUSVUISFXUIFNBUNF
the same way that a gypsy woman in the airport once hurled her baby
into my arms. She seemed to wagercorrectlythat my compassion,
DPNCJOFEXJUINZTUBSUMFSFnFY XPVMEDSFBUFBOPQQPSUVOJUZKVTUXJEF
enough to slip her hands into. At the time, I didnt realize many people
BSFSPCCFEUIJTXBZ MFGUTUBSJOHGPSBTQMJUTFDPOEBUBCBCZTGBDFXIJMF
they lose their identity.
"OPUIFSPDFSBQQSPBDIFENFGSPNCFIJOEiFSFTBDBMMGPSZPV
at the phone booth. Says its urgent.
Slowly, I approached the phone.
Hi, Grandpa.
Look, Norman. I need you to tell me
i/P w*TBJEi:PVUFMMNF(SBOEQB XFSFZPVFWFSBXBZGSPN(SBOENB
long enough that she could have a really big secret you wouldnt know
about?
(SBOEQB QBVTFEi/PSNBO w )F TPVOEFE DPOGVTFEi8IP IBWF
you been talking to?
Did you . . . treat her nice? Did you really love her?
)F BOTXFSFE XJUI B TPMJE NJOVUF PG UPUBM TJMFODF * DPVME GFFM
(SBOEQBTCSFBUIJOHCVJMEJOHVQUPXPSET)FBMXBZTDBNFBQBSUBGUFS
JOUFSMVEFTMJLFUIJT IJTXPSETmOBMMZTIPPUJOHGSPNIJTMJQTBOESJEJOH
nFDLTPGTBMJWB
i:PVIVOHVQPONF wIFZFMMFEi.ZXJGFJTEFBEBOEZPVIVOHVQ
PONF ZPVVOHSBUFGVM MJUUMFCBTUBSE*WFSBJTFEZPV UBLFODBSFPGZPV
XIFOZPVSPXOSJEJDVMPVTGBUIFSFWBQPSBUFEJOUPUIJOBJS BOEZPVBDUVBMMZUIJOLNZQFSTPOBMMJGFJTBOZPGZPVSCVTJOFTT w
But Grandma. Shes . . .
Now you listen to me. I want you to step outside and tell those
reporters
I placed the phone on the counter and let Grandpas voice grow
smaller and smaller behind me. I glanced over at the officers who were
FYBNJOJOHTPNFQBQFSTTQSFBEPOUIFIPPEPGBQBUSPMDBSFZEJEOU
TFFNBXBSFPGNF4P*TOVDLVOEFSUIFZFMMPXUBQFUPTJGUUISPVHIUIF
NFTT&NCFEEFEJOUIFDIVOLTPGDPODSFUFXFSFUJOZQJFDFTPGXIJUF 
MJLFCJUTPGCSJHIUJDFPSCSPLFOHMBTTFO*SFBMJ[FEXJUIDFSUBJOUZ


UIFZ XFSF CPOF GSBHNFOUT 5JOZ GSBHJMF mOHFST 4IBSET PG TLVMM "
babys bones.
.ZNPVUIPQFOFEJOEJTCFMJFGBOEPVUUVNCMFENZHSBZTUPOF*U
landed in my open palm.
So what the officer had said is true, I thought.
*TUBSFEBUUIFQFCCMFGPSUIFmSTUUJNFJOFJHIUZFBST VUUFSMZTIPDLFE
.ZUPOHVFSVCCFEUIFUFOEFSDBWJUZJUIBEDSFBUFEJONZVQQFSQBMBUF
NZmOHFSTSVCCFEUIFTUSBOHFTUPOF*IFME4PMJLFBUJOZ NBMGPSNFE
heart that had ceased beating.
8JUI NZ PUIFS IBOE * QJDLFE VQ UIF UXP MBSHFTU GSBHNFOUT PG
bucket and turned them over, matching the black letters scrawled on
UIFN *O (SBOENBT MPPQZ IBOEXSJUJOH XFSF B GFX XPSETB LJOE
PGQPFNUIBUNBEFUIFIBJSTPONZBSNTUBOEBUBUUFOUJPOBT*SFBE
iJTDIJMETUPNCXBTOPUSFBMMZPGDPODSFUFCVUNBEFPGNZXPNCw
Hey! I heard an officer shout at me. You arent allowed to touch
that!
FUSVUI*DSPTTFEVOEFSUIFUBQF QVTIFEQBTUUIFQPMJDFNBO
XBTOPFYQMBOBUJPO*IFBEFEGPS(SBOENB
How did a babys body end up in that bucket? More importantly,
IPXEJE(SBOENBDBSSZTVDIBCVSEFO SJHIUCFGPSFNZFZFT FWFSZ
day, and I never noticed it? I never once offered to help Grandma with
her bucket up and down the basement stairs. Never really acknowledged its oddity. And now . . .
Son, an officer said, not now.
But I pulled back the white plastic that shrouded her body and
MPPLFEBU(SBOENBTCMFBDIFEGBDFBOECVMHJOHFZFMJET*LOFX(SBOEQB
would have been appalled. He would have turned away and pretended
not to see her. So I looked twice as long. I smoothed Grandmas fine,
cinnamon and sugar hair. I straightened her long, knobby fingers as
best I could. Maybe I should bless her, I thought. I could cradle her
IFBEJONZEBSLIBOETBOETBZCFBVUJGVMXPSETUPCMFTTIFSMJLFPUIFS
priesthood holders do to newborn babies. I had the power now, didnt
I? I breathed in deeply.
No. I knew it wouldnt make any difference. She was in the spirit
world now. With her . . .

Cope: Salt Water

"ODIPS*XBTTUSVDLCZUIFBQQSPQSJBUFOFTTPGUIFPDFSTXPSE 
now that I really knew the burden that had tugged Grandma below
UIFTVSGBDFPGUIJTXPSMEBOENBSLFEIFSQBTTBHFJOUPEBSLFSXBUFST
*QJDUVSFE(SBOEQBGPSBNPNFOU IJTCVUUFSZXIJUFTLJO IJTHSBZJOH IBJS  BOE UIF EJTEBJOJOH TNJMF IF BMXBZT HBWF IJT XJGF FO *
leaned over, cheek to cold cheek with Grandma, and whispered into
IFSJDZFBS i*GPSHJWFZPVw
%JE TIF IFBS NZ XPSET GSPN TPNFXIFSF CFZPOE  * EPOU LOPX
At the time only one thought occupied my mind, a truth I knew Id
OFWFSPVUHSPX(SBOENBBOE*BOEFWFSZDIJMEPG(PEBSFDPNQMFUF
TUSBOHFSTUPPOFBOPUIFS MPDLFEJOUIFSPPNTPGPVSPXONJOET
* JNBHJOFE CFOEJOH PWFS BOE DPMMFDUJOH UIF DPME GSBHNFOUT GSPN
(SBOENBTCVDLFUBOEUIFOMPDLJOHUIFNJOUIFUSVOLPGNZDBS#VU
*LOFX*ECFTUPQQFE"OESFBMMZUIFSFXBTOUBOZUIJOHNPSFGPSNF
IFSFB CMBDL UFFOBHFS JO B MBOE PG ESZ  XIJUF FBSUI PO UIF CBOLT
PGBOBMPPGMBLFFTLZXBTCMBDLOPX TUBSMFTT DPME BOEVODBSJOH
*XBTGSP[FOUPNZDPSFBOEIBEUPDIPPTFNZNPWFNFOUTDBSFGVMMZ
*TUFQQFETMPXMZGPSXBSEQBTU(SBOENBTCPEZUPUIFMBLFTIPSF
FO*XPVOENZBSNCBDLBOEMPQQFENZHSBZTUPOFBDSPTTUIF
XBUFS*UTLJQQFEPOUIFEBSLTVSGBDFPGUIFUBVOUJOHTFB PODF UXJDF
. . . six, seven times. I stopped counting as it bounced like a silver note
dancing out a simple, poignant melody until it was swallowed by the
CMBDL XBUFS .Z MJNCT XFSF TUJMM 1FUSJmFE F TPVOE PG UIF MBLFT
TUFBEZXBWFTCFDBNFBTNPUIFSJOHTUBUJD BOE*XBTMFGUUPNZUJSFE 
TRVJOUJOHFZFTFSFXBTPOMZBIJOUPGEJTUBOUQFBLTBDSPTTPOFTJEF
PGUIFMBLFUIBU*DPVMECBSFMZNBLFPVUJOUIFNPPOMJHIU*XBTVOBCMF
to discern where the water ended.



Maralise Petersen, Falling

Speculations: Trees
W M

I.
W A UIF GSVJU PG UIF USFF PG LOPXMFEHF PG
HPPEBOEFWJM KVJDFEJEOPUSVOGSPNUIFDPSOFSTPGIJTNPVUIBOE
EPXO IJT mSN  JOOPDFOU DIJO F nFTI EJE OPU UJOHMF  TXFFU BOE
luscious, on his obedient tongue: POMZUIFUSFFPGMJGFQSPEVDFTTVDI
TVDDVMFOUGSVJU)FEJEOPU BTDPNNPOMZJNBHJOFE UBLFBCJUFGSPN
TPNFUIJOHSFTFNCMJOHBSJQF SPTZBQQMFBNFMMPX TPGUQFBSBQMVNQ 
QVMQZPSBOHFPSFWFOBUFOEFS KVJDZQMVN8IFO&WFTUSFUDIFEGPSUI
IFSTNPPUI TVQQMFIBOE "EBNSFBDIFEPVUBOEQMVDLFEGSPNJUB
quince.

II.
A , an old mana carpentercame and chopped
EPXOUIFmHUSFF*UUPPLUIFCFUUFSQBSUPGBOBGUFSOPPOFCBSL
BOEPVUFSMBZFSPGXPPEFBTJMZnBLFEBXBZ CVUUIFDPSFPGUIFUSVOL
XBTBMNPTUSPDLIBSEFSPUUFO XJUIFSFECSBODIFTSBJOFEQPXEFSZ
TISFETPGXPPE BTIJTBYFDIJTFMFEJUTXBZUISPVHI
By the time he finished, the axe had dulled, and the sun embraced
UIFIPSJ[PO)JTTPOJOMBXDBNFUPDBMMGPSEJOOFS BOEUIFZESBHHFE
the tree home.
F OFYU NPSOJOH  UIF PME NBO DVU P UIF SFNBJOJOH  TDSBHHMZ
CSBODIFTBOESBTQFEBXBZMBZFSTPGUSVOLVOUJMPOMZUIFIFBWZDPSF
SFNBJOFE8IFOIFmOJTIFE UIFQJFDFPGXPPENFBTVSFEUXPBSN

)POPSBCMFNFOUJPO Irreantum Fiction Contest

MFOHUITBOEUISFFIBOETJOEJBNFUFSFXPPEXBTEBSLFSUIBOmH
XPPEVTVBMMZJTJUTHSBJOUJHIUBOENPUUMFE
F PME NBO MFU UIF XPPE TJU GPS XFFLT JO B DPSOFS PG IJT XPSLTIPQ#VUUIFO BGUFSIJTEBVHIUFSTMBUFTUEJTBQQPJOUNFOU BUIPVHIU
entered his mind, a thought he couldnt let go even though it filled
him with horror and awe.
)FQMBOLFEUIFXPPEBOEKPJOFEUIFCPBSETUPNBLFBSFDUBOHVMBS
CPY)FDVUUXPHSFFOCSBODIFTGSPNBOPMJWFUSFFBOECFHBOUIFTMPX
QSPDFTT PG DVSWJOH UIFN8IFO UIFZ XFSF GVMMZ DVSFE  IF USJNNFE
BOE TBOEFE UIFJS FEHFT )F mUUFE UIF CPUUPN PG UIF CPY XJUI GPVS
short posts and added the runners. He sanded it and rubbed it with
oil and resin until the oddly dark fig wood took on an almost silvery
glow.
8IFOJUXBTEPOF IFTFUJUEPXOFDSBEMFSPDLFEFWFSTPTMJHIUMZ 
slyly mocking his talents. His daughter was old, almost past childbearing years. He moaned, brushed at his eyes and held his palms to
IJTUFNQMFTJOEJTCFMJFGJTUIJOHIFEDSFBUFEXBTBCFBVUJGVMBCPNJOBUJPO BQJFDFPGEFWJMJTIDSBGUTNBOTIJQCPSOFPGVOSJHIUFPVTZFBSOings and a cursed tree.
)F DPVME OPU CFBS UIF UIPVHIU PG HJWJOH JU UP IFS F MPPL PO
IFSGBDFFMPPLUIBUXPVMECFmMMFEXJUIQBJOBOEUIBUmFSDFIPQF
that he might know something, that some small prophecy had been
burned into his mind and heart.
)FCVSJFEJUCFOFBUIBQJMFPGTDSBQXPPEJOBDPSOFSPGIJTTIPQ
Two months later he died.
4JYNPOUITBGUFSUIBU IJTHSBOEEBVHIUFSDBNFJOUPUIFXPSME DSZing, her skin dark and rosy, eyes deep and thirsty, hair thick and black.
Her mother rocked her in her armsher movements slow and tenEFSIFSSIZUINFWFOBOEQSFDJTF

III.
Y * CFDBNF BTIBNFE F WFSZ QISBTJOH PG ZPVS
RVFTUJPOSFnFDUTUIFIZQPDSJTZBOEOBSSPXOFTTPGNJOEFOEFNJDUP
ZPVSQFPQMF)PXFWFS BTBOPEUPUIFGPOEOFTT*IBWFGPSZPV BOEJO


Morris: Speculations: Trees

SFDPHOJUJPOPGUIFGBDUUIBUXFXBMLFEUIFTBNFOBSSPXQBUIUPHFUIFS
GPSBXIJMF *XJMMBOTXFSZPV"OELOPXBMTPUIBU*EPOUCMBNFUIJT
BUUJUVEF PO ZPV QFSTPOBMMZ"OE JG * BN CMVOU EVSJOH UIF DPVSTF PG
my explanation, it is only because I need to be in order to help you
understand my position.
*BENJUUIBUUIFGSVJUUBTUFETXFFUUPNFBUmSTU#VU*TPPOHSFX
UJSFEPGBTUFBEZEJFUPGJU:PVBOEZPVSLJOEIBWFBOE*IFTJUBUFUP
say this because I am not looking to offend, so I hope you wont take
this the wrong waytoo simple a palate. Its not clear to me why you
DBOUTFFUIJT CVUUIJTXPSMEJTOPUBCPVUUIFTXFFUPOMZFTBMUZ UIF
TPVS BOEZFT FWFOUIFCJUUFSBSFBMMOFDFTTBSZGPSBGVMM WJCSBOUMJGF*O
PUIFSXPSET *FNCSBDFEUIFQBUIPGFYQFSJFODFFGSVJUOPMPOHFS
HBWFNFXIBU*OFFEFE*OEFFE BT*UBTUFENPSFPGXIBUUIFXPSME
IBEUPPFS *SFBMJ[FEUIFGSVJUXBTBDUVBMMZRVJUFCMBOEPODFZPVHPU
CFZPOEUIFJOJUJBMSVTIPGUBTUF/PUPOMZUIBU, but the sweetness had
OPUIJOHUPCBMBODFJUPVUBOEBMMUPPPGUFOCFDBNFDMPZJOH
To turn the question around: How can you stand to eat the same
thing every day? Why do you turn your nose up at variety? Have you
tried these other flavors?
/P:PV IBWF OPU:PVS FYQFSJFODF JT MJNJUFE ZPVS UBTUF  VOEFSEFWFMPQFE:PVTBZUIBUUIFGSVJUiTBUJTmFTBOESJQFOTZPVSTPVM wBOE
you claim that it remains all you need. I am a witness that it doesnt
always work that way. Frankly, you overstate your case. And you cant
TJNQMZ EJTNJTT NZ UFTUJNPOZGPS * IBWF USJFE JU * IBWF FBUFO UIF
GSVJUPGUIBUUSFF

IV.
I TJHOPGUIFDSPTT wTBJEUIFPME3PNBOJBOXIFOFWFSXFNFUXJUIIJNiBUTXIZ*MJLFZPVSDIVSDI:PVBSFOUDSPTTing yourselves all the time over every little thing.
)FXPVMEXBJUGPSPVSBSNJOHOPETTPUIBUIFDPVMEDPOUJOVF
For us,JUXBTBSJUVBMGPSIJN JUXBTOFXFWFSZUJNF
i8IBU JT UIF DSPTT w IF XPVME UIFO BTL8F XPVME XBJU GPS IJN
to answer. He always did. And always in the same way. He would


thrust his arms straight out, his hands trembling with arthritis, his
HSBZ XBUFSZ SFESJNNFEFZFTJOUFOUMZTDPVSJOHPVSTFSJPVTGBDFT
Man. Man is the cross, he would say.
8FXPVMEPOMZOPEFSJUVBMXPVMEDPNFUPBDMPTF8FXPVME
TJUJOTJMFODFGPSBNPNFOU8FXFSFZPVOHBOEEJEOULOPXXIBUUP
TBZ5BMLBCPVUDSPTTFTNBEFVTWBHVFMZVODPNGPSUBCMFFWFOUIPVHI
XFLOFXIFXBTQBZJOHPVSGBJUIBDPNQMJNFOU4PXFEUBMLBCPVU
PUIFSUIJOHTFMBUFTUESBNBXJUIIJTEBVHIUFSBOEIFSBCVTJWFCPZGSJFOE BOE IPX IF XJTIFT TIF XPVME MJTUFO UP UIF TJTUFS NJTTJPOBSJFT)JTUJNFPOUIFGSPOUEVSJOH8PSME8BS**BOEIJTTVCTFRVFOU
experiences in a Russian prison camp. Growing up Christian in the
Jewish quarter, a southeastern Bucharest neighborhood now filled
XJUIHZQTJFTFDPSSVQUJPOPGUIF0SUIPEPYQSJFTUTFnPPEPG
HPPETGSPN5VSLFZBOE8FTUFSO&VSPQFFHFOFSBMVOBWBJMBCJMJUZ
PGNJMLJUTQSJDFBOEQPPSRVBMJUZ
But now, years later, we have a response: Yes, old man. Man is the
cross. And so is the tree.

V.
5the olive branches that cumbered
UIFHSPVOEPGUIFWJOFZBSEJOUPBMBSHFQJMF)FUISPXTUIFMBTUBSNMPBE
PO BOEJUJHOJUFTFCSBODIFTDSBDLMF XJMEBOECJUUFS"UIJDLXBWF
PGHSFFOHSBZTNPLFQPPMTJOUPUIFDPMEBJS SFMVDUBOUUPDMJNCJOUPUIF
EVTLZIFBWFOTFZDBSFGVMMZXBUDIUIFmSFUSBWFMEPXOXBSE
8IFO UIF QJMF JT GVMMZ BnBNF  IJT GFMMPX MBCPSFST SFUVSO UP UIFJS
DPSOFST PG UIF WJOFZBSE #VU IF DBOOPU UVSO BXBZ )F XBUDIFT UIF
flames caress a branch with ash and then greedily lick away its strucUVSFVOUJMJUDSVNCMFTBOEGBMMTEFFQFSJOUPUIFJOGFSOP HBJMZTQJUUJOH
sparks across the ground, sparks that wink out. He knows he should
KPJOUIFPUIFSTFSFJTNVDIXPSLMFGUUPCFEPOF#VUIFXBOUTUP
see it come to an end. To see it all consumed. To see the flames complete their appointed task. See them dance themselves to ashes.



Gypsy Holiday
K C

T icy inside.
"NJEUIFDMBUUFSPGIFSGBNJMZTTFMGTFSWFCSFBLGBTU "EB3VOZPO
SFBDIFEJOUPUIFDBWJUZFNPNFOUTIFGPVOEUIFCBHPGHVUT TIF
GFMUUIFDBUTOBLJOHBSPVOEIFSMFHT"EBHMBODFEEPXOBU-VMVCFMMFT
UPSUPJTFTIFMMGBDFi:PVEJEOUMJLFUIFNMBTUZFBSw4IFIFMEIFSDIJMM
TUJFOFEIBOEVOEFSBTUSFBNPGXBSNXBUFSBOETUSFUDIFEIFSmOgers. And you wont like them today.
FQSFWJPVTZFBS TIFIBESPBTUFEUIFUVSLFZXJUIUIFMJUUMFCBHPG
HJCMFUTJOTJEF BOEIBEUBLFOTVDISJCCJOHGPSJUUIBU BMMMBTUOJHIU TIF
ESFBNUPGQVMMJOHMJWFSTBOEHJ[[BSETFWFOBTFUPGPXMCPPLFOET
GSPNEBSLPSJmDFT
Turning, she collided with Douglas.
)FMPPLFEVQBUIFS IJTDPXMJDLBMPGU BCBTFCBMMDBSEBMCVNDMVUDIFE
to his small chest. When will they be here? he asked.
iF'FMETUFETBSFOUDPNJOHUPEBZ wTIFUPMEIJN
He sank back against the counter crowded with pies. Huh?
"EBLOFXIPXIFGFMU+VTUXFFLTBHP XIFOTIFIBENFOUJPOFEUIF
A&Ps turkey prices to Ruthalin Feldsted, Ruthalin TBJE i0I *WFCFFO
meaning to tell you. Weve been invited to Doyle and LeWannas this year.
"OEKVTUMJLFUIBU BUXFMWFZFBSUSBEJUJPOHPOF
(JOOJ IFSMPOHIBJSGSPX[ZGSPNTMFFQ PQFOFEUIFGSJEHFi%JEOU
Mom already tell you, Douglas? About them going to their cousins in
Baltimore?
iFPOFTXFNFUMBTUTVNNFS wTBJE,BUF TUJMMnVTIGBDFEGSPNIFS
NPSOJOHSVOi3FNFNCFS FXPNBOXJUIUIF4UFQGPSEMJQTUJDL w
Excuse me? said Ada.
)POPSBCMFNFOUJPO Irreantum Fiction Contest

Yeah, she ate her entire ice cream sundae without losing a speck
PGQJOLw
i"TUVOOJOHQFSGPSNBODF w"EBTIVTCBOE-BUIBNBHSFFE MPPLJOH
VQGSPNBEFMJDBUFKBNTQSFBEJOHPQFSBUJPOBUUIFLJUDIFOUBCMF
Ada remembered nothing about pink lipstick. All she remembered
XBTUIFMFBEFO TVOEBFTQPJMJOHGFFMJOHUIBUIJUIFSXIFOTIFGBDFE
these new people across the Feldsteds table and heard Ruthalin say,
i*UT TP OJDF OPX UP IBWF GBNJMZ OFBSCZw Just moved out from Denver,
blah, blah. Doyle works at the home offices of Struckle and Lutz, the big
department store, blah, blah, blah, so nice, isnt it nice, awfully nice.
Nice for you, Erval and Ruthalin Feldsted, Ada thought now. But then,
that sounded so poor sport. And anyway, here was little Douglas looking
up at her like shed announced they were all going on a diet together.
i#VU wTBJE"EBBTTIFVOCVUUPOFEUIFUPXFMGSPNUIFGSJEHFIBOEMF 
were going to have a happy day anyway, arent we? Arent we? Her
eyes dared them.
"GUFSBMM BOLTHJWJOHXBTUIFIPMJEBZMFBTUMJLFMZUPEJTBQQPJOU
Nobody got upset over the presents not gotten. Nobody checked the
&BTUFSPVUmUBOEGPVOEBSVOJOUIFUJHIUT4PJUDPVMEOUCFIBSEUP
have a happy day now, could it? And, on that thought, she turned back
to the turkey.
Twenty-two pounds? Latham, dumping his plate in the sink, fingered the label on the crumpled turkey wrapping.
iFTNBMMFSPOFTEJEOUMPPLSJHIU wTIFTBJE
And five pies?
i8FMM BOZMFTTEJEOUTFFNMJLFFOPVHIw"EBSFBDIFEGPSUIFUPXFM
*UXBTBHJGUGSPN3VUIBMJO POFPGUIPTFDSBGUZQFPQMFXIPDPVMEOU
MFBWF BO PCKFDUVOJNQSPWFE3VUIBMJOT IBOEJXPSL XBTQSPQQFE  GBTtened and hung everywhere in this house. For example, the sampler over
the kitchen sink, the one that proclaimed, as in every good Mormon
IPNF i 'BNJMJFT"SF'PSFWFSw 'SPN3VUIBMJOFUFFOZBQSPOUIBUmU
UIFTPBQCPUUMF 3VUIBMJOBHBJOFEJNFTUPSFUPXFM FOIBODFEXJUI
a little lace-trimmed neck and that handy button? Yes, Ruthalin.
"EBSFBDIFEGPSIFSCJHHFTUCPXMBOEUIPVHIUBCPVUUIPTFUXFOUZUXP
QPVOETPGUVSLFZ.BZCFTIFIBECPVHIUUPPNVDI#VUDSPXETXFSF
what the holiday was all about. Anyone who doubted this hadnt been to


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

UIFHSPDFSZTUPSFMBTU4BUVSEBZFBJTMFXBTKBNNFEXJUIMPBEFEIJHI
carts, pushed by women who considered the gravy packets, thumped the
UVSLFZT SJnFEJOUIFDPPMFSDBTFTGPSUVCTPG$PPM8IJQ/PCPEZHPUPVU
PGUIF"1PO4BUVSEBZXJUIGFXFSUIBOUFOHSPDFSZCBHT
3VOOJOH XBUFS JOUP UIF CPXM "EB UFTUFE JU HJOHFSMZ GPS KVTU UIF
right warmth.
So what are you doing now? asked Latham.
i4JODF ZPV XPOU CF HFUUJOH 3VUIBMJOT GBNPVT 1JOXIFFM 3PMMT
today . . . She set her bowl down next to the pies and sprinkled yeast
over the water.
Douglas watched at her elbow. Do you even know how to make
rolls?
4IFTIPUIJNBMPPLi'PSZPV JUTBMMBCPVUUIFGPPE JTOUJU w
i)FZ wTBJE-BUIBN i*WFHPUBQSPKFDU UPPBUTIFMGZPVWFCFFO
wanting in the basement? It goes up today!
)FS FZFT PQFOFE XJEF 4VSF  JU XBTOU BOLTHJWJOH XJUIPVU UIF
"OOVBM)PNF*NQSPWFNFOU1SPKFDU FYDFQUUIBUIFSIVTCBOEXBTOPU
B QSPKFDU NBO8JUIPVU &SWBM 'FMETUFET IFMQ  -BUIBNT EPPST IVOH
GVOOZ)JTQBJOUQFFMFE)JTQJQFTMFBLFEUIBUJT JGUIFZEJEOUHVTI
4IFMPPLFEEPXOBUIFSCPXMFZFBTUCVCCMFEBOETQSFBE"TTIF
stirred in the eggs and the flour, Latham navigated his way through
UIFLJUDIFO DBSSZJOHUIFUBMMTIFMGCPY)FDMVNQFEEPXOUIFXPPEFO
stairs to the basement.
Its only a shelf, she thought. Not like a water heater or anything.
Still, she hurried the dough along, then tramped down to the baseNFOU1BTTJOHUIFMBVOESZBOEUIFGPMEFEVQDSJC TIFTBUPOBOPME
bar stool. I wonder, wouldnt you rather wait until Ervals back in
town to do this?
)FMJGUFEIJTDIJOJOUIFBJSi*EPOUOFFE&SWBM*DBOIBOEMFUIJT
NZTFMGw)FUPTTFEUIFEJSFDUJPOTBTJEF UVDLFEIJTIBMGHMBTTFTJOUPIJT
TIJSUQPDLFUBOEUPVDIFEUIFTUFFMCFBNTBOEUIFQBDLFUTPGTDSFXTBT
JGUIFZNJHIUVOMFBTIUIFTQJSJUPG&SWBMPOIJTCFIBMG
Handle this yourself, indeed.4IFQVTIFEPPGUIFTUPPM QFFSFEJOUP
the dryer and retrieved a tablecloth.
"U UIF UPQ PG UIF TUBJST  TIF TUFQQFE EPXO JOUP IFS CSPBE  TIJOZ
nPPSFETUVEJP PQFOFEUIFDMPTFUEPPS BOEUPTTFEUIFGPMEFEUBCMFcloth

POUIFIJHITIFMG)FSFZFDBVHIUUIFDPMMFDUJPOPGDBSEUBCMFTBOEGPMEing chairs, all stowed neatly below.


"EBTIVUUIFDMPTFUEPPS GBTU
#VUJUXBTOUGBTUFOPVHIUPTUPQIFSGSPNSFNFNCFSJOHIPXTIFE
DPMMFDUFEUIFNPWFSUIFZFBST FOPVHIUPTFBUUIFFOUJSF'FMETUFEGBNJMZ XIJDIKVTULFQUHSPXJOHVOUJM3VUIBMJOIBECPSOFIFSUFOUIDIJME
a year ago.
3FUVSOJOHUPUIFLJUDIFO "EBSFBDIFEGPSUIFTBDLPGQPUBUPFTBOE
XPOEFSFE JG 3VUIBMJO XPVME HJWF DPVTJO %PZMF  TPNFPOF TIFE NFU
BMM PG UXP UJNFT JO IFS MJGF  B CJH PME 3VUIBMJO IVH +VTU XIBU XFSF
UIF'FMETUFETEPJOHXIJMF"EBTDSVCCFEEJSUPVUPGUIFQPUBUPEJNples? While Latham pretended he knew all about home improvement
down there in the basement? While the JOUIFGSPOUSPPNCMBSFE
at her children?
i(FOUMFNFO w"EBIFBSEUIFBOOPVODFSTBZ iGPSmWFQPJOUTQMFBTF XIBU
XJMMZPVSXJGFTBZJTUIFTUSBOHFTUQMBDFZPVWFFWFSANBEFXIPPQFF w
BUTJU"EBTMBQQFEUIFTDSVCCSVTIEPXOBOENBSDIFEUPUIF
living room. Is this how were going to spend our happy day? Watching the dumbest show on ? She flashed her withering gaze at the
BOOPVODFSBOEIJTOFXMZXFEDPOUFTUBOUTFOTIFUVSOFEUIFTBNF
eye on a slouching Ginni and a chubby Douglas. Come on, I need
help in the kitchen.
When Ada needed help, she wanted Kate, her oldest, most clued-in
DIJME #VU ,BUF XBTOU BWBJMBCMF BU UIF NPNFOU EJE "EB IFBS UIF
shower running upstairs? Ginni, lets do the potatoes.
FUFFOTMPXMZQFFMFEIFSTFMGPUIFVQIPMTUFSZ TDSBUDIJOHBUIFS
oily head.
You can catch a shower later, Ada promised.
I dont need one.
Ada stared.
Im tired today.
Arent we all? I stayed up late to read, and I still woke up earlier
UIBOBEBJSZGBSNFSw4IFIBOEFE(JOOJBQFFMFSi:PVVTFUIJTPOFw
FQFFMFSDMJOLFETMPXMZBT(JOOJTIBWFEBXBZBUIFSmSTUQPUBUP
i0XwTIFDSJFEi.ZmOHFSOBJMwFHJSMFYBNJOFEUIFEBNBHF UIFO
TUSPLFEUIFOBJMBHBJOTUIFSMJQUPGFFMGPSTOBHTi*IBUFUIJTQFFMFSw


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

Here, then. Trade with me. Come on, now. And I dont know why
you care about a fingernail when you dont even care about getting a
shower today.
i8IZEPZPVDBSFXIFUIFS*UBLFBTIPXFSPSOPU wFHJSMGSPXOFE
and threw Ada the cold shoulder.
"EBDMJOLFEBXBZXJUIIFSPXOQFFMFSi*NKVTUTVSQSJTFEBUZPV 
thats all. Youre the one that wont go to the mailbox without all your
NBLFVQPO"OEPVSNBJMCPYIBOHTKVTUPVUTJEFUIFGSPOUEPPSw
Well, the mailmans on holiday today. And so am I.
-BUIBNTGPPUTUFQTFDIPFEJOUIFLJUDIFO)JTIBOETHSJQQFE"EBT
XBJTUBTIFMPPLFEPWFSIFSTIPVMEFSJOUPUIFTJOLiFXIPMFCBH w
Any less doesnt look right, said Ada.
i0I CSSPUIFSw
4IF MPPLFE BU UIF HSPXJOH QJMF PG TLJOOFE QPUBUPFT )BE TIF
GPSHPUUFOUIBUTIFXBTOUGFFEJOHGPPUCBMMIVMLTMJLF.BSDBOE5PN
'FMETUFEUPEBZ FNPVOEXPVMETQBXOMFGUPWFSTUIBUUIF3VOZPOT
XPVMECFTJDLPGCZUPNPSSPXOJHIU
Suddenly the peeler went still in her hand. She turned to Ginni.
i:PV BSFOU UBLJOH B CFBVUZ WBDBUJPO KVTU CFDBVTF .BSD JTOU DPNJOH
over today, are you?
i.PN"TJGw
And with that, one potato peeler landed with a clatter in the kitchen
sink and Ada Runyon lost her kitchen help.
*UQSPCBCMZEJEOUNBUUFS"TTIFMPPLFEBUUIFUXPQJMFTPGQPUBUPFT 
she had to agree with Latham. Oh, br-rother.
4UJMM TIFGFMUJOIFSCPOFTUIBUTIFIBECBSFMZBIBMGIPVSCFGPSF
she heard the knock at the door, and everybody letting themselves in.
BUTIPXUIF'FMETUFETEJEJU CFJOHQSBDUJDBMMZGBNJMZBOEBMM
-JLFGBNJMZ "EBDPVMEQSFEJDUXIJDIDIJMESFOXPVMEIPWFSBOECFH
BTTIFPQFOFEVQUIFDBOTPGPMJWFT"OEXIFOTIFXPVMEOUHJWFUIFN
seconds, they would take out their revenge by scampering away to her
grand piano and playing Heart and Soul over and over again until
3VUIBMJONVUUFSFEUISPVHIDMFODIFEUFFUI iBU)PBHZ$BSNJDIBFM
should be sentenced to homes with children!
0I UIBU3VUIBMJO8IBUFBSUIZ GVOOZUIJOHXBTTIFTBZJOHOPX
BTIFSGBNJMZQVMMFEVQBOEUPPLBmSTUMPPLBUDPVTJO%PZMFTIPVTF 


How big was this house? Would the Feldsteds walk in and crane their
OFDLT BU UIF IJHI DFJMJOHT  8PVME UIFZ GBDF B MPOH UBCMF GFTUPPOFE
with linen and china? Would Ruthalin swallow hard and wish shed
staged more lets-play-nice-restaurant drills with her children?
)PX MPOH CFGPSF TPNFCPEZ CSPLF POF PG -F8BOOBT MBNQT  0S
TQJMMFEPOIFSCSPDBEFUBCMFDMPUI )PXMPOHCFGPSFTIFTFOUBMPPL
across the table: In twenty minutes, dear, Im going upstairs to concentrate on my headache. Then theyre all yours.
Now Ada washed the potato starch off her hands and set the lid
POUIFLFUUMFKVTUTP'FFMJOHUIFDBMMPGUIFQJBOPIFSTFMG TIFCSVTIFE
her hands on her apron, stepped down into her studio and strolled to
the music cupboard.
)FSmOHFSTDSFQUUISPVHIUIFUIJOCPPLTVOUJMTIFGPVOEIFS3PEHFSTBOE)BNNFSTUFJO4FFNFEMJLFBOLTHJWJOHBMXBZTJODMVEFEB
TJOHBMPOHPGTIPXUVOFT"GUFSUIFCJHEJOOFS BGUFSUIFDPVDIOBQT
and the SFGFSFFTXIJTUMFT BGUFS"EBBOE3VUIBMJOTBUJOUIFLJUDIFO 
copying down recipes, everyone gathered in the living room to stare at
South Pacific on the .
FO XIFOUIFNPWJFXBTPWFS &SWBM'FMETUFEBMXBZTHPUVQGSPN
the couch with a groan and blared, Some Enchannnted Eeee
WFOJOHw)FXPVMETJUEPXOBUUIFQJBOPBOEBDDPNQBOZIJNTFMG)F
murdered the music on purpose, Ada was sure, because he knew she
DPVMEOUTUBOEJU)FLOFXTIFXPVMESVTIPWFSUPQMBZJUIFSTFMG"OE
TIFGFMMGPSJUFWFSZUJNF
Now she opened the book and pressed the spine flat. She fit her
fingers over the keys and began.
:FT PODFIFIBEIFSUIFSFXJUIBDPVQMFPGIJTDIJMESFOIPPLFE
in his arms, the crowd always swelled up to caroling-party size, and
Lulubelle always laid on the wicker table, trying to nap through the
XIPMFSBDLFUFOXIFO&SWBMIJUBIJHIOPUF IPMEJOHJUPVUMJLFB
GBDUPSZXIJTUMF UIFDBUXPVMESBJTFIFSIFBEXJUIBOBTUZHMBSFJOIFS
yellow eyes. Who is standing on that mans tail?
FOXIFOJUXBTUJNFGPSUIF'FMETUFETUPHPIPNF &SWBMXPVME
IPMEPVUIJTXJGFTDPBUi :PVNBZTFFBTUSBOHFSSSSSw"OEZPVLOFX
UIBUUIFLJETDMFBSBUUIFCBDLPGUIF'FMETUFEWBOXPVMEIBWFUPQMVH
UIFJSFBSTBHBJOTUUIFJSGBUIFSTCSBZJOHBMMUIFXBZIPNF


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

Meanwhile, Ada would shut the door and turn off the porch light
BOEGFFMMPWFE JOTQJUFPGUIFCSPLFOCBTFNFOUMJHIU-BUIBNXPVME
mOEMBUFS:FT TIFXPVMEGFFMMPWFE BOEMVDLZUPIBWFTQFOUUIFEBZ
XJUIPMEGSJFOETXIP
Mom! Mom!
"EBOPXUVSOFEUPIFSDIJMESFOFJSGBDFTHMPXFSFEMJLFUIVOEFSIFBET)FSIBOETMJGUFEPUIFLFZT
Stop playing! We cant hear our show.
"EBDMFODIFEIFSKBXBOETIVUUIFCPPL
As sands through the hourglass, droned the announcer.
4IFTUPPECFGPSFUIFUFMFWJTJPO IFSIBOETPOIFSIJQT XBUDIJOH
UIFBDUSFTTPQFOIFSEPPSBOEHSFFUIFSHVFTUTFZIBOEFEIFSB
CPUUMFPGXJOFFZLJTTFEIFSDIFFL
i8FMM wTBJE"EB iUIFGPMLTBUDays of Our Lives seem to be having
B QFSGFDUMZ IBQQZ EBZ "OE JG UIFZ DBO IBWF B IBQQZ EBZ JO 4BMFN 
JOTQJUFPGBMMUIFJSQSPCMFNT *EPOULOPXXIZXFDBOUEPKVTUBT
XFMMSJHIUIFSFJO#PYGPSE"OECFTJEFT wTIFMPPLFEBU(JOOJ iUIFZBMM
seem to have fit in a shower.
Ada stared at the , at the people in their wool and their gold buttons, at the candles burning on the occasional table, at the twinkle the
candlelight made as it hit the camera lens. Maybe, she thought, maybe
-F8BOOBXBTUIFLJOEPGIPTUFTTXIPQMBDFEBMJUUMFUVSLFZTIBQFEQBDLBHFPGDBOEJFTCFTJEFFBDIQMBUFBOEQMBZFETPGUNVTJDPOUIFTUFSFPBOE
TXBCCFEIFSSPMMJOHSBWZKVTUUPDPWFSUIFHBFPGUIFHVFTUXIPEJEJU
.BZCFUIFXIPMF'FMETUFEGBNJMZXBTTJUUJOHJOBESBXJOHSPPN
KVTUMJLFUIJTPOF BOEMJLJOHJU"OEIPQJOHUIFZXPVMEIBWFBOLTHJWJOHMJLFUIBUGPSFWFSNPSF
A MFBWFVT w"EBTBUJOUIFCBTFNFOU BEKVTUJOH
IFSCPUUPNPOUIFJOBEFRVBUFTUPPM TQJMMJOHBMMIFSGFBSTUP-BUIBN
as he screwed a lay-flat thingy to a stand-up thingy. I mean, she said,
iXFWFCFFOGSJFOETGPSUXFMWFZFBSTBUTBMPOHUJNFw
Not when you compare it to people around here who are buddies
since high school. Heck, since kindergarten, he said.
i8FMM UXFMWFZFBSTJTBMPOHUJNFGPSHZQTJFTMJLFVT*NFBO 3VUIB
lin and I trade kids every summer. We sweep up crumbs at each


PUIFSTIPVTFT ADBVTF*LOPXXIFSFTIFLFFQTIFSCSPPN"OEXIFO
their well pump went out, they camped here. When the last hurricane roared up the coast and knocked out our power, we stayed there.
8IBUMMJUCFOFYUUJNF 8FHFUUIFSFBOEmOEUIFJSIPVTFBMSFBEZGVMM
PGDPVTJOT w
i/P UIFIPVTFXJMMQSPCBCMZCFFNQUZFZMMQSPCBCMZHPUP#BMUJNPSF UIJOLJOHUIBUJUTTBGFSUIBOIFSFw
Ada slumped, brooding. And I always worried that theyd move
on us. Remember the night we went over there and the Sunday classifieds sat right there on the table?
Yep. Hed circled something in Allentown.
How could they do something like that?
i&SWBMT HPU UP XBUDI PVU GPS IJT DBSFFS w TBJE -BUIBN  TDSBUDIJOH
UIFCBDLPGIJTIFBEXJUIUIFTDSFXESJWFSi"OEXFWFEPOFPVSTIBSF
PGJUw
I know. Circled ads had led the Runyons, over the years, to VinDFOOFT  *OEJBOB UP %FOUPO  5FYBT UP &BTU -BOTJOH  .JDIJHBO BOE
mOBMMZ UP#PYGPSE UPUIFJSIPVTFKVTUUXPCMPDLTBXBZGSPNUIFMJUUMFDPMMFHFi*LOPX wTIFTBJEBHBJOi#VUJUTUJOLTUPCFUIFPOFTMFGUCFIJOEw
4IFUIPVHIUTPNFNPSFi.BZCFUIFZEPOUGFFMUIFOFFEUPNPWF
anymore. Now that they have their cousins as a way to get away
GSPNVTw
i0I "EB QMFBTFw
i/P SFBMMZ.BZCFUIFZWFCFFOTFDSFUMZMPOHJOHGPSBQPMJUFXBZUP
stop going steady with the Runyons. Maybe when I call and she puts
her hand over the phone to ask Erval. . . . Well, sometimes its a very
long pause, you know.
iBUTCFDBVTFJUUBLFTTPMPOHUPmOEIJN)FDPVMECFEPXOJO
the basement or out in the garage or clear out by his rabbit pens, putting on new chicken wire.
i0SIFDPVMECFSJHIUCFTJEFIFS XIJTQFSJOH A8IZDBOUUIFZmOE
other people to do things with?
You dont know that.
No, but I can read between the lines when they agree to meet us
GPSEJOOFSBU#BSOFZTBOEUIFZSFBIBMGIPVSMBUF8IFOUIFZAGPSHFU
UPJOWJUFVTUP,FWJOTGBSFXFMM)PXDPVME3VUIBMJOAGPSHFU w


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

How a woman with ten kids manages to remember anything at


all . . . I mean, come on, Ada, theyll still come over. You know as well
BT * EP UIBU XIFSFWFS UXP PS NPSF JDF DSFBNT BSF KPJOFE UPHFUIFS 
UIFSF&SWBMXJMMCFBMTP#VUUIFJSDPVTJOTNPWFEUPUPXOFZSFKVTU
helping Doyle and LeWanna settle in.
You dont act like this bothers you. Are you saying youre glad the
Feldsteds arent here? You want to hand them off to somebody else?
i*EPOUUIJOL wTBJE-BUIBN iUIBUUIFZSFIBOEFEP"GUFSUPEBZ 
UIBUXPNBOJTHPJOHUPUIJOLMPOHBOEIBSECFGPSFTIFJOWJUFTUIFN
again.
i)FZ %BEw,BUFDBMMFEGSPNUIFUPQPGUIFTUBJSTi5JNFGPSUIF
Annual Basketball Game!
Latham looked at his watch. Gimme a minute. I need to make the
Annual Call Home.
"EBGPMMPXFEIJNVQUIFTUBJST)FEJBMFEUIFQIPOF UIFODBSSJFE
JUJOUPUIFEJOJOHSPPNGPSQFBDFBOERVJFU
,BUFTIJGUFEUIFCBTLFUCBMMVOEFSIFSBSNBOETUSPLFEUIFUPXFM
IBOHJOHGSPNUIFGSJEHFIBOEMFi8IFSFEJEXFHFUUIJT w
iBU w"EBQFFLFEVOEFSBMJEPOUIFTUPWFi'SPN"VOU3VUIBMJO)FSGBNJMZUISPXTUIFTFHSBOETFXJOHQBSUJFTFWFSZUJNFTIFHPFT
home.
Dont the Feldsteds go home every summer?
iFZNJTTPOF IFSFBOEUIFSFw
i%JEOUZPVTBZIFSGBNJMZJTSFBMDMPTFUPXIFSFZPVHSFXVQ w
i:FTVOEFSFHH 0SFHPO*UTOPUGBSBUBMMw"EBMJGUFEUIFDMPUI
PWFSUIFEPVHIBOEGFMUBSPVOE)NN/PUXBSNBUBMM
Kate twirled the basketball. We should go with them sometime.
"EBMBVHIFEi3JHIU%SJWJOHTJYEBZTBDSPTTUIFDPOUJOFOUKVTUTP
PVSLJETDBOTXJNJOBGBWPSJUFJSSJHBUJPOEJUDIGSPNIFSDIJMEIPPEw
Ada shook her head.
Well, maybe we should visit our own cousins.
Ada looked long at her daughter and sighed.
-BUIBNSFUVSOFEXJUIUIFQIPOFi*MMHFUCBDLUPUIBUTIFMGOPX w
he said.
i#VU %BEFCBTLFUCBMMHBNF w
Latham wrinkled his nose.


Ada laughed at him. Go on. Its a tradition.


You have to play too, Mom, said Kate. Were short on people.
i/PXXBJUKVTUBNJOVUFIFSFw
Come on, said Kate. You want us to have a happy day now, dont
you?
But I have rolls to watch.
What are they doing right now that they need watching? Kate
asked.
I think you owe us your presence, said Latham.
And with that, Latham and the kids trooped out to play the Annual
Basketball Game.
4IFDPVMEBUMFBTUQVUUIFNP4IFMJGUFEUIFDMPUIBOEGFMUUIF
EPVHIBHBJO%0"4IFGSPXOFEBUUIFDMPDL
Dumping the old batch into the garbage, she wiped the bowl clean.
"TTIFTUJSSFEUIFOFXEPVHI TIFOVSTFEKFBMPVTUIPVHIUTBCPVUBMM
those ladies in the grocery store, ladies whose rolls were probably
UVSOJOHPVUQFSGFDUMZCZOPX SFBEZGPSBMMUIBUGBNJMZKVTUBCPVUUP
DPNFUISPVHIUIFJSEPPST3FBMGBNJMZ/PUUIFTVCTUJUVUFLJOEXIJDI
"EBIBESFMJFEPOIBQQJMZGPSUXFMWFZFBST
*UTOPUBTJGTIFEJEOUIBWFSFBMGBNJMZWhy dont we visit our cousins? her daughter wanted to know.
4IFQPVSFEUIFEPVHIPOUPUIFDPVOUFS4IFTIPWFEJUBOEGPMEFEJU
Well, why didnt they visit us? It became a stock phrase in her letters.
i8IFOBSFZPVDPNJOHUPWJTJU wFZHBWFIFSWBHVFQSPNJTFTsomeday,
somedayand she believed them. In her idle-minded momentsdrivJOHVOEFSUIFUBMMFTUPBLTJOUPXO PSTUBOEJOHPOIFSGSPOUTUFQ DBMMJOH
GPS-VMVCFMMFTIFQJDUVSFEKVTUIPXTIFXBOUFEUIFNUPmOEIFSTJUting beside the grand piano in her broad, Solarian-floored studio, listenJOHXJUIUFOUFEmOHFSTUPPOFPGIFSTRVJOUJOHMJUUMFQJBOPTUVEFOUT
But they hadnt come.
"OEXIZTIPVMEUIFZ 4IFXBTUIFPOFXIPMFGU
She squeezed the dough, turned it, shoved it again.
She had never planned to leave those Idaho hills that rose, brown
BOESPVOEFE CFIJOEUIFIPVTF PSUIFIPSTFTUIBUOJDLFSFEGSPNUIF
MFBOUPCBSO PSUIFGBNJMZUIBUMBJEPVUQJDOJDTVOEFSUIFUBMMDPUUPOwoods and then hurried inside again when the wind arose, carrying


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

UIFTNFMMPGXFUEVTUJTXBTDPVOUSZXIFSFUIFNFOXPSFCJMMFE
+PIO%FFSFDBQT)BUTP UIFJSGPSFIFBETHMPXFEBTDIPPMQBTUFXIJUF
BHBJOTUUIFJSTVOCVSOFEDIFFLTJTXBTDPVOUSZXIFSFXPNFOXJUI
tight perms and lost waistlines knew how to can apricots, scour milk
CVDLFUTBOEQBUDIPWFSBMMT4IFIBEQSFTVNFETIFENBSSZUIFTPOPG
POFPGUIFTFVOJPOT
8IFO%BEEZHBWFVQUIFEBJSZGBSNBOENPWFEUPUPXO TIFTBU
PVUTJEFJOUIFFWFOJOHTPOUIFSPDLXBMMUIBULFQUUIFZBSEGSPNGBMMing onto the sidewalk. She saw the young couples walking hand in
hand in the moonlight. When they came closer, she hurried to the
screened porch, where she could spy on them undetected. Someday
it would be her turn to hold hands with somebody special, out there
under the streetlights.
#ZUIFFOEPGDPMMFHF JUTUJMMIBEOPUIBQQFOFE
All the waiting and hoping narrowed down to one evening when
she sat in an overstuffed chair, her head in her hands. She had run
PVUPGDMBTTFTUPUBLF JOUFSFTUTUPQVSTVF TJHIUTUPTFF*UXBTUJNFUP
leave. Alone.
FOTPNFPOFLOPDLFEBUIFSEPPS*UXBTBSPPNNBUFTCPZGSJFOE
He sat in the other overstuffed chair. He asked, Why so somber?
)F IBE B XBZ PG HFUUJOH UIF TUPSZ PVU PG IFS (JSM 'BDFT8PSME 
)BOET0WFS&ZFT
Youre going about this all wrong, he said. Here you are, totally
GSFF /P PCMJHBUJPOTw )F QVMMFE B NBQ GSPN IJT DBS BOE PQFOFE JU
CFGPSFIFSi8IFSFEPZPVXBOUUPHP 1JDLBQMBDFw
She traced her finger over the names. Kalamazoo. Tulsa. Valdosta.
.BTTBQFRVB4IFEIFBSEPGUIFTFUPXOT#VU MJLFFWFSZPOFFMTFTIF
LOFX TIFIBEOFWFSUSBWFMFEFBTUPG%FOWFS NVDIMFTTJNBHJOFEMJWJOHUIFSF4IFEOFWFSUIPVHIUPGTFOEJOHMFUUFSTIPNFXJUIBSFUVSO
address that would make the mailman open his eyes wide and tell her
NPUIFS i0IJP:PVEPOUTFFUIBUUPPPGUFOBSPVOEIFSFw
4IFTFOUMFUUFST mMMFEPVUBQQMJDBUJPOTFCFTUSFQMZDBNFGSPNB
music school in Bloomington, Indiana.
4IFQVUIFSTFMGBOEIFSCPYFTPOB6OJPO1BDJmDUSBJO"GUFSUSBWeling through the night, she awoke somewhere across the Kansas
state line.


0VUTJEFIFSXJOEPX DPBUFEJOBmOFNPSOJOHNJTUBOECBDLMJUCZ
UIFSJTJOHTVO UIFGSFTIHSFFOXIFBUPGFBSMZ+VOFXBWFEHFOUMZJOUIF
mFMET4IFIBEOFWFSTFFOUIBUDPMPSPGHSFFOCFGPSF"HBTQFTDBQFE
her lips. I, Ada Flory, am in a picture postcard.
4IFHBTQFEMJLFUIBUBMMNPSOJOHFXIFBUXFOUPOGPSNJMFT"OE
BGUFSUIF XIFBU USFFTHSFX PO UIFDSPXOTPG UIF SPMMJOH IJMMTFZ
HSFXJOUIFSBWJOFTFZHSFXBOZXIFSFUIFZQMFBTFE
"GUFS POMZ B GFX EBZT JO #MPPNJOHUPO  TIF VOEFSTUPPE XIZ UIJT
OFXFBSUIMPPLFEUIFXBZJUEJE3BJOGFMMJOTIFFUTUIBUCMVSSFEUIF
MBOETDBQF FO UIF XBUFS SPMMFE EPXO UIF TUSFFUT JO HSFBU TXJQFT 
seeking the grated gutters.
FSFXBTOFWFSBHJSMTPGBSGSPNIPNFBOEZFUTPGSFFGSPNIPNFTJDLOFTT4IFXBOUFEUPTUBZGPSFWFS UPESJWFCFTJEFUIFHFOUMFSJWFST 
UPMPPLPVUPWFSUIFGPSFTUDPWFSFEIJMMT UPTUSPMMUIFTIBEFEOFJHICPSIPPET-BUFS XIFOTIFGPVOE-BUIBNMVDLZNBO)FIBEHSPXO
VQJOUIJTQPTUDBSETIFUJFEIFSTFMGUPBMMUIJOHTHSFFOCZUZJOHIFSTFMGUPIJN
&WFOUIPVHIPUIFS.PSNPOGBNJMJFTESPWFXFTUFWFSZTVNNFS TIF
made vague excusestoo far, too much. But now and then she gave
JO"OEFWFSZUJNFTIFEJE TPNFXIFSFBGUFS0NBIB UIFUSFFTEJTBQpeared and the land turned as ugly as a rats backside. Road signs done
up with abandoned wagon wheels and bleached cow skulls begged
tourists to stop in at the local museum.
JTMBOETDBQFPGMPOFMJOFTTPVUTJEFFWFSZXJOEPXPQQSFTTFEIFS
Shuddering, she would whisper to Latham, Lets turn around.
But he would drive on, and she would spend her whole visit home
remembering a time when the water in the ditches or in the garden
SPXTPSFWFOJOBDVQTFFNFEMJLFQMFOUZPGXBUFS/PXTIFDPVMETFF
how precarious it all was.
When the visit ended, she and Latham hurried east again, calling
BIFBEUPDBODFMNPUFMSFTFSWBUJPOTi-FUTKVTUESJWFTUSBJHIUUISPVHIw
FDMPTFSTIFHPUUPUIFMVTITISVCCFSZBOEUIFUIJDLQJOFTPGIFS
CPOOZMJUUMF:BMF"WFOVFOFJHICPSIPPE UIFDBMNFSTIFGFMU
/PX IFSF TIF XBT  TBGF JO IFS IPVTF  TBGF GSPN DPX TLVMMT BOE
NPNFOUTPGUSVUIJOPWFSTUVFEDIBJST


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

Sometimes in this life, I get what I want.


"OETIFTQBOLFEUIFCSFBEEPVHIBOEMFGUJUUPSJTF
0 on the pavement. Finally, said
Latham. Youre on Kates team.
i8IBU w#PEJFTTXJSMFEBSPVOEIFS"OEKVTUXIFOTIFLOFXXIFSF
the ball was, it wasnt there anymore.
How many innings do we have to play? she asked.
i*UTOPUJOOJOHT .PNBUTCBTFCBMMw
4IFTJHIFE*GPOMZTIFDPVMEUIJOLPOIFSGFFUMJLF3VUIBMJOEJE
8IFO UIF 'FMETUFE LJET CBEHFSFE UIFJS NPUIFS BCPVU KPJOJOH UIF
HBNF TIFEDBMMPVU i :PVSFEPJOmOF%POUMFUNFTQPJMJUwFOTIFE
XIJTQFSUP"EB i8JUIBCMBEEFSMJLFNJOF ZPVEPOUSVOBOEKVNQw
#VU"EBXBTTUVDLJOUIFNJEEMFPGUIFBDUJPO GBDJOH,BUF XIP
MPPLFEGPSBDMFBSQBUIUPQBTTUIFCBMMNo, Kate, not to me! Dont!
FOTIFGFMUUIFCBMMBHBJOTUIFSTUPNBDI*USBOEPXOIFSMJLFB
spilled drink, eluding her grasp. It rang with a rubbery echo wherever
JUIJU8IFO"EBUVSOFEUPGPMMPXUIFTPVOE JUIBEFTDBQFEBHBJO
-JGF TMJQQFE CZ JO GBTU GSBNFT %PVHMBT TRVJOUJOH VQ BU -BUIBN
FOFUCVMHJOHXJUICBMMFDSFBTFTPG(JOOJTTIPF-BUIBNCFOU
over, breathing hard. Kates lip, grim, determined, stuck on a dry
UPPUI-PPTFDPODSFUFQPQQJOHPVUPGBESJWFXBZDSBDL)BJSDVSMJOH
PO%PVHMBTTEFXZGPSFIFBE
FJNBHFTnBTIFECZ CVUTPNFCPEZIBEUVSOFEPUIFTPVOE
'JOBMMZ (JOOJESPQQFEPVUPGUIFHBNFBOETBUPOUIFDBSIPPE
'PMMPXJOH IFS DVF  "EB TUFQQFE BXBZ GSPN UIF "OOVBM #BTLFUCBMM
Game (Eerie Edition), and scurried back to the kitchen.
4IFCBSFMZCFBUUIFNUIFSFFZEFTDFOEFEMJLFMPDVTUT HVMQJOH
XBUFSTUSBJHIUGSPNUIFUBQ TOJUDIJOHMPPTFQJFDSVTU
-BUIBNTBVOUFSFEPVUPGUIFCBUISPPNi*NJHIUBTXFMMMFUPVUNZ
CFMUOPX XJUIBMMUIJTGPPEIFSFw
"EBTISVHHFEi*LOPXIPXUPGFFEBDSPXEw4IFTVSWFZFEUIFLFUtles on the stove, the patiently ticking oven timer, the little striped dishtowel blanketing the bread dough. She twisted the button towel in her
IBOET GFFMJOHJUTHSPXJOHEBNQOFTT4IFUVSOFEUPXBSEUIFDPVOUFS


i:PVLOPX -BUIBN *DPVMEWFIBOEMFEUIFFYUSBQFPQMFKVTUmOFw


4IFMPPLFEPWFSIFSTIPVMEFSUPTFFJGBOZDIJMESFOXFSFTUJMMJOUIF
SPPNFOTIFTQPLFJOUIFIVTIFEUPOFTXJUIXIJDITIFNJHIUDPOmEFUIBUHSBOENBTDBODFSIBEDPNFCBDLi*G3VUIBMJOIBETVHHFTUFE
* JOWJUF UIFN  * XPVME IBWF EPOF JU 0S JG TIF IBE TBJE A8FSF IBWJOHNZDPVTJOT8IZEPOUZPVKPJOVT #VUTIFOFWFSHBWFNFB
DIBODF4IFKVTUXFOUBOETBJEZFTUPUIFNw4IFCMJOLFEGVSJPVTMZBU
the tears gathering, blurring her vision. She didnt even tell them that
TIFBMSFBEZIBEBTUBOEJOHEBUFGPSBOLTHJWJOHEJOOFS/P TIFKVTU
went off and . . .
Mom, wheres the olives?
4IFEBCCFEBUIFSFZFT UIFOUVSOFEPO%PVHMBTiFPMJWFUSBZJT
GPSDPNQBOZw
i*UIPVHIUJUXBTGPSBOLTHJWJOHw
She bunched her apron onto the counter. Sorry! No olives today!
4IFTIPUPVUPGUIFLJUDIFO IFSTIPFTDMJDLJOHEPXOUIFIBMMXBZ
i:PV LOPX  ZPVE BMM CF MFTT EJTBQQPJOUFE JG ZPV KVTU USJNNFE ZPVS
FYQFDUBUJPOTBMJUUMF*GZPVSFBMJ[FEUIJTJTKVTUBEBZ0, JUTBEBZ
with a certain dinner menu, but otherwise, she paused at the bottom
PGUIFTUBJST iUIFTVOSJTFTFTVOTFUTFDBUXBOUTJOFDBU
wants out. Its just another dayw)FSGPPUGBMMTPOUIFTUFQTNBEFUIF
QVSQPTFGVMUIVEPGBQPTUIPMFEJHHFSFCFESPPNEPPSDMJDLFETIVU
behind her, a very final sound.
4IFTBUPOUIFCFE VONBEFUIBOLTUP-BUIBNSJTJOHBGUFSIFS:FT
BUTSFBMMZBMMUIFSFXBTUPJU(FUVQ1BZBCJMM%VTUBMBNQ'PMEB
TIJSU5PNPSSPXXJMMCFKVTUMJLFJUBOEOPOFUIFXPSTFGPSUPEBZIBWJOHCFFOKVTUBEBZ
And whats wrong with that? Whats wrong with having an ordinary
day here on her street full of town-crier lampposts and soft-fallen pine
needles? "EB QBSUFE UIF TMBUT PG UIF CMJOE 4FF  +VTU MJLF BOZ PUIFS
VSTEBZPVUUIFSF XJUIUIFCSFF[FXBWJOHUIFBSNTPGUIFUSFFT XJUI
UIFXPPEQJMFTUBDLFECFIJOEUIF/PSUIBNTGFODFOFYUEPPS
#VUJOGSPOUPGUIF/PSUIBNTTJYDBST
"OEBDSPTTUIFTUSFFU BUUIF'SJDLT DBSTTQJMMJOHPVUPGUIFESJWFXBZ 
TUSFUDIJOHEPXOUIFTUSFFU$BSTXJUIDPMPSFEUBHT GSPNGBSBXBZ


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

So tell me why the Runyons are having just a day when everybody else
on Yale Avenue is having a celebration?
"EB ESFX IFS mOHFS BXBZ GSPN UIF CMJOET  MFUUJOH UIF TMBUT TOBQ
together.
JTBMXBZTIBQQFOFE
0I "EBIBEMBOEFEJOTPNFmOFMPPLJOHUPXOTJOIFSUJNF4IF
had unpacked the dishes and the towels. She had flattened the boxes.
FOTIFIBETUFQQFEPVUTJEFUIFEPPSUPMPPLVQBOEEPXOIFSOFX
TUSFFU GFFMJOHBMMRVJWFSZXJUIFYDJUFNFOUBTTIFQJDUVSFEIFSOFXMJGF
4IFMPWFECFJOHQBSUPGUIJTXPSME XIFSFFWFSZCPEZXBTPOUIFSVO
GSPNEVMMZFTUFSEBZT&WFSZCPEZXBTFBHFSUPCBSCFDVFGPSUIFOFJHIbors, to tag along on their husbands company trips, to enroll the kids
in dance lessons, to diet, to do lunch, to do both at the same time.
Ada had inherited enough hail-and-howdy Mormonism to know
UIFSVMFT4BZIFMMPmSTUEPOUXBJUUPCFJOWJUFE
Say hello to the other mother on the park bench. Im Ada. Nice to
meet you, Estelle.
4BZJUBHBJOXIFOZPVMPPLVQGSPNUIFTBMFUBCMFBU1FOOFZTBOE
mOE&TUFMMFEJHHJOHGPSBEFBMPODPSEVSPZQBOUT Yes, I remember you.
Estelle, is it? Hmm, someone seems to have bought up all the size Xs.
4BZJUBHBJOBGUFSUIF meeting. Oh, and I was wondering, would
you like to come to lunch?
Estelle couldnt come.
Well, all was not lost. Ada still had a sunshiny, billow-clouded day
and shade-kissed sidewalks and the stroller rolling along under her
hands and Ginni trained at last to sit in the seat and not lean out
XIFSFUIFCVTIFTDPVMEXIBDLIFSJOUIFGBDF
4IFTUJMMIBEUIBUEFMJDJPVTLOPXMFEHFUIBUDPNFTGSPNTFUUMJOHJOUPB
QMBDFFSFJOUIFNJEEMFPGUIFCMPDL JOUIFSFECSJDL$BQF$PE MJWFE
the librarys Story-hour lady. Here, weaving down the sidewalk, was the
chubby boy straddling his stingray bicycle. He always waited down at
the next cross street, dime in hand, as the Good Humor truck tweedled
closer. And the truck always played Do Your Ears Hang Low?
0WFSUIFSFPOUIFDPSOFSPG)JMMDSFTUBOE1BOIBOEMF4USFFUT TPNFCPEZ IBE B NBSWFMPVT FZF GPS MBOETDBQJOH "EB FOWJFE UIF B[BMFBT


TXFFQJOHBXBZGSPNUIFGSPOUXBML UIFQPUUFEQFUVOJBTTFUKVTUTPPO
the second step.
Ada turned the corner.
And there, next to the trellis and the bench, she saw Estelle, sipping
iced tea with two other Texas belles. In sundresses. Gesturing with
UIFJSGPSLT TQFBSJOHMFUUVDFPOUIFJSQMBUFT-BVHIJOH
FSFBOEUIFO "EBMPTUUSBDLPGIFSTVOTIJOZ CJMMPXDMPVEFEEBZ 
PGUIFTNBMMIBOETUIBUSFBDIFEVQUPIFSGSPNUIFTUSPMMFSTFBU4IF
EJEOUXBMLNVDIPO)JMMDSFTUPS1BOIBOEMF4USFFUTBGUFSUIBU
It took Vincennes and Denton and East Lansing until Ada Runyon
finally figured it out. When she moved her pots and pans and pillows
UP#PYGPSEBOEMPPLFEEPXOIFS street and saw her neighbors, a cold
SPEPGSFBMJUZTUJFOFEIFSTQJOFYou will have nobody. Get used to it.
FO3VUIBMJOBQQFBSFE"OEUIFSF"EBXBT BU3VUIBMJOTLJUDIFO
UBCMF DSVNCMJOHDSBDLFSTJOUPBMVODIPGUPNBUPTPVQ CVSTUJOHUPUFMM
the latest thing. You know Cleon, my sisters husband?
iFGFMMPXUIBUPXOTUIFBQBSUNFOUT 3FOUTUPUIFDPMMFHFTUVEFOUT w
Since Ruthalin remembered all the other Cleon stories, since she
SFNFNCFSFEFYBDUMZXIFSFIFIVOHPOUIFGBNJMZUSFF "EBOFWFSIBE
UPFYQMBJOBUTXIZ3VUIBMJOGFMUMJLFGBNJMZ
FOTPNFDPVTJODBNFPVUUP#BMUJNPSFBOEDMBJNFEIFSGPSIJNTFMG3FBMGBNJMZXPOPVUBGUFSBMM
"OEUIBUTUIFXBZJUXBTFXPSMETUFBNTXFSFBMSFBEZDIPTFOVQ
Now Ada stared at the blinds. She pulled back the bedspread and
crawled between the sheets. Something heavy sat in her chest, rollJOHJUTEFBEXFJHIUMJLFBUJSFPWFSBUJODBOJTXBTBOPMEGBNJMJBS
GFFMJOH*UIBEWJTJUFEIFSJO7JODFOOFT JO%FOUPO JO&BTU-BOTJOH
It was her heart all right, but nothing a doctor could fix. He couldnt
BMUFS UIF QFPQMF PG UIF XPSME BOE TOJQ UIFN BXBZ GSPN UIFJS QSFWJPVTPCMJHBUJPOT MFBWJOHUIFNXJUIBMJUUMFQJFDFPGUIFNTFMWFTGPS"EB 
XIPKVTUXBOUFETPNFPOFUPUBMLUPXIFO%PVHMBTTQSJODJQBMDBMMFE
POPOFPGIJTEFTQPUEBZTPSXIFOIFSQFSJPEXBTMBUFPSXIFOTIF
KVTUTBU MPPLJOHPVUBUTOPXDPWFSFETISVCCFSZ XPOEFSJOHXIZTBZing hello first didnt work?
Suddenly the bedroom door burst open. I did it! announced
Latham. Come and see.


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

4IFDMPTFEIFSFZFTBHBJOTUUIFCSJHIUHMBSFPGIJTKVCJMBODF3PMMJOHVQTMPXMZ IFSCBDLUPIJN TIFXJQFEIFSXFUDIFFLTBOEGPMMPXFE


him down to the basement.
*UXBTBSFTQFDUBCMFMPPLJOHTIFMG4IFIBEUPBENJUUIBUNVDI(JWJOHJUBKJHHMF TIFMPPLFEBSPVOEBUUIFSVNQMFEJOTUSVDUJPOTIFFU UIF
multiple screwdrivers, the spare, unused crossbeams. Well. CongratulaUJPOT:PVXJOUIFQSJ[FGPS#FTU"EKVTUNFOUUPUIF1PTU'FMETUFE&SBw
And while he wondered whether or not that was a compliment, she
walked up the stairs. Wait, he said.
She stopped.
What do you want me to put on it?
4IFQPJOUFEUPBSPXPG#BMMKBSTMJOFEVQBHBJOTUUIFXBMM KBSTmMMFE
with applesauce.
Back in the kitchen, she checked the turkey. Fine Coppertone tan.
4IFDIFDLFEUIFQPUBUPFT'PSLUFOEFS"QUUPGBMMBQBSUBUUIFTMJHIUest pressure, not much better than some people around here.
She checked the roll dough. Flat and cold. She dumped the dough
on to the counter. She poked it, prodded it, gave it . She stood
CBDL XBJUJOHGPSJUTDIFTUUPSJTF GPSJUUPTQVUUFSPSGPSJUTFZFMJETUP
blink open.
*UXBTOPVTF4IFTDPPQFEVQUIFFOUJSFDPMENBTT8JUIIFSGSFF
arm, she flung open the door under the sink, dragging the garbage can
PVUGSPNVOEFSUIFQJQFT4IFESPQQFEUIFEPVHIJO MJLFBCPVMEFS
PWFSBCSJEHFFQMBTUJDDBOSPDLFEGSPNUIFJNQBDU
4IF EJE OPU FWFO CPUIFS DMFBOJOH UIF HSFBTZ mMN GSPN UIF CPXM 
CVUKVTUTUBSUFEBHBJOXJUIUIFXBSNXBUFS UIFTQSJOLMFEZFBTU UIF
DVQT PG TNPPUIFE BOE MFWFMFE nPVS 4IF XPSLFE MJLF B TIPSUPSEFS
cook: rapid and surly. She stirred. She scraped. She sprinkled. She
tipped the bowl, spilling the new mound onto the counter.
*U SFMBYFE  TQSFBEJOH JUTFMG  TIJOJOH XJUI DMBNNJOFTT )FS IBOET
EPWFJO"TUIFZNFUUIFEPVHIBOEQVMMFEBXBZGPSUIFOFYUTIPWF 
UIFEPVHISFGVTFEUPMFUHP*UDMVOHUPIFSEFTQFSBUFMZMJLFBTIZDIJME
BUUIFLJOEFSHBSUFOEPPS4IFTUSVHHMFEBXBZ*UGPMMPXFEIFS XFCCJOH
her fingers. It was not even pleasantly fleshy dough, but more like
cellulite, not quite gelled. No matter how much flour she scattered
PWFSJU JUTUJMMTUVDL"TTIFBUUBDLFEJU ZBOLFEBXBZGSPNJU BUUBDLFE


JUBHBJO IFSIBJSTIPPLJOIFSGBDF IFSCSFBUIDBNFIBSEBOEIFSKBX


DMFODIFE KVTUBTJUEJEXIFOTIFTQBOLFEIFSDIJMESFO
4IFIFBSE-BUIBNDMJNCJOHVQGSPNUIFCBTFNFOUi"MMEPOFwIF
CSBHHFEi8IPB8IFOEJEUIFHBSCBHFHFUGVMM w
"EBMPPLFECFIJOEIFS IFSIBOETTUJMMUSBQQFEi*UXBTOUUIBUGVMM
a minute ago.
Whats in there?
FGBNJMZHBUIFSFEBSPVOEUPTUBSFBUXIBUHSFXPVUPGUIFDBO
iFCSFBEXPVMEOUSJTF w"EBDPOGFTTFE
Well, Latham poked around, its rising now.
/PCPEZTBJEBOZUIJOH"MPXIVNPGTUBEJVNDSPXESPBSnPBUFE
JOGSPNUIFJOUIFOFYUSPPNFSFGSJHFSBUPSNPUPSLJDLFEPO
An oven light blinked. Lulubelle slithered around a corner and looked
VQBUUIFmWFIBSEUPSFBEGBDFT4IFTUPPESFBEZUPnFF JGOFDFTTBSZ
iJTEPFTOUGFFMMJLFBOPSNBMBOLTHJWJOH wTBJE(JOOJ
"EBCSPLFGSFFPGUIFEPVHICBMMXJUIBTQFFEUIBUQSPCBCMZTUSJQQFE
UIFEPXOZIBJSTPIFSTLJO-JUUMFFBSCPCTPGEPVHIIVOHGSPNIFS
IBOET  XIJDI IPWFSFE UISFBUFOJOHMZ OFBS (JOOJT OFDL "EBT GBDF
crumpled and her lower lip shook.
FOTIFUIPVHIUCFUUFSPGJU4IFQMVOHFEIFSIBOETCBDLJOUPUIF
bread-flesh, gasping with effort. Normal Thanksgiving? Mushroom
DMPVETPGnPVSEVTUFEUIFXBMMTBOETQSJOLMFEUIFQJFT8IBUEJEJUNBUUFS 4IFXBTOUPOFPGUIPTFMBEJFTBUUIFTUPSFPO4BUVSEBZ GSPXOJOH
over their lists, mentally counting up all the guests. She hated them!
Why doesnt anyone else have to get used to loneliness?
4IFUISFXPOBOPUIFSIBOEGVMPGnPVSBOEXJQFEUIFUFBSTSPMMJOH
down her cheeks.
i.PN.PNw"EBGFMUBIBOEPOIFSTIPVMEFSBT,BUFQVMMFEBCPY
PG#JTRVJDLGSPNUIFDVQCPBSEi*MMUBLFDBSFPGJU .PNw
Leave her alone, she heard Latham say. Its a grudge match by now.
She never heard the doorbell ring. When next she looked up through
the fine white smog that hung in her kitchen air, there stood the
missionaries.
FJSTNJMFTGBEFEBOEUIFJSFZFTXJEFOFEBTUIFZGBDFE4JTUFS3VOZPO
FZPVOHFSCMPOEPOFMPPLFEBUIJTCFBSETIBEPXFEDPNQBOJPO


Carson: Gypsy Holiday

i8FKVTUXPOEFSFEJGUIFSFXBTBOZUIJOHXFDPVMEEPGPSZPV wTBJE
the older one.
And as they all stood around staring at each other, a crasha symQIPOZPGNFUBMBOEHMBTTUIVOEFSFEVQGSPNUIFCBTFNFOU
A the house turned dark, Lulubelle stood in the
NJEEMFPGUIFLJUDIFO TOJOHUIFBJS FZFJOHUIFUVSLFZDBSDBTTVQPO
the counter. Her tongue ran along her dry cat lips.
4IFMPPLFEUPXBSEUIFMJWJOHSPPN XIFSFCMVFMJHIUGSPNUIF
nJDLFSFEBHBJOTUUIFXBMMBUNFBOUUIFNBOBOEUIFDIJMESFOXFSF
TBGFMZPDDVQJFE"OEUIFXPNBOXFMM OPCPEZIBETFFOIFSTJODF
she went to her room hours ago.
Lulubelle hopped up on the counter.
"GUFSHOBXJOHPOUIFUVSLFZMFH TIFTJEFTUFQQFEBESPPQZMFBGPG
sandwich lettuce. She padded past the sink, sniffing at the water poolJOHBSPVOEUIFEJSUZEJTIFTFOTIFTBNQMFEBGFXMJDLTGSPNUIF
FNQUZNBZPOOBJTFKBS
Satisfied, she landed on the floor. She scrubbed away at her whiskers, then wandered into the living room.
)F TOPSFE MJHIUMZ JO IJT SFDMJOFS F DIJMESFO TQSBXMFE PO UIF
DPVDIMJLFQBTUBESJFEUPUIFTJEFTPGUIFQPU
Targeting Ginni, whose hand hung off the couch, Lulubelle wiped
her nose on the girls fingers. Ginni rolled off the couch.
-VMVCFMMFUSPUUFEUPUIFGSPOUEPPS(JOOJGPMMPXFE
Ginni opened the door and Lulubelle slipped through. Sitting on
the brick steps, the cat looked up and down the street. Colored lights
UXJOLMFE GSPN UIF FEHF PG UIF SPPG OFYU EPPS "OE TIF IFBSE UIF
TUSBJOTPGi4JMFOU/JHIUwGSPNBDBSSBEJP



To Anne Katrine, Ancestor


Aarhus, Denmark
N L F

Perhaps you never remembered


slipping that last coin into
TBGFLFFQJOH
only an evening,
counting everything out,
when your husband whispered,
Well send them now.
You knew to not
watch by your little girls bed
as he smoothed their curls
BXBZGSPNDMPTFEFZFT
A window must be latched
against the dark rain,
another satchel packed
GPSUIFJSQBTTBHFUP;JPO
At the harbor,
he stepped aside
UPCVZBHJGUPGPSBOHFT
XIJMFZPVXPOEFSFEJG
the salty wind would wear
into hunger
that could not let
these children sleep.

Furse: Poem

Sails and a mist


ESFXUIFNGSPNWJFX
your last-born
BMNPTUNJOEGVM
PGPDFBOTBOEZFBST
her sister solemnly bearing
UIFJSVOUBTUFEGSVJU

Maralise Petersen, Friedhof s Remorse

Cause
M B

I boys were at the Cove that day, but it didnt surQSJTFNFXIFO*IFBSEF$PWFJTBOPVUDSPQQJOHPGQVSQMFHSBZ


CBTBMUKVTUCFZPOEUIFHSPVOETPG8PPE7BMMFZ)JHI4DIPPM*UGBDFT
B DPX TUSFBN UIBU XBOEFST EPXO UIF NJEEMF PG UIF WBMMFZ BOE JT B
QFSGFDUTIFMUFSGPSCPSFETUVEFOUTMJLF+BSFE$IBTFBOE4IBXO'PTUFS 
XIPIBECPUICFFOJONZPDFBDPVQMFPGUJNFTUIBUZFBSGPSTLJQQJOHDMBTTBOEGPSiIPMEJOHDJHBSFUUFTGPSBGSJFOEw8IFO4IBXOBOE
+BSFE SBO VQ  XJME FZFE BOE KBCCFSJOH BCPVU B WPMDBOP JO UIF $PWF 
*UIPVHIUUIFUXPPGUIFNIBEDPPLFEVQTPNFMBNFKPLFXIJMFUIFZ
ditched their first-hour class together.
i.S3JDIBSET *EPOULOPXXIBUTIBQQFOJOHCVUJUTUIFGSFBLJFTU
thing Ive ever seen, Jared said.
i4FSJPVTMZ .S3JDIBSET*NTPOPUNFTTJOHXJUIZPVJTUIJOH
KVTUDBNFVQPVUPGUIFHSPVOEBOETUBSUFETQJUUJOHNVEBOETOBLFT
BOEDSBQ BOEJUTPVOEFEMJLFBQPUBUPHVOPSTPNFUIJOH KVTUMJLFBCJH
AXIVNQ:PVWFHPUUBDPNFPVUBOETFFJU w4IBXOTBJE
4IBXODBNFGSPNBGBNJMZBT.PSNPOBT#SJHIBN:PVOHBOEIF
BDUFEVQKVTUUPCFBQBJOJOIJTGBNJMZTBTT)FXPVMEIBWFMJLFEOPUIJOHNPSFUIBOUPHFUNFUPSVOPVUUPUIFGBSSFBDIFTPGUIFTDIPPM
HSPVOETTJNQMZTPIFDPVMEUFMMIJTCVEEJFTMBUFSBCPVUUIFGSVTUSBUFE
MPPLPONZGBDFXIFOIFTBJE i *TXFBS .S3JDIBSET JUXBTUIFSFw"T
IBQQFOFEXJUINPTUPGNZFODPVOUFSTXJUI4IBXO *XBOUFEUPHJWF
him detention a lot more than I wanted to listen to a single word he
had to say. But there he stood in my door with Jared, the one nonMormon kid in the school, the gentile, heathen, straight-A student.
0VUPGCSFBUI BMNPTUXIJTQFSJOH +BSFETBJE i .S3JDIBSET *TXFBS
to God.
i0OBTUBDLPG#PPLPG.PSNPOT *TXFBS w4IBXOTBJE

FZTFFNFEUPPGSBOUJDUPCFKPLJOHBOEUPPDPIFSFOUUPCFIJHI
Jared swearing to God didnt move me much but Shawn swearing on
BTUBDLPGJNBHJOBSZDPQJFTPGUIF#PPLPG.PSNPO *OUIFIBMMPODF 
* PWFSIFBSE B GSFTINBO HJSM TBZ UP 4IBXO i:PVS EBE JT so spiritual.
I totally love him. Shawn sneered at her like she smelled bad, cursed at
IFS BOEUPMEIFSUPi(FUBMJGF ZPVTUVQJEMJUUMF.PSNPOGSFBLw'PSBLJE
MJLFUIBU TXFBSJOHPOiBTUBDLPG#PPLPG.PSNPOTwNFBOUTPNFUIJOH
A I boys to the Cove, I imagined theyd show me a
HSPXOXBUFSTOBLFBOETPNFCBCJFTXSJHHMJOHPVUPGBCBEHFSIPMF 
PSNBZCFFWFOPMEBMUFSOBUPSDBCMFTTUJDLJOHVQGSPNUIFNVEOPU
the mini-mountain they described. But when I could see over the rise
UIBUGPSNFEUIFXBMMPGUIF$PWF *SFBMJ[FEUIFZNFBOUFYBDUMZXIBU
they said.
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into the water, then disappeared downstream. For every ten into the
XBUFS BOPUIFSUFOXSJUIFEPVUPGUIFIPMFJOUIFNVEEZNPVOE
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See? Jared whispered. He said it like he wanted to make sure he
wasnt the only one. See?
.ZBSNTGFMUXFBLBOEDPMEGPSBNPNFOU BOENZTUPNBDInVUUFSFE*IBUFTOBLFT CVUUIBUTOPUXIZ*XBOUFEUPUVSOBOESVOFSF
was something I didnt get, something I didnt understand, something
UIBUNBEFNZDIFTUGFFMQPVSFEGVMMPGTOPXNFMUFTOBLFTUIFZ
kept cascading downslipping, writhing over each other like drunk
DPNNVUFSTQJMJOHPVUPGBTVCXBZBOEEJWJOHJOUPUIFXBUFS/PU
natural. Not normal. Not around here anyway.
I herded the two boys back to my office.
5 PG8PPE7BMMFZTJUTJOBGFSUJMFDSBEMFCFUXFFO
mostly nameless peaks in southeast Idaho. Wheat, barley, potatoes,
BOEIBZUBLFVQFWFSZBSBCMFJODIPGUIFWBMMFZ BOEPODFUIFJODMJOF


Brown: Cause

POUIFGPPUIJMMTCFDPNFTUPPTUFFQ UIFHSPVOEHJWFTXBZUPTBHFCSVTI 
DIFBUHSBTT BOEKVOJQFSUSFFT.PSNPOTFUUMFSTMBJEPVUUIFUPXOJO
UIFMBUFTKVTUMJLFEP[FOTPGPUIFSTBUJEZHSJEPGTUSFFUTDFOtered around a big meetinghouse. Brigham Young sent them here and
NBOZTUBZFE"MPUPGUIFTUVEFOUTBUNZTDIPPMBSFGPVSUIHFOFSBUJPO
SFTJEFOUTXIPIBWFOFWFSCFFONVDIGBSUIFSBXBZUIBO4BMU-BLF$JUZ
or maybe Boise.
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to stay in the West and I knew bigger schools required the principal
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*NJHSBUFEIFSF%VSJOHNZmSTUGFXXFFLTJO8PPE7BMMFZ *HPUB
UBTUFPGUIFMPDBMJODMJOBUJPOUPBWPJEVOQMFBTBOUOFTTBUBMMDPTUT
FXFFLXFNPWFEJO XFIFBSETJSFOTBUBIPVTFBDSPTTUIFTUSFFU
GSPNPVST4BSBIBOE*TQFOUBOIPVSBGUFSEJOOFSXBUDIJOHDPQTBOE
TIVTUMFBSPVOEUIFTNBMMHSBZIPVTFXFXPSSJFEBOEXPOEFSFE
FZXIFFMFEPVUBCPEZIJEEFOJOBCMBDL SVCCFSZCBH8IFOXF
XBMLFEPWFSUPUIFTNBMMHSPVQPGOFJHICPSTHBUIFSFEBUUIFTQPUXIFSF
UIFBNCVMBODFUPPLP XFLOFXBGFXGBDFTBOEGFXFSOBNFTXFIBE
POMZCFFOJOUPXOGPVSEBZTFZPFSFEXFBLTNJMFTXIFOUIFZTBX
us coming and greeted us. Someone asked us how the unpacking was
coming. Sarah told them it was fine. I didnt see any point in pretending to want to talk about the weather and so I asked, What happened?
Did somebody get hurt?
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stood watching our new neighbors retreat into the evening, walking
BXBZGSPNVTBOEGSPNNZRVFTUJPO
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help the sister.


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TJYUFFOZFBSPMEXIPXPVMEIBWFCFFOPOFPGNZTUVEFOUTUIBUGBMM
"DDPSEJOHUP#BSC 3PCFNQUJFEBMMUIFWFOJTPOGSPNUIFEFFQGSFF[F
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workbench, on the steps leading to the house, and even on the hood
PGUIF'PSE&TDPSUIFBOEIJTTJTUFSTIBSFE0ODFUIFCJHXIJUFCPY
was entirely empty, Rob threw his leg over the side, climbed in, and
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UIF HBSBHF GVMM PG SPUUJOH NFBU *U IBE CFFO BO FYDFQUJPOBMMZ CSJHIU 
hot June weekend, and Barb said the garage practically hummed with
heavy black flies.
"U TDIPPM  3PCT TJTUFS  +VMJF  XBMLFE RVJFUMZ GSPN DMBTT UP DMBTT 
books hugged to her chest. To my knowledge, she never spoke to anybody about what her brother did. She never visited the school counTFMPSBOENJTTFEPOMZBDPVQMFEBZTPGTDIPPMUIBUXJOUFSXIFOTIF
had strep throat. At church, Robs parents simply continued to show
VQFWFSZ4VOEBZ BOENFNCFSTPGUIFXBSETJNQMZMFUUIFN4PMBDF
GPSFWFSZPOFTFFNFEUPDPNFGSPNUIFGBDUUIBUOPCPEZTBJEBOZUIJOH
Julie drove to school every day in the aquamarine Ford Escort that her
brother had covered with venison steaks.
0WFS UIF MBTU mWF ZFBST  *WF FODPVOUFSFE TJMFODF BHBJO BOE BHBJO
NJTTJPOBSJFTDPNJOHIPNFFBSMZXJUIOPFYQMBOBUJPOEBVHIUFSTNPWJOHBXBZUPMJWFXJUISFMBUJWFTGPSVOLOPXOSFBTPOTDPVQMFTTVEEFOMZ
EJWPSDJOH XJUIPVU BOZ IJOU JU XBT DPNJOH F NPTU QSPOPVODFE
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NPUIFS UP BSSBOHF GPS IPNF-study courses. Her mouth drew into a
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TIPVMEFST GPSXBSE SPVHI NPTU PG UIF NFFUJOH  TIF TUBSFE BU UIF
nPPSXJUIIFSUIJDL DVSMZIBJSPCTDVSJOHIFSGBDF CVUPDDBTJPOBMMZTIF
MPPLFEPWFSIFSTIPVMEFSBTUIPVHITIFXBTDIFDLJOHUPTFFJGBOZPOF
XBTMPPLJOHIFSXBZ*UIBECFFOBDPVQMFPGNPOUITTJODFIFSQSFHnancy had become an unavoidable topic, and in all that time, she never
UPMEBTJOHMFQFSTPOXIPUIFGBUIFSXBT4IFTBUPOUIFMPXFOEPGUIF


Brown: Cause

NPOFZTDBMFBOEEJEOUIBWFGSJFOET3VNPSIBEJUUIBUTIFECFFOXJUI
BMPUPGCPZT*EJEOULOPXXIFUIFSPSOPUUPCFMJFWFXIBUQFPQMFTBJE
BCPVUIFS CVU*LOPXJUUBLFTUXPUPNBLFUIBULJOEPGUSPVCMF
When she came to see me, I rambled on about course packets, test
dates, competency levels, and teacher liaison contact while Sister
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"GUFSUXFOUZNJOVUFTPGEPJOHBMMUIFUBMLJOH NZUISPBUGFMUESZBOE
tight. I sagged in my chair and looked at Jodie. Suddenly, she seemed
so young. Her dark eye makeup looked silly and unnatural, like war
paint on a five-year-old. Just a kid, I thought.
Jodie, I said, Im sure this is tough. You dont want to talk about
JUBOE*VOEFSTUBOEUIBU#VU*NXPOEFSJOHJGZPVEMJLFUPDPOmEFJO
NFBMJUUMF*GUIFGBUIFSJTBTUVEFOUIFSF UIFSFBSFTPNFTUFQTXFDBO
take to encourage him to accept responsibility. Maybe you dont want
him involved, but someday youll . . .
#FGPSF*DPVMEHPPO +PEJFTBJEUIFPOFXPSETIFPFSFEUIBUEBZ
i/Pw4IFIBEOUMPPLFEVQ*IBOEFEIFSNPUIFSBQBDLFUPGGPSNT 
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W I CPZTCBDLUPNZPDFGSPNUIF$PWF 4IBXOTBU
in the same chair Jodie had occupied all those months ago. He looked
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look at or speak to each other. I asked them to tell me again what hapQFOFE UPEFTDSJCFJUWFSZTMPXMZFNPSF*BTLFE UIFMFTTUIFZTQPLF 
VOUJMUIFZXFSFKVTUOPEEJOHUIFJSIFBETUPNZiZFTPSOPwRVFTUJPOT
It still didnt make any sense, but I couldnt put off doing something
BCPVUJUFSFXFSFQIPOFDBMMTUPNBLF*UPMEUIFCPZTUPTUBZQVU
BOEOPUMFBWFNZPDFVOUJM*DBNFGPSUIFN*XBOUFEUPNBLFTVSF
OFJUIFSPGUIFCPZTDPVMEUFMMUIFJSGSJFOETPSDBMMIPNFVOUJM*XBT
SFBEZFZCPUITBU TUJMMOPUMPPLJOHBUFBDIPUIFS JOUIFTJMFODFPG
the little room filled with graduating class photos and potted plants.
In the outer office, I explained the situation as best I could to my
TFDSFUBSZ #BSC UIFO*TBUEPXOBOETUBSUFENBLJOHBMJTUPGQFPQMF*
OFFEFEUPDBMMUIFTIFSJ&SJD#JOHIBN UIFTDIPPMEJTUSJDUTVQFSJOUFOEFOUQPTTJCMZUIF#VSFBVPG-BOE.BOBHFNFOU0VUPGUIFDPSOFS


PGNZFZF *DPVMETFFUIFCPZTUISPVHIUIFnPPSUPDFJMJOHXJOEPX
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it tough in an all-Mormon town. His parents divorced when he was
ZPVOH)JTNPNXBJUSFTTFEBUUIF*USVDLTUPQ, and Jared did summer work moving pipe. Rumor had it she drank a lot and entertained
UIFPDDBTJPOBMCPZGSJFOEGPSFYUFOEFEQFSJPET#VUTIFEJEUIFCFTU
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out like they had horns and bright red skin.
*TDSJCCMFEBOPUFGPSUIFUXPCPZTTFDPOEBOEUIJSEIPVSUFBDIers, and I glanced at Shawn through the tall window beside my closed
door. Id seen the red knot that grew between his eyes when he was
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and yelled at him, and Id seen him look straight through the back
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live up to your potential. But Id never seen the look he had on his
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PGMBUFNPSOJOHMJHIU)FTMVNQFEJOIJTDIBJS IJTIFBEBHBJOTUUIF
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EJSFDUJPOPGUIF$PWF
I telephoned Randy Sorenson, the sheriff, and then decided to
IBOEEFMJWFSOPUFTUP4IBXOTBOE+BSFETUFBDIFSTNZTFMG*UIPVHIUB
TIPSUXBMLUPUIFJSDMBTTSPPNTXBTBHPPEXBZUPHFUPVUPGUIFPDF
and clear my head. When I got back, Barbara had the phone to her
ear, which wasnt unusual, but she gave me a sideways look and then
quickly hung up. I didnt think too much about it and, instead, sat
EPXOUPTFOEBOFNBJMUPUIFTVQFSJOUFOEFOUFTIFSJIBETBJE
hed be out by noon to look at the situation, Shawn and Jared were
still sequestered in my office, and I thought I had a nice lid on things.
However, it was the phone call Barbara made while I was out that
CMFXBQBSUNZQMBOTGPSLFFQJOHOFXTPGUIFBDUJWJUZJOUIF$PWFRVJFU
She had called her husband, and that was all it took.


Brown: Cause

When I went back down to the Cove with a camera, John and another
NBO * EJEOU SFDPHOJ[F XFSF BU UIF XBUFST FEHF  TUBSJOH *G * XBTOU
VOOFSWFE CZ UIF TQVUUFSJOH  QBOJDLZ  TQMBTIJOH TPVOE PG TOBLFT nPQping into the water, I would have been outright pissed. Its well known
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or why someones kid isnt taking the sacrament at church, you can ask
+PIO,JSLIBN6OMJLFUIFNPSFSFUJDFOUDJUJ[FOTPG8PPE7BMMFZ +PIO
MPWFTUPEJTQFOTFSVNPSTBOEHPTTJQCZUIFIBOEGVM MJLFBQSPNRVFFO
on a float throwing saltwater taffy to the crowd. Hes like big-city five
PDMPDL OFXTGBTU  BDDVSBUF  BOE VODPNQSPNJTJOH &WFO QFPQMF XIP
keep their mouths closed keep their ears open when John is around.
Seeing him standing there, rubbing his chin like he was mentally comQPTJOHIJTFWFOJOHOFXTDBTU XBTBMNPTUFOPVHIUPNBLFNFGPSHFUUIF
tumbling snakes.
I greeted them. Boys.
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DBVHIU)FTBXNFBOEHSJOOFEUPPCJHGPSNZUBTUFi:PVHPUTPNFthing on your hands here, Steve.
i:FBI *NBXBSFPGUIBUw
Barb called, said there was something dangerous down near the
creek here. Had her a little nervous, so I wanted to come check it out.
)JNQMBZJOHUIFSPMFPGQSPUFDUJWFIVTCBOEUPKVTUJGZCFJOHBXPSME
class snoop irritated me, but I played along. So what do you think?
Any ideas whats going on?
Johns companion, a white-haired man with a silvery rodeo belt buckle,
spoke up. Seems to me its some kinda colony. Ten, twenty snakes all lay
UIFJSFHHTJOUIFTBNFQMBDFFZBMMIBUDIBUUIFTBNFUJNF/PXUIFZSF
BMMIFBEFEPVU/PUIJOHEBOHFSPVTBCPVUJUFZSFKVTUHBSUFSTOBLFTw
)FTBJEJUTPQMBJOMZBOEDBTVBMMZ *BMNPTUGFMUTJMMZGPSCFJOHTDBSFE 
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VTFEUPCFJOHUSFBUFEMJLFBDJUZTJNQMFUPOCZGBSNFSTBOESBODIFST
PWFSUIFMBTUmWFZFBST"UUIFMBTUSPVOEPGQBSFOUUFBDIFSDPOGFSFODFT 
POFGBSNFSQBUSJBSDIUPMENF i*GZPVBOEUIFTUBUFXBOUUPLFFQXBTUing dollars on trigonometry classes, thats your business. But my boy
shouldnt have to bother with it. Maybe you use it being a principal


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NFFUBOZPOFNPSFSJHIUUIBOBGBSNFSXIPIBTTFUIJTNJOEPOTPNFthing, and youll never meet anyone more wrong than the poor idiot
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coming out all at the same time like this? Besides, its September.
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CFGPSF*WFHPUUXPCPZTJONZPDFXIPTBZUIFZXBUDIFEJUHSPX
PVUPGUIFHSPVOEJOMFTTUIBOBNJOVUFBUTOPUOPSNBMw
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hoping to see someone with some common sense coming his way.
+PIOKVTULFQUUBMLJOH
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Maybe not everyone here knows this, but they like being in the water.
He looked at me, and I looked back, trying not to roll my eyes at him.
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a moment, listening to the splashing. I noticed both men had posiUJPOFE UIFNTFMWFT B HPPE UFO GFFU BXBZ GSPN UIF QFBL  OPU HFUUJOH
anywhere close to the supposedly harmless reptiles. I snuck a look
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his mouth. His lips trembled and turned downward. He saw me out
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I also didnt want them back in town telling every soul they could find
about what they saw. Getting tough wouldnt work.


Brown: Cause

Yknow, John, I said, Im sure youre aware something like this


could cause a stir, so Im going to need your help. We dont want students or their parents panicking over something thats probably nothJOH:UIJOL ZPV BOE ZPVS GSJFOE DPVME DPNF JOTJEF BOE IFMQ #BSC
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cool heads around.
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Mexicans arent siphoning gas again. He smiled like hed gotten away
with something and nudged the older man as they sauntered away. In my
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Hey, John?
He turned.
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side, making sure no one got too close.
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let Shawn and Jared leave since it was apparent that there wasnt any
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wordlessly and I hadnt seen him since. As the news people unloaded
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he got to her, I could hear him ask, Is the principal here? She turned
and pointed, and he headed my direction.
Aaron Stiles with .JOEJG*BTLZPVTPNFRVFTUJPOT w
*MPPLFEBUIJNGPSBMPOHTFDPOE UIJOLJOH Hell yes, I mind. This
isnt a freak show. Get in your van and go home*GIFIBEDPNFIFSF
to cover our basketball teams district championship or the Honor
Societys academic decathlon, Id be thrilled to talk to him. Its part
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its unsettling, and I didnt think taping that was in the public interest
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It is a freak show, I thought, but its our freak show.
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on, looking puffy and bleached out by the camera lights, she squeezed
my hand.
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looking toward the Cove.
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I grimaced and rubbed my eyes hard. Jeeze almighty, I muttered.
*ETQPLFOUP"BSPO4UJMFTPGGPSBMNPTUUFONJOVUFT BOEZFU
he managed to broadcast the ten seconds that I sounded most like a


Brown: Cause

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XIBU*TBJEEJETPVOEBMJUUMFNPSFJOUFMMJHFOUUIBOAXIBUFWFSJUUBLFT
to make sure everythings A-okay and okey dokey.
Sarah smirked, but didnt try to tell me I sounded fine. She didnt
sugarcoat things. She never had any problem saying that she loved
me, but she also never struggled with telling me when I acted like an
idiot either. I could always rely on her to tell me the truth, whether I
liked it or not.
8FXBUDIFEUIFSFTUPGUIFTUPSZUIFGPPUBHFPGUIFIB[NBUTVJUFE
HFPMPHJTU4IFSJ4PSFOTPODBMMJOHGPSFWFSZPOFUPTUBZBXBZVOUJMUIF
TJUVBUJPOXBTSFTPMWFE4UJMFTTJHOJOHPBUUIFFEHFPGUIFGPPUCBMM
field with lights shining over his shoulder and down into the Cove.
Sarah chewed her bottom lip and then said, I cant figure it out.
*NFBO JGJUSFBMMZXBTBMJUUMFAWPMDBOPMJLFUIFZLFFQDBMMJOHJU UIJT
NJHIU NBLF TFOTF DPOTJEFSJOH XFSF OPU UIBU GBS GSPN :FMMPXTUPOF
FSFBSFGBVMUMJOFTBSPVOEIFSF*UXPVMEBUMFBTUIBWFBOFYQMBOBtion. She shut off the television and turned to look at me the way she
EJEXIFOTIFSFBMMZXBOUFEBOBOTXFSUPBRVFTUJPOi"OEJGJUXFSF
KVTUTOBLFTUIFOXIBUUIBUHVZXJUI+PIO,JSLIBNUPMEZPVXPVME
FYQMBJOJU#VUBOFOEMFTTTVQQMZPGTOBLFTDPNJOHPVUPGTPNFLJOE
PGWFOUJOUIFHSPVOE 8IBUUIFIFDL w4IFmEEMFEXJUIUIFDPSEUP
UIFFOEUBCMFMBNQ SPMMJOHJUCBDLBOEGPSUICFUXFFOIFSmOHFSTTPJU
curled one way and then the other.
*TIPPLNZIFBE#FGPSFNZJOUFSWJFX BHVZGSPNUIF#VSFBVPG
-BOE.BOBHFNFOUDBVHIUTPNFPGUIFTOBLFTBOEUPMENFUIBU XIJMF
they looked similar to common garter snakes, the kind that slide
around in irrigation ditches and creeks all over the valley, certain
markings on their bellies suggested they might be something else. He
loaded the snakes into a  USVDL IFBEFE GPS #PJTF  XIFSF B IFSpetologist would examine them and figure out whether or not they
were poisonous. He said as soon as they knew one way or the other,
theyd call.
*LOFXUIBUSFHBSEMFTTPGXIBULJOEPGTOBLFTUIFZXFSF QPJTPOPVTPSOPU EVSJOHBO*EBIPGBMMUIFZTIPVMECFIJCFSOBUJOHJOTUFBEPG
nPQQJOHBSPVOEMJLFUIFZEIBEDPFFJOKFDUFEJOUPUIFJSWFJOTF


HFPMPHJTUTGSPN didnt detect any poisonous gas or seismic activity


in the area. As near as anyone could tell, the explanation that Sarah
wanted, that everyone wanted, simply wasnt available.
What did Eric say on the phone earlier? Sarah asked.
i)F TBJE UIF OFXT TUBUJPO DBMMFE IJN  MPPLJOH GPS UIF TVQFSJOtendents take on the whole thing. But he was in his woodshop all
BGUFSOPPO TPIFEJEOUHFUCBDLUPUIFN)FTBJEIFEESJWFPWFSUP
take a look, but I told him not to bother. He can contact the sheriff s
EFQBSUNFOUJOUIFNPSOJOHBOETFFJGJUTTUJMMIBQQFOJOHBOENBLF
the decision then about whether or not to hold school tomorrow. No
TFOTFJOIJNDPNJOHPWFSGSPN1MZNPVUI)FTBJEIFEDBMMNFCZTJY
and let me know.
4BSBIBTLFE i%PFTJUGSFBLZPVPVU *NFBO JUTSJHIUCZUIFTDIPPMw
In my mind, I saw all the writhing coils and green, scaly skin flopping sickly around in mud. Yeah, a little. It does.
4IFMPPLFEBUNFi 8FMM KVTUCFTBGFBMMSJHIU *UTDSFFQZBOE*XBOU
ZPVUPTUBZBXBZGSPNJUBTNVDIBTZPVDBOw
Yeah.
* GPMMPXFE 4BSBI EPXO UIF IBMM UP UIF CFESPPN 8F VOESFTTFE
TJMFOUMZ*TMJENZCFMUGSPNJUTMPPQT BOEJUNBEFBTMPX MFBUIFSZ ESBHHJOHTPVOEUIBUSBJTFEHPPTFQJNQMFTPONZGPSFBSNT*UISFXJUJOUP
the corner like it was something dirty. Sarah slid her shirt and pants
PBOEQJMFEUIFNJOBNPVOEJOUIFEBSLNPVUIPGUIFDMPTFU8F
HPUJOUPCFEBOEUIFDPPMDPUUPOPONZCBSFMFHTBOEGFFUNBEFNF
GFFMOBLFEBOEWVMOFSBCMF*XBUDIFEUIFCMVFTIFFUPWFS4BSBITDIFTU
SJTFBOEGBMM UIFGBCSJDTIJGUJOHBOEQVMTJOHTMJHIUMZ*XBUDIFEIFSGPS
a moment, and she opened her eyes and stared back at me. Without
BXPSE TIFSFBDIFEPWFSBOEUPPLNZIBOEFOTIFMPPLFEVQBU
the ceiling where blue light filtered through the blinds and cast a pale
puddle. We lay next to each other, holding hands, looking at the light
GPSNJOHDVSMJOHQBUUFSOTJOUIFUFYUVSFPGUIFDFJMJOH
&BNUPTBZIFDPVMEOUHFUIPMEPGUIFTIFSJ
BOEBTLFEJG*ECFXJMMJOHUPESJWFUPUIFTDIPPMUPTFFXIBUXBTHPJOH
on. It would only take me ten minutes to get there, whereas Plymouth,


Brown: Cause

IJTUPXO TBUUIJSUZNJOVUFTBXBZ*JODIFENZXBZPVUPGCFE QVMMFE


my clothes on, dropped my cell phone in my pocket, and drove to
UIFTDIPPM NZTIPVMEFSTTMVNQFE NZFZFTTUJDLZFCSFF[FDPNJOH
off the fields surrounding the school smelled like wet hay, and as I
TUFQQFEPVUPGUIFDBSNZCSFBUIDPMMFDUFEJOBEBNQDMPVEJOGSPOUPG
NF&WFOUIFTUBSTMPPLFEGBEFEBOEUJSFEUIBUFBSMZJOUIFNPSOJOH
*GPVOEPOFPG3BOEZTEFQVUJFT &E3PZMBODF BTMFFQJOIJTDSVJTFS 
QBSLFEBUUIFFEHFPGUIFGPPUCBMMmFME*UBQQFEPOUIFHMBTT BOEIF
TMPXMZ PQFOFE IJT FZFT )F TBX NF  PFSFE B TMFFQZ IBMG HSJO  BOE
rolled down the window. It bothered me that he acted more like hed
KVTUSFDFJWFEBXBLFVQDBMMGSPNSPPNTFSWJDFSBUIFSBLOPDLPOUIF
XJOEPXGSPNTPNFPOFDBUDIJOHIJNTMFFQJOHPOUIFKPC
i)FZ  4UFWF &WFSZUIJOHT VOEFS DPOUSPM IFSF F TIFSJ T PVU UP
UIFTPVUITJEFPGUPXO4PNFCPEZTDPNCJOFHPUWBOEBMJ[FEMBTUOJHIU
TPIFXFOUUPUBLFUIFSFQPSUPOJUw)FQPJOUFEUPUIF$PWFiFSFT
nothing going on down there.
iFTOBLFTTUPQQFEDPNJOHPVU w
i0I XFMMDFQUGPSUIBU *HVFTTw
Yeah, I guess. When was the last time you looked?
Bout an hour ago.
*EJEOUCFMJFWFIJNi0LBZ XFMM TPNFPOFTIPVMEHPMPPL(PUB
flashlight?
)FQVMMFEBOFJHIUFFOJODIMPOH.BHMJUFGSPNUIFQBTTFOHFSTFBU
BOEIBOEFEJUUPNFi)PMMFSJGZPVOFFEBOZUIJOHw
*NVTUIBWFTUBSFEXJUINZNPVUIIBMGPQFOGPSBTFDPOEUPPMPOH
because he raised his eyebrows suddenly and asked, You need me to
come down with you?
No, dont sweat it. I got it. Youre fine.
He rolled up his window, and I picked my way along the worn
path leading down to the creek. Idiot, I thought. Too bad the snakes
didnt band together and carry his cruiser off into the creek and drown
him in his stupid sleepFWJTJPOPGBDSPXEPGTOBLFTIBVMJOHBQPMJDF
car on their slender, arched backs and heaving it into the water made
NF TNJMF #VU UIFO * DBNF BSPVOE UIF DPSOFS PG CBTBMU UIBU TFSWFE
as the entrance to the Cove, and I heard the blubbering, sputtering,


TQMBTIJOHTPVOETGSPNUIFDSFFLCBOL*QPJOUFEUIFnBTIMJHIUBUUIF
HSPVOEBSPVOENZGFFUmSTU XPOEFSJOHJGUIFTOBLFTIBETQSFBEPVU
and were about to slither up my calves. But I saw only flattened crabgrass, mud, stubbed out cigarette butts, and empty beer cans.
*MPPLFEBUUIFEFCSJTBUNZGFFUBOETJHIFE*NTVSFNZ&E"ENJO
DMBTTNBUFTGSPNNZ.BTUFSTQSPHSBNXPVMEMBVHIJONZGBDFJG*UPME
UIFNBCPVUUIFQSPCMFNTJONZTDIPPM.PTUPGNZTUVEFOUTXPVMEOU
LOPXBHBOHTJHOGSPNBTUPQTJHO/PCPEZEJENVDIJOUIFXBZPG
ESVHT BOEOPOFPGNZUFBDIFSTIBEBSFDPSE#VUUIJTXBTB.PSNPO
school and a Mormon town. Somehow I expected better than what I
PGUFOGPVOE
(SPXJOH VQ JO 1SPWP  *E TFFO UIJT QIFOPNFOPO CFGPSF 8IFO
FWFSZPOFJT.PSNPO UIFSFTOPPOFUPCFIBWFGPS8IFOUIFSFTOP
POFUPCFCFUUFSUIBO QFPQMFTUSBUJGZFQFPQMFXIPBSFHPPECFDBVTF
UIFJSIFBSUTBSFGSFFGSPNNBMJDFBOEKFBMPVTZEPXIBUUIFZXJMMBMXBZT
EPUIFZDPNGPSUUIFTJDLBOEUIFTBEUIFZPFSLJOEXPSETUIFZGPSHJWF&WFSZPOFFMTFmOETUIFJSPXOMFWFMPGPCFEJFODF4BEMZ UIBUMFWFM
sometimes turns out to be lower than a principal would hope.
4OBLFTDPOUJOVFEUPnPQPWFSUIFFEHFPGUIFQFBLBOEEPXOJOUP
the water. I looked at my watch and tried to count how many came
out in a minute. Looking too closely made my stomach contract and
NZGPSFIFBETXFBU*DPVMEPOMZNBOBHFTUBSJOHGPSUIJSUZTFDPOETPS
TP*FTUJNBUFEBCPVUUXFOUZTOBLFTSPMMFEPVUJOIBMGBNJOVUF'PSUZ
BNJOVUF UXFOUZGPVSIVOESFEBOIPVSGPSBCPVUFJHIUFFOIPVST
*DPVMEOUHFUJUFYBDUMZJONZIFBE CVU*LOFXNPSFUIBOGPSUZUIPVsand little green and black snakes had disappeared into the water
since that morning.
Forty thousand.
I shook my head. How could this be happening? I looked around
BOE GFMU TVEEFOMZ QJOOFE UIFSF JO UIF $PWF  USBQQFE CFUXFFO UIF
SPVHICBTBMUXBMMTBOEUIFDPME TOBLFmMMFETUSFBNFDBNFSBDSFXT
BOEQPMJDFBOEDSPXETUIBUGFMUMJLFTVDIBOJOWBTJWFTJEFTIPXOPX
seemed completely insufficient.
FO  GSPN UIF EBSLOFTT UP NZ SJHIU  * IFBSE B WPJDF  RVJFU CVU
clear.


Brown: Cause

Its our sins, Mr. Richards.


I pointed my flashlight at the sound. I knew the voice but needed
UPNBLFTVSF4IBXO'PTUFSTBUPOBTUVNQPGSPDLXJUIIJTLOFFT
ESBXOVQUPIJTDIJO)JTCSFBUITUFBNFEJOUIFCFBNPGNZnBTIMJHIU 
and he squinted. Shawn, what are you doing here? Didnt you see the
police up there?
i*DBNFEPXOUIFESBXGSPNPOFPGNZEBETmFMET*EJEOUFWFO
know there was a cop until he came down here around one or two.
He didnt see me.
* MPXFSFE NZ nBTIMJHIU BOE MFU NZ FZFT BEKVTU UP UIF EBSLOFTT
How long have you been here?
i4JODF NJEOJHIU PS TP * TOVDL PVU BGUFS NZ GPMLT UIPVHIU * XBT
asleep.
I rubbed my eyes and tried to muster up my principal persona.
Look, there are a dozen reasons why you shouldnt be here, Shawn.
%PZPVSQBSFOUTLOPXZPVSFHPOF JTJTQSPCBCMZUIFXSPOHOJHIU
to go missing, you know? Plus, no one knows whats going on with
these snakes, and it could be dangerous.
I know whats going on.
1BSUPGNFXBOUFEUPHJWFIJNDSFEJUGPSCFJOHPOFPGUIFmSTUUP
TFFUIFTOBLFT BOEGPSUIFGBDUUIBUJUIBEOUUVSOFEPVUUPCFBQSBOL
#VUBIFBEBDIFXBTGPSNJOHCFIJOENZSJHIUFZF BOEFWFSZNPNFOU
PGUIFGPVSZFBST*ELOPXO4IBXOUPMENFUPOPUUSVTUBXPSEIFTBJE
What do you mean? I asked.
iFZSFPVSTJOT"MMUIFTJOJOUIJTUPXOTBOLVOEFSUIFHSPVOE 
BOEUIFSFTTPNVDIPGJU JUTDPNJOHPVUBTTOBLFTFZSFCSFBLJOH
UISPVHIUIFTVSGBDFDBVTFUIFZOFFEUPHFUPVUFSFTOPNPSFSPPN
GPSJUBMMVOEFSUIFSFw
I looked back at the volcano as it vomited snakes that flipped and
DVSMFEEPXOJOUPUIFXBUFSXJUIMPVETQMBTIFTFTPVOECSPVHIU
VQTQFDLMFTPGTXFBUPONZMPXFSCBDL'PSBNPNFOU *DPOTJEFSFE
XIBU4IBXOTBJE*TBXBOVOEFSHSPVOESFTFSWPJSPGTFSQFOUT TUVFE
JOUIFEBSLFBSUIVOEFSIPVTFT TUPSFT BOEDIVSDICVJMEJOHT BTFBPG
TOBLFTHSPXJOHMBSHFSXJUIFWFSZCJUPGCBDLCJUJOHBOEHPTTJQ TXFMMJOH
FWFSZUJNFUXPLJETTUFBNFEVQUIFXJOEPXTPGBQBSLFEDBS*ONZ
mind, I saw this black and yellow wriggling mass bulging and finally


breaking into the sunlight when two boys skipped first hour to smoke
on a bright September day. Shawn watched me, still unmoving, and I
CSFBUIFEEFFQUPQVMMNZTFMGUPHFUIFS
*XBMLFEUPXBSEIJNTMPXMZBOEQPJOUFEUIFnBTIMJHIUKVTUUPUIF
TJEFPGIJTIFBEi-PPLBUNF 4IBXOw)FTUBSFEVQ IJTFZFTBMJUUMF
bloodshot but probably no more than mine were at that hour. Let me
TNFMMZPVSCSFBUIw)FFYIBMFEJOUPNZGBDF"HBJO QSPCBCMZOPXPSTF
UIBONJOFBUUIFNPNFOUFSFXBTOPUIJOHUPJOEJDBUFUIBUIFXBT
ESVOLPSIJHI PUIFSUIBOUIFGBDUUIBUIFXBTUBMLJOHDSB[Z
My dads a good guy. He breathed out heavily. I mean, hes the
stake president. But he doesnt pay his taxes.
"CSFF[FCMFXBOENBEFUIFKVOJQFSUSFFTPOUIFGBSTJEFPGUIF
Cove sway and undulate.
i)FBMXBZTRVPUFTTUVGSPN&[SB5BGU#FOTPOBOEBCVODIPGPUIFS
guys about how the government doesnt have power over a mans money.
4PIFKVTUEPFTOUQBZ/PUXIBUIFPXFTw)FVODMFODIFEIJTBSNT
GSPNBSPVOEIJTLOFFTBOETUSBJHIUFOFEPVUIJTMFHT)FGSPXOFE
i"OEFWFSZXFFLIFBTLTQFPQMFJGUIFZSFIPOFTU BOEJGUIFZTBZ
no, he doesnt give them a temple recommend. I think every time he
BTLTTPNFPOFXIFUIFSUIFZSFIPOFTU IFTLJOEPGUFMMJOHBMJFIJNTFMGw
4IBXOMPPLFEBUNF BOE*XPOEFSFEJGIFDPVMETFFNZGBDFJOUIF
EBSLOFTT CFIJOEUIFHMBSFPGUIFnBTIMJHIU*XPOEFSFEXIBUNZGBDF
MPPLFEMJLFBT*XBTIFBSJOHBCPVUPOFPGUIFNPTUSFTQFDUFENFOJO
the valley.
4IBXOLFQUUBMLJOH BMNPTUUPIJNTFMGOPXi*UIJOLTPNFPGUIBU
TJODPNFTPVUPGIJTXPSETBOETJOLTJOUPUIFHSPVOE*UTBMMEPXO
UIFSF CVJMU VQ %BET CFFO TUBLF QSFTJEFOU GPS TFWFO ZFBST BUT B
MPUPGUFNQMFSFDPNNFOEJOUFSWJFXTw)FTMJEPUIFSPDLBOETUPPE
XJUIIJTIBOETTIPWFEEFFQJOIJTQPDLFUT)FIVODIFEJOPOIJNTFMG
a little, and I suddenly became aware that he wore only a T-shirt and
KFBOT)FNVTUIBWFCFFODPME
/PULOPXJOHXIBUUPEPXJUIUIFJOGPSNBUJPOIFXBTHJWJOHNF 
*SFBDIFEGPSIJTBSNUPMFBEIJNCBDLUPUIFGPPUCBMMmFME)FTMJQQFE
away and edged toward the snakes without my getting so much as a
mOHFSPOIJN)JTRVJDLOFTTTVSQSJTFENF BOEBIBMGGPSNFEUIPVHIU
BCPVUIJTXBTUFEQPUFOUJBMBTBRVBSUFSCBDLGPSPVSUFBNnJUUFEBDSPTT


Brown: Cause

my mind. He continued to take small, tentative steps toward the blubCFSJOHQFBLBOEUIFTOBLFTEVNQJOHPVUPGJU


4VEEFOMZ  * GFMU BOHSZ 4IBXO XBT OPUIJOH CVU XBTUFE QPUFOUJBM
FSF XFSF TP NBOZ HPPE UIJOHT IF DPVME IBWF EPOF  TP NVDI IF
could have been. Instead he chose to be a liar, a bully, a vandal, and
a coward. At that moment, he chose to be a trespasser, to disobey an
PSEFSGSPNUIFQPMJDFUPTUBZBXBZ BOEUPKVTUHFOFSBMMZQJTTPIJT
tired, scared principal.
i4IBXO HFUPWFSIFSF*NOPUJOUIFNPPEGPSUIJT(FUBXBZGSPN
UIFTOBLFTBOEMFUTHFUPVUPGIFSFw
)FTUPPECFUXFFONFBOEUIFNVEEZQFBL*DPVMETFFIJTGBDFJO
the pale, rising light. His eyes narrowed and his mouth turned down,
and I knew he wasnt going to come. I wanted to walk up to him, grab
IJNCZUIFBSN BOEESBHIJNPVUPGUIF$PWF CVUIFTMPXMZTDPPUFE
backward as he spoke. He seemed to know that the nearer he got to
UIFTOBLFT UIFMFTTMJLFMZ*XPVMECFUPGPMMPXIJN
4IBXOTBJE i.ST#FBTMFZ FNBUIUFBDIFS 4JTUFS#FBTMFZ 4IF
MJWFT BDSPTT UIF TUSFFU GSPN NF 4IF VTFE UP CF 4JTUFS .BETFO  CVU
IFSIVTCBOEMFGUCFDBVTFIFLOFXTIFXBTJOMPWFXJUITPNFPOFFMTF
He knew she didnt want him anymore. She drove her own husband
away by not loving him. He looked over at the snakes and watched
UIFNi/PXTIFTJOUIF3FMJFG4PDJFUZQSFTJEFODZJONZXBSEw)F
looked back at me, the muscles in his neck corded and tight. You
UIJOL(PEJTOUNBEBUIFSGPSUIBU :PVUIJOLUIBULJOEPGTJOEPFTOU
leave something behind?
4IBXOFEHFEDMPTFSUPUIFTUSFBNPGSFQUJMFT.ZMVOHTGFMUTNBMM
and shallow and I couldnt take a normal-sized breath.
He pointed at the snakes and spoke quietly. Its all here.
Why do you care what Mrs. Beasley did or does? What does it
matter, Shawn? My voice cracked and I had to stop and swallow.
People make mistakes.
Shawn edged closer to the peak.
Besides, you dont know thats what happened. No one knows
XIBUPUIFSQFPQMFHPUISPVHI"OEOPOFPGUIJTFYQMBJOTXIBUUIF
hell youre doing here anyway. I mean, why are you even here?


His bottom lip stuck out. He suddenly looked like a little boy
about to cry. Id been trying to avoid shining my flashlight directly in
IJTGBDF CVU*IBEUPTFFIJNDMFBSMZ5FBSTMJOFEIJTFZFTBOETIPOF
in the beam.
i#FDBVTFw)FOPEEFEIJTIFBEUPXBSEUIFTOBLFTi$BVTFTPNFPG
UIPTFBSFNJOF"MPUPGUIFNw)JTDIFTUSPTFBOETBOLi$BVTFTPNF
PGUIPTFBSFGPSUIFUJNFT*TUPMFCFFSGSPNUIFUSVDLTUPQw*HMBODFE
EPXOBUUIFFNQUZ DSVTIFE$PPSTDBOTOFBSNZGFFUiFSFTBMPU
PGFNGPSBMMUIFCBEUIJOHT*WFTBJEBCPVUZPV .S3JDIBSETw5FBST
ESPQQFEPIJTDIFFLTOPXi*UPMEFWFSZPOFZPVBOEZPVSXJGFEJEOU
have kids because youre gay and you sleep in separate bedrooms.
F NFOUJPO PG OPU IBWJOH DIJMESFO TUBCCFE NF MJLF B OFFEMF
CFUXFFOUIFSJCT*XBOUFEUPGPSHFUBCPVUNZKPCBOESFTQPOTJCJMJties and punch Shawn Foster in the eye as hard as I could. Angry
BT*GFMU *EJEOUNPWF*VODMFODIFENZmTUTBOEDMPTFENZFZFTGPS
BNPNFOU*EJEOUIPMECBDLCFDBVTFPG NZ KPC PS CFDBVTF PG UIF
snakes. Something told me to hold back. Something said to let him
keep talking.
I held my brother Noah down and spit in his mouth until he swore
he wouldnt tell our mom Id set the fire in the shop. I threw out my
PMEFSTJTUFSTXFEEJOHDBLFUIFZXFSFTBWJOHGPSUIFJSBOOJWFSTBSZw)F
XJQFEIJTGBDFXJUIUIFCBDLPGIJTIBOETi*TIPU&E1PVMTPOTEPH
cause it kept fighting with our dog. I mean, I took my . and went
MPPLJOHGPSJUBUOJHIU*GPVOEJUJOBmFMEVQUIFTUSFFUGSPNNZIPVTF
*UXBTOUEPJOHBOZUIJOH BOE*LJMMFEJUFSFTQSPCBCMZBDPVQMFPG
TOBLFTGPSUIBUw
)FXBTRVJFUGPSBNPNFOUBOEEVHUIFUPFPGIJTTIPFJOUPUIF
CMBDLFBSUI)FMPPLFEVQBUNFGPSBTFDPOEBOEUIFO BTJGIBWJOH
TFDPOEUIPVHIUT MPPLFEEPXOBHBJO2VJFUMZ IFTBJE iFSFTQSPCBCMZBGFXTOBLFTGPS+PEJFw
*TUBSFEGPSBNPNFOU USZJOHUPVOEFSTUBOEXIBUIFETBJEFO
I realized Id only known one Jodie since Id been principal at Wood
Valley, and the last time I saw her, she sat in my office and delivered
her emphatic, silencing No.
8IBUNVTUJUIBWFCFFOMJLFGPS+PEJF&OHMJTIXIFOBIBOETPNF
CPZGSPNPOFPGUIFNPTUQSPNJOFOU XFMMSFTQFDUFEGBNJMJFTJOUIF


Brown: Cause

WBMMFZTUBSUFEUPTIPXIFSTPNFBUUFOUJPO .BZCFUIFZNFUBUBGPPUball game or a victory dance. Maybe even at church. Did she keep
IJT OBNF UP IFSTFMG PVU PG FNCBSSBTTNFOU  0S PVU PG GFBS UIBU IF
XPVMEOUMPWFIFSBHBJOJGTIFUPME
+PEJFBOEIFSGBNJMZIBENPWFEPWFSUIFTVNNFS"T*IFBSEJU POF
EBZUIFZXFSFKVTUHPOF.BZCF+PEJFTQBSFOUTmOBMMZHPUUIFGBUIFST
JEFOUJUZ PVU PG IFS .BZCF UIFZ EJEOU XBOU UP FNCBSSBTT 4IBXOT
GBNJMZ0SNBZCFUIFZDPVMEOUTUBOEUPCFJOUIFTBNFUPXOBTUIFN
Shawn looked at the ground, and his shoulders trembled. A string
PGTOPUBOETBMJWBESJQQFEGSPNIJTNPVUI
Suddenly, all over again, I heard Jodies flat, emphatic voice in my
PDFi /Pw$PMETIPUUISPVHINZDIFTU8IBUJGXIBUIBEIBQQFOFE
between Jodie and Shawn hadnt been consensual?
3JHIU JO GSPOU PG NF  4IBXO TFFNFE UP DPOUSBDU  BT UIPVHI UIF
QSFTTVSFPGIJTHVJMUDSVTIFEIJNGSPNUIFJOTJEFPVU
)BEBEJFSFOULJOEPGGFBSLFQU+PEJFRVJFU
You and Jodie English? I whispered.
)FOPEEFE*TIPVMEIBWFCFFOGVSJPVT)FECFFOBTFMmTI EFTUSVDUJWFMJUUMFQSJDLNBZCFIFECSPLFOBHJSMTIFBSUNBZCFXPSTFDFSUBJOMZIFEDIBOHFEUIFDPVSTFPGIFSMJGFGPSFWFS)FPXOFEVQUPJUUPP
late and only admitted it in a place and to a person who didnt count.
&WFOTP BUUIBUNPNFOU *POMZGFMUTPSSPXGPS+PEJFBOEGPSIJN
I heard my own words. No one knows what other people go through.
*QVUPVUNZIBOEi-FUTHFUPVUPGIFSFw
)F MPPLFE VQ BHBJO  IJT GBDF TMBDL  UFBST ESJQQJOH P IJT DIJO
Without a word he backed up three steps until he was side by side
XJUIUIFQFBL XJUIJOBOBSNTMFOHUIPGUIFFSVQUJPOPGTOBLFT)F
XBUDIFEUIFNTMJEFBOEnPQBOEUVNCMFGPSBNPNFOU IJTGBDFQBTTJWFFO TPRVJDL*BMNPTUEJEOUTFFIJNEPJU IFQMVDLFEBTOBLF
GSPNUIFMJQPGUIFPQFOJOH*UXSJUIFEBOEDPJMFEBSPVOEIJTIBOEBT
he held it out toward me.
Hey! What are you doing? I yelled.
iJTPOFTNJOF wIFTBJE
"OHSZBOEGSJHIUFOFE UIFTOBLFDVSMFEBSPVOEBOETBOLJUTGBOHT
JOUPUIFNFBUPGIJTIBOECFMPXIJTMJUUMFmOHFS4IBXODMFODIFEIJT


UFFUICVUEJEOUNBLFBTPVOE"HPCPGCMPPEBQQFBSFEOFBSIJTXSJTU
and sparkled in the flashlight beam.
I started toward him. Shawn, stop it! In that moment, the course
PGUIFTOBLFTTVEEFOMZDIBOHFEFZQPVSFEEPXOFWFSZTJEFPGUIF
QFBL IVOESFETPGUIFNHVTIJOHVQ TQSFBEJOHPVU TVSSPVOEJOHUIF
WPMDBOP BOE UIF CPZ FZ DPWFSFE UIF HSPVOE MJLF XSJUIJOH  TDBMZ
HSBTTFZCMBOLFUFEFWFSZUIJOHCFUXFFONFBOEUIFXBUFSBOEUFO
GFFUJOFWFSZEJSFDUJPO/FBSNZGFFU UIFZDPJMFEVQBOEXBUDIFENF
I kicked at them, but they only stiffened and prepared to strike.
He reached back and grabbed two snakes in his other hand. Like
HSPUFTRVFKFXFMSZ UIFZXSBQQFEBSPVOEIJTXSJTUTFZCPUICJUJOUP
IJTGPSFBSNBOEEJEOUMFUHPiFTFBSFNJOF w4IBXOTBJEJOBTIBLZ
voice.
*TBXIJTDIFTUTIVEEFSBOEIFBSEIJTCSFBUIJOHGSBZXJUIGFBS8JUI
NZSJHIUMFH *NBEFBTDPPQJOHLJDLBMPOHUIFHSPVOEJOGSPOUPGNF 
clearing snakes so I could get closer to Shawn and yank the reptiles
PPGIJN#VU*EJEOUHFUGBS+VTUBTNZGPPUMBVODIFETFWFSBMCMBDL
and green snakes end over end into the air, tumbling like heavy cables,
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UPPOFLOFF MPPLFECBDL BOETBXBTOBLFXJUIJUTGBOHTTVOLJOUP
UIFMPXFSQBSUPGNZDBMGNVTDMF.ZMFHCVSOFEBOENZGPPUGFMUDPME
BOEOVNC MJLFBEFBEUIJOHTFXOUPNZBOLMF*HSBCCFEUIFGSBOUJD 
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pain welled up in my eyes, and I cursed and yelled. Snake still in hand,
*MPPLFEGPS4IBXO
)FOPXIBETJYPSTFWFOTOBLFTXSBQQFEBSPVOEIJTBSNTBOEGPVS
or five more coiled around his ankles and calves. Shawn looked at
FBDIPOFBTUIPVHIJUXFSFBGSJFOEJOUIFHSBWF BOEIJTDIFTUIFBWFE
)FNPWFECBDLXBSEBOETUPPECFTJEFUIFQFBL)FTUVEJFEJUGPSB
moment and then, without looking at me, slowly pushed his hands
into the opening at the top and sank his arms up to his elbows. He
TDSFBNFEBTTOBLFBGUFSTOBLFDJSDMFEVQ BDSPTTIJTTIPVMEFST BSPVOE
IJTOFDL BSPVOEIJTXBJTU PWFSIJTGBDF
* SFBDIFE EPXO BOE XSBQQFE NZ IBOE BSPVOE UIF CBTF PG UIF
CMBDL XFEHFTIBQFEIFBEBUUBDIFEUPUIFCBDLPGNZMFHBOEQVMMFE


Brown: Cause

*TDSFBNFEBT*GFMUUIFIPPLFE OFFEMFTIBSQUFFUIESBHUISPVHIUIF
NFBUPGNZDBMGNVTDMFFGBOHTUPSFUISPVHIUIFMBTUMBZFSTPGTLJO
BOENBEFBXFULJTTJOHTPVOE)BMGDSB[ZXJUIQBJOBOEGFBS *UISFX
the snake as hard as I could, and it landed somewhere in the tall grass
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and seeped into my shoe. I stood up as best I could, leaning almost
FOUJSFMZPONZSJHIUMFH.ZDBMGGFMUDPME BOEQBJOTUBCCFEVQJOUPNZ
hip and side. I looked up and saw Shawn.
Snakes moved across the boy, wrapping him, smothering him.
8JUITJDLFOJOHTQFFE 4IBXOTGBDFBOEBSNTCFDBNFPCTDVSFE BOE
JOUIFQSFEBXOMJHIU IFTFFNFEUPUSBOTGPSNJOUPBCMBDLBOEHSFFO
TDBSFDSPX XSBQQFE JO FOEMFTT  DPOTUSJDUJOH DPSET PG TOBLFT )F
UISBTIFEIJTBSNT USZJOHUPGSFFIJNTFMG CVUIFDPVMEOUFWFOCFOE
his elbows. He staggered backward toward the water.
*KVNQFEUPXBSEIJN USZJOHUPMBOEPOBCBSFQBUDIBUUIFCBTFPG
the peak so I could grab him. But with only one good leg and a shoe
GVMM PG CMPPE  * USJQQFE F nBTIMJHIU nFX PVU PG NZ IBOE  BOE *
plowed like a lineman right into the peaks dark, wet mud. It dissolved
MJLFBQJMMBSPGTBMU)FBWZ XFUFBSUISBJOFEEPXOPONZTIPVMEFST
and head. Snakes writhed under my legs, and mud caked and stung
NZFZFT*TDSBNCMFEUPBDSPVDIJOHQPTJUJPOBOESBLFEUIFNVEGSPN
NZGBDF4PNFXIFSFUPNZSJHIU 4IBXOTUVNCMFEBSPVOECVU*TUJMM
couldnt see.
i4IBXO8IFSFBSFZPV w*IFBSEPOMZIJTIFBWZ EJTPSJFOUFEGPPUsteps and the snakes sliding through the papery grass. I unzipped
NZDPBUBOEXJQFENPSFNVEGSPNNZFZFTXJUINZTIJSU"UUIBU
NPNFOU XJUINZPOFDMFBOFZF *TBXUIFTOBLFXSBQQFETIBQFPG
4IBXO'PTUFSGBMMTJEFXBZTJOUPUIFXBUFS5XJOTQMBTIFTSPTFVQPO
FJUIFSTJEFPGIJTCPEZBOEUIFODPMMBQTFECBDLJOPOIJNFXBUFS
stilled. I heard nothing.
S P R F came to my house three days
later. He sat in the easy chair next to the couch and quietly watched
as Sarah finished wrapping gauze and pressure bandages around my
MFGUBOLMF


i)PXT4IBXO 1SFTJEFOU w4BSBIBTLFE4IFQVUUIFSPMMPGHBV[F


CBDL PO UIF FOE UBCMF  OPX B NJOJBUVSF NFEJDBM TVQQMZ TIFMG QJMFE
with bandages, antibiotic ointment, and pain pill bottles.
Hes fine, I think. A little scraped up. Tired. Well probably get to
CSJOHIJNIPNFMBUFSUIJTBGUFSOPPOw
iBUTHSFBU*CFUIFMMCFHMBEUPCFIPNFw
President Foster cocked his thick gray eyebrows, and his mouth
QVMMFEUPPOFTJEFBTUIPVHIIFGFMUTJNVMUBOFPVTMZTBEBOETVSQSJTFE
Yes, I think he will be. I do. He looked at me and smiled. And how
is this invalid?
i4UJMMJOWBMJE *NBGSBJE w*TBJE
i4UFWF *DBNFUPBTLJGUIFSFXBTBOZUIJOHFMTFZPVDPVMEUFMMNF
BCPVUUIFPUIFSOJHIUw)FTBUGPSXBSE IJTIBOETGPMEFEJOGSPOUPG
him, and I was struck by how expectant he looked, like a kid in my
PDFQSBZJOH*XBTOUHPJOHUPDBMMIJTGPMLT
President, all I can tell you is what Ive told you. I know it doesnt
NBLFBOZTFOTF BOE*NTPSSZBCPVUUIBUFMBTUGFXEBZTIBWFOU
made much sense to anyone, I dont think.
)FDPOTJEFSFEUIJTGPSBNPNFOUBOEMFUPVUBOBXLXBSEMBVHI
i:LOPX JGTJOTXFSFTOBLFT JGUIBUTUIFXBZUIF-PSEXPSLFE -BT
Vegas would have been overrun years ago . . . Pocatello or even Salt
Lake . . . He stopped and looked at the floor.
*FBTFENZMFHTPUIFDPVDIBOEHJOHFSMZBEKVTUFEUIFNJOGSPOU
PG NFi* EPOU LOPX  1SFTJEFOU * XJTI UIFSF XBT NPSF UP TBZ PS
something I could explain. I gave a weak shrug. But Shawns alive.
*MPPLFEUIFCPZTGBUIFSJOUIFFZFBOETBJEJUBHBJOi)FTBMJWF*N
alive, and the snakes are gone. I dont know anything else.
*DPVMEUFMMIFXBOUFENPSF CVUIFKVTUOPEEFEBOEUPPLBUISFBECBSFIBOELFSDIJFGGSPNIJTCSFBTUQPDLFUi8FMM *EPOUXBOUUPUJSF
ZPVPVUBOLZPVBHBJOGPSBMMZPVSIFMQ 4UFWFw)FTUBSFEBUUIF
white cloth in his hand and made no move to get up.
/PPOFTQPLFGPSBNPNFOUCVUUIFO4BSBITBJE i1SFTJEFOU EJE
Shawn say where he was when everyone was out looking?
i4IBXO IBTOU TBJE NVDI TJODF UIFZ GPVOE IJNw )F BCTFOUNJOEFEMZSVCCFEUIFUIJOGBCSJDCFUXFFOIJTUIVNCBOEGPSFmOHFSi )FEJE


Brown: Cause

TBZPOFUIJOHFmSTUUIJOHIFBTLFEXBTXIFUIFSPSOPUZPVXFSF
okay, Steve.
iBUTWFSZDPOTJEFSBUF w*TBJE
It is, he agreed, as though it was exactly the word hed been searchJOHGPSi /PUMJLFIJNSFBMMZ:PVLOPXUIBU)PXNBOZUJNFTIBWFXF
met in your office over him?
A lot.
Mm.
He hasnt said anything else? Sarah asked.
1SFTJEFOU'PTUFSUVDLFEUIFIBOELFSDIJFGCBDLJOIJTQPDLFUBOE
stood up. He said hes sorry. He walked to the door and put his hand
on the knob.
Sarah and I nodded. I wasnt sure what to say.
FPMEFSNBOTUBSFEBUUIFnPPSBHBJOBOETNJSLFEi*HVFTTXFSF
all sorry one way or another, eh?
I wondered what he was thinking. I hadnt said anything to anyone
about unpaid taxes or chasing a husband away, the dog, the cake, or
Jodie English.
5XPOJHIUTCFGPSF %FQVUZ3PZMBODFIBEIFBSENFTDSFBNBOESBO
EPXOUPUIF$PWF)FGPVOENFXBJTUEFFQJOUIFDSFFLBOEDBLFEJO
CMBDLNVE TQMBTIJOHBSPVOEMJLFBMVOBUJD)FTBXBIVNQFEQJMFPG
dirt where the peak used to be. Not a snake in sight. I shouted what
IBEIBQQFOFE BOEXJUIJOUIJSUZNJOVUFT mGUZNFOBOEXPNFOGSPN
the church and the police department arrived to search downstream
GPS4IBXO3BOEZQVMMFENFGSPNUIFXBUFSBOEUPPLNZTUBUFNFOU
while an bandaged my legs. Id been bitten more than a dozen
UJNFTBT*TDSBNCMFEPWFSUIFDBSQFUPGTOBLFTUPXBSEUIFXBUFS IPQJOHUPSFTDVF4IBXO*UPMEUIFTIFSJFWFSZUIJOHCVUUIFTQFDJmDTPG
what Shawn said about the snakes and sin.
Yes, I guess we are all sorry, I said.
1SFTJEFOU'PTUFSUIBOLFEVTGPSMFUUJOHIJNESPQCZBOEUIFOXBMLFE
PVUJOUPUIFCSJHIUBGUFSOPPOTVOTIJOF4BSBIMPPLFEBUNF IFSFZFbrows arched, and seemed to understand that I knew more than I told.
*UIJOLTIFmHVSFEJGTIFHBWFNFUIFDIBODF *EUFMMIFSTPPOFSPSMBUFS
4IFMFGUNFUPSFTUPOUIFDPVDIXIJMFTIFNBEFBMBUFMVODI


* * *
T TMFFQ *GFMUJDZDSFFLXBUFSQVTIJOHBHBJOTUNZ
MFHTBHBJO IFBSEUIFTOBLFTTMJEFUISPVHIESZHSBTTMJLFCMBEFTPVUPG
TIFBUIT.ZDBMGUISPCCFEBOEPP[FE*USJQQFE DSBTIFEUISPVHIUIF
water. My back rubbed up against rocks and bank mud. Where was
4IBXO )FEKVTUHPOFJO*ZFMMFEIJTOBNF EBTIFEBUUIFCMBDLXBUFS
with my hands.
FOUIFTOBLFT0VUPGUIFDPSOFSPGNZFZF"MMPGUIFN
Hundreds massed on the bankobsidian eyes blank, notched scales
GSBNJOHUIFJSNPVUIT.ZIFBSUQPVOEFEMJLFBOBOHSZNBOBUUIFEPPS
8FSFUIFZDPNJOHGPSNF 8PVMEUIFZTXBMMPXNFVQMJLF4IBXO
4VEEFOMZ UIFTOBLFTQMVOHFEJOUPUIFXBUFSBGUFSNF-JLFSFQUJMF
Busby Berkeley swimmers, like they were being cut down by invisible
CVMMFUT BTJGTPNFPOFnJQQFEBTXJUDIBOEUIFQPXFSXFOUPVUFZ
EPWF F DSFFL TVSGBDF CSFBLJOH  UVSOJOH XIJUF  UIFO CMBDL BHBJO
Splashing like static and haze.
I clambered up the opposite bank, panting. Snakes slid over one
BOPUIFSFZXFSFDPNJOHUPmOJTIUIFKPCUIFZETUBSUFEXJUIUIF
HPVHFXJUINZMFH*XBJUFEGPSUIFXFEHFTIBQFEIFBETUPDVUUISPVHI
HSBTTBUNZGFFU*SFBDIFEBSPVOEGPSBSPDLPSTUJDL
But then no snakes appeared. Nothing. Into the water they slid,
UIFOOPUIJOHFUBMMHSBTTTUPPETUJMM*IFBWFENZTFMGVQ-FHUISPCbing like a bass line. Leaned over, tried to see down into the darkOFTT/PUIJOHCVUTXBZJOHXBUFSDSFTT TIBHHZDMVNQTPGNPTT4OBLFT
QMVOHFEJOUPUIFXBUFSBOEEJTBQQFBSFEFPQQPTJUFCBOLTBUFNQUZ
A breeze blew.
*TMJECBDLJOUIFXBUFSBOEXBEFE$BMMFE4IBXOTOBNF*XBMLFEGPS
miles and miles, yelling, my voice raw and wheezing. In my dream, Ed
Roylance never heard me scream, other searchers never came, and the sun
EJEOUSJTFFTLZTUBZFEQBMFJOUIFFBTU BOETUBSTLFQUMPPLJOHEPXOJO
the west. Cold creek water closed around my thighs as I woke up.
S side next to me, the blanket covering the curvJOH TMPQF PG IFS IJQ F SFE  HMPXJOH OVNCFST PG NZ OJHIUTUBOE
DMPDLSFBE4XFBUTBUJONZIBJSMJOF BOENZIFBSUUIVNQFEIBSE


Brown: Cause

FOPVHIUIBU*TBXUIFMFGUTJEFPGNZDIFTUCFBUBMPOHXJUIJUDont
want to relive that too many more times, I thought.
*MJGUFENZMFHTTMJHIUMZVOEFSUIFDPWFSTBOEGFMUUIFCBOEBHFTBOE
gauze. My muscles seemed like theyd been pounded with a meat tenderizer, but the doctor had said there wouldnt be any lasting effects. He saw
NFJOIJTPDFBOEOPUUIFNPSHVF TP*mHVSFEIFXBTSJHIUUIFTOBLFT
didnt pack any real venom. I lowered my legs and rolled onto my side.
Sarah chuckled in her sleep, the way she does sometimes, like shes
FOKPZJOH TPNFUIJOH DMFWFS BOE QSJWBUF  BOE * TVEEFOMZ GFMU HSBUFGVM
'PSIFSBOEGPSUIFMJUUMFMBVHIUIBUPOMZ*HPUUPIFBS'PSUIFGBDUUIBU
*EPOMZCFFOESFBNJOH'PSUIFCBOEBHFTUIBUNBEFNZMFHTGFFMQSPUFDUFEBOETFDVSFVOEFSUIFTIFFUT'PS4IBXO'PTUFSTMFFQJOHTBGFMZ
JOIJTQBSFOUTIPVTFPOMZBGFXNJMFTBXBZ TDSBQFEVQCVUBMJWF
For a moment, the things he told me that night crowded in, hangJOHPWFSNZIFBEMJLFDJSDMJOHCMBDLCBUT*GFMUBQBOHPGTBEOFTTGPS
+PEJF&OHMJTIBOEXPOEFSFEXIFSFTIFMJWFEOPXBOEJGTIFEIBEIFS
CBCZ*TBXUIFNBUIUFBDIFS "OO#FBTMFZT GBDF UIFXBZTIFBMXBZT
MPPLFEEPXOBOEBXBZXIFOTIFTNJMFE8BTXIBU*IBEUBLFOGPS
TIZOFTT BMM UIFTF ZFBST BDUVBMMZ B TFDSFU TBEOFTT  F SFTVMU PG OPU
FOPVHIMPWFGPSUIFSJHIUQFSTPOBOEUPPNVDIGPSUIFXSPOHPOF 
I shut my eyes hard and sighed.
*JNBHJOFE3VMPO'PTUFSTUBOEJOHJOUIFEPPSXBZPG4IBXOTCFESPPN  XBUDIJOH IJT TPO TMFFQ  ZFMMPX MJHIU GSPN UIF IBMMXBZ GBMMJOH
across the bed. Even in my imagination, I couldnt peer into the stake
presidents heart and know what was inside. Maybe he decided that,
JOSFUVSOGPS4IBXOTTBGFUZ IFXPVMETUBSUQBZJOHIJTUBYFT.BZCFIF
UIPVHIUIJTTPOUVSOJOHVQVOIBSNFEEFNPOTUSBUFEIJTGBNJMZTSJHIteousness. I couldnt know, and I decided then that it didnt matter to
me. I had my own wounds to worry about, and I figured I wouldnt
USPVCMFNZTFMGPWFSBOZPOFFMTFTVOMFTT*DPVMEIFMQTPNFIPX
5VSOJOHCBDLPWFS *DVSWFENZCPEZUPNFFU4BSBITTMFFQJOHGPSN
I nestled in behind her and rested my hand on her belly. Her skin
SBEJBUFE IFBU * LJTTFE UIF NFFUJOH QMBDF PG IFS OFDL BOE TIPVMEFS 
then I closed my eyes. I didnt dream again.



Going Mainstream:
Chaim Potok as a Model for Mormon Literature
E K. M. B

I UPTPNFGPSUIFOBNFPG$IBJN1PUPLUPTIPX
VQTPPGUFOJOEJTDVTTJPOTPG.PSNPOMJUFSBUVSF"GUFSBMM 1PUPLIJNTFMGIBTOPDPOOFDUJPOUP.PSNPOJTNSBUIFS BCPVUIJT+FXJTIIFSJUBHF IFTBJE i *UJTXPWFOJOUPUIFmCFSTPGNZCFJOHw 8BMEFO
:FU
his novels about a very small and very Jewish world have been widely
QPQVMBSXJUIOPO+FXJTISFBEFSTFZPGUFOBQQFBSPOTDIPPMSFBEJOHMJTUT BOEBSFUBVHIUGSPNKVOJPSIJHIUISPVHIDPMMFHF
When I enrolled in a creative writing class at  POF PG UIF
required texts was Potoks third novel, My Name Is Asher Lev.0VS
UFBDIFS FYQMBJOFE XF XFSF BTTJHOFE UIF CPPL GPS UXP SFBTPOT mSTU 
GPSUIFTUPSZPGBOBSUJTUTUSVHHMJOHCPUIUPSFTQFDUUSBEJUJPOBOEUP
FYQMPSFDSFBUJWFQPTTJCJMJUJFTTFDPOE GPSUIFBSUJGBDUPGUIFOPWFMJUTFMG 
a novel that by typical standards shouldnt have been a bestseller but
XBT*OPUIFSXPSET GPSNZJOTUSVDUPSBOENBOZPUIFS.PSNPOT My
Name Is Asher Lev, along with Potoks other novels, represents the
QPTTJCJMJUZ PG XSJUJOH B VOJWFSTBMMZ TJHOJmDBOU BOE QPQVMBS
 OPWFM
about a small religious communityparticularly about ours. In Potok,
Mormon writers see a way to help the world understand the Mormon
FYQFSJFODFBOETZOUIFTJ[FUIFFWFSZEBZJNQBDUPGPVSFYQFSJFODFBT
Latter-day Saints. David Hansen, writing the -JTU SFWJFX PG
Potoks Old Men at Midnight, expresses this opinion:
&BDIPGUIFTFTUPSJFTUFMMTXIBUJUNFBOTUPCFB+FXJOBXBZUIBUDBO
universally communicate to the reader. . . . I think Mormon literature
can succeed in a similar vein . . . when Mormon lit tells stories about
IPXQFSTPOBMCFMJFGTBFDUFEXIP<UIFDIBSBDUFST>XFSFBOEXIBUUIFZ
EJEGPSUIFJSCFMJFGTJOFWFSZEBZMJGF


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

Hansens thought is shared by many who look to Potoks national


success as a sign that those deeply committed to their religion can
DPNNVOJDBUFUIFJSDVMUVSFQPXFSGVMMZXJUIPUIFSTUISPVHImDUJPO
But this positive perspective is not universally shared. David G.
1BDF  EJTDVTTJOH IJT PXO ESJGU GSPN PSUIPEPYZ  XPOEFST IPX .PSmons can embrace novels like The Chosen, in which the protagonists,
BDDPSEJOHUP1BDF FWFOUVBMMZCSFBLiGSPNUIFJSSFMJHJPOBOEUSBEJUJPO
JOPSEFSUPQVSTVFBQPXFSGVMJOOFSJEFOUJUZw
)FDPODMVEFTUIBU
Mormons can appreciate such novels only through compartmentalJ[BUJPO KVTUJmFEJOUIFJSNJOETCZUIFDPSSFDUOFTTPGiUIF(PTQFMXJUI
a capital, Mormon Gw 1BDF
1BDFTRVFTUJPOJOHCSJOHTVQBWBMJE
QPJOUBGUFSBMM 1PUPLIJNTFMGMFGUUIFGBJUIPGIJTDIJMEIPPEJOPSEFS
UPQVSTVFBXSJUJOHDBSFFSIBSEMZBSPMFNPEFMGPSSFMJHJPVTmEFMJUZ
And how many SFBEFSTIBWFDPOOFDUFEUIFTUPSZPG"TIFS-FWT
GPSDFEBSUJTUJDFYJMFUPTJNJMBSMZPVUDBTU.PSNPOBSUJTUT TVDIBT/FJM
Labute or Brian Evansen? Yet it is impossible to ignore the imporUBODFPGTJODFSF+FXJTICFMJFG CPUIJO1PUPLTXSJUJOHBOEIJTMJGF BT
well as the impact he has had on the conversation about Mormon
literature.
4PXIBUBSFXFUPNBLFPGUIJT+FXJTIXSJUFS $IBJN1PUPL BOE
IJT QPQVMBSJUZ BNPOH UIF -BUUFSEBZ 4BJOUT  8IBU BTQFDUT PG IJT
XSJUJOHBUUSBDUTVDIBGPMMPXJOHPG.PSNPOTUPIJTXPSL JOTQJUFPG
UIFPGUFOSFMJHJPVTMZDIBMMFOHJOHTJUVBUJPOTIJTQSPUBHPOJTUTGBDF "OE
most importantly, what can Mormon writers learn by modeling their
QSPTFBGUFSUIJTEFWPVU+FX

I R
F C
T attracts the Mormon eye to Potok is his
TNPPUI JODPSQPSBUJPO PG B SFMJHJPVT DPNNVOJUZT QFDVMJBS MBOHVBHF
BOEFYQFSJFODFJOUPNBJOTUSFBNXPSL.PTUPG1PUPLTOPWFMTSFWPMWF
around the Hasidic Jewish community, an isolated group whose reliHJPVT CFMJFGT FOHVMG UIF QBUUFSO PG UIFJS FWFSZEBZ MJGF "T XJUI BOZ
UJHIUMZLOJUHSPVQ UIJTDPNNVOJUZIBTEFWFMPQFEBUFSNJOPMPHZGPS


EJTDVTTJOH NBUUFST VOJNQPSUBOU UP UIF PVUTJEF XPSME JUT NFNCFST


GBDFDPOnJDUTVOJRVFUPUIFJSDVMUVSBMFYQFSJFODF.BLJOHUIBUFYQFSJence accessible to outsiders implies showing a reader what it means
UPCFQBSUPGUIBU+FXJTIDPNNVOJUZ.PSNPOXSJUFSTGBDFBTJNJMBS
EJMFNNBJOUSZJOHUPXSJUFBCPVUUIFJSXPSMEGPSBNBJOTUSFBNBVEJFODF1IZMMJT#BSCFS JOIFSBSUJDMFiF.PSNPO8PNBOBT8SJUFS w
briefly touches on this difficulty:
i4UBLF DFOUFS  CJTIPQ  3FMJFG 4PDJFUZ  UFTUJNPOZ  UFNQMF HBSNFOUT 
NJTTJPOBSZ TBDSBNFOUNFFUJOHwGPSFJHOXPSET"DIBSBDUFSTTUSVHHMF
between obedience to  QSJODJQMFT BOE PCFEJFODF UP TFMG  PS UIF
TUSVHHMFXJUIFNPUJPOTPGGFBSBOHFSCFDBVTFPGBCJTIPQTJOUFSWJFX
UIFTFBSFUFNQFTUTJOBUFBQPUUPUIFPVUTJEFPCTFSWFS

As Barber points out, the problem is not simply a linguistic matter


PGEFmOJOHOFXUFSNJOPMPHZ CVUPGCSJEHJOHUIFHBQPGTJHOJmDBUJPO
between cultures. An outside reader must be made to understand the
NFBOJOHPGBMJFOPSTFFNJOHMZUSJWJBMFWFOUTXJUIJOUIFDPOUFYUPGB
distinctive community, in this case a religious one.
*OXSJUJOHBCPVUBVOJRVFDPNNVOJUZ BXSJUFSDBOUBLFPOFPGUXP
paths: either avoid the problem by writing only to readers already
GBNJMJBSXJUIUIFGBCSJDPGUIFDPNNVOJUZ GPSUIFNPTUQBSU DPNNVOJUZNFNCFSTUIFNTFMWFT
PSJODMVEFMPOHQBTTBHFTPGFYQPTJUJPOUP
locate the outsider in the world and describe its idiosyncratic tensions.
FmSTUPQUJPOHSFBUMZMJNJUTUIFXSJUFSTBVEJFODFBGBDUMBNFOUFE
CZNBOZXPVMECFXSJUFSTPGUIF.PSNPOFYQFSJFODFBOEUIFTFDond risks overwhelming the story with cultural education. Although
at least one critic saw The Chosen BT EJEBDUJDiB QBJOMFTT XBZ <GPS
SFBEFST>UPJNCJCFUIFQBQPGLOPXMFEHFwBCPVU)BTJEJD+VEBJTNCVU
MJUUMFFMTF 'JFME
UIFNBKPSJUZPGSFBEFSTmOEUIBU1PUPLTEFQJDUJPO
PGUIF)BTJEJDDPNNVOJUZIJUTBCBMBODFCFUXFFOUIFUXPFYUSFNFT 
arriving at an implicit cultural understanding which is comprehensible and invisible. Critics indicate that they have been captured by
the haunting Hasidic melodies created by his prose and shall not
RVJDLMZ GPSHFU UIF TUSBOHF )BTJEJD DPNNVOJUZQBJOUFE XJUI TP
much impressionistic skill, indicating that Potok probably does an


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

FFDUJWFKPCPGQPSUSBZJOHUIFDPNNVOJUZUPPVUTJEFST 'JFME
)JT
BCJMJUZUPQBJOUBTFBNMFTTQPSUSBJUPGUIJTDPNNVOJUZJTJOQBSUXIBU
NBEFIJTOPWFMTDPOTJTUFOUMZSJTFUPUIFUPQPGUIFCFTUTFMMFSMJTUT
But what techniques does Potok use to bridge the communication
gap? And how might those techniques aid Mormon authors? Potoks
NFUIPET PG DPNNVOJUZ CVJMEJOH NJHIU CF DPNQBSFE NPTU QSPmUBCMZ UP UIF XSJUJOH UFDIOJRVFT PG NPEFSO TDJFODF mDUJPO"MUIPVHI
OPUDPOTDJPVTMZQBUUFSOFEBGUFSUIFHFOSF IJTNFUIPETUSBDFUIFTBNF
patterns in introducing a reader to a completely alien community. In
1PUPLT DBTF  UIF TUSBOHFOFTT JT UIF SFTVMU PG DVMUVSBM JTPMBUJPO  OPU
FYUSBUFSSFTUSJBMT CVUUIFJOUSPEVDUJPOPGGPSFJHOOFTTJTBDDPNQMJTIFE
in much the same way.
3BUIFSUIBOJODMVEFBMFOHUIZQSPMPHVFFYQMBJOJOHUIFOBUVSFPG
the community, Potok depends on a narrator who is a child or adoMFTDFOU PGUFOJOBOVOGBNJMJBSTJUVBUJPO#ZVTJOHBDIJME 1PUPLDSFBUFTBOBSSBUPSXIPJTBDPSFNFNCFSPGUIFDPNNVOJUZ CVUPOFTUJMM
MFBSOJOHTPNFPGJUTJOUSJDBDJFTFVOGBNJMJBSTJUVBUJPOBMMPXTUIJT
IBMGBXBSFOBSSBUPSUPSFWJFXIJTPSIFSLOPXMFEHFPGUIFDPNNVOJUZ 
UIVTJOGPSNJOHUIFSFBEFS'PSFYBNQMF The Chosen begins when the
QSPUBHPOJTU mGUFFOZFBSPME3FVWFO.BMUFS JTQSFQBSJOHGPSBCBTFCBMMHBNFXJUIUIFUFBNGSPNIJTZFTIJWB PS+FXJTITDIPPM3FVWFO
IBTQMBZFENBOZCBTFCBMMHBNFTCFGPSF CVUBUFBNNBUFXIJTQFSTUP
IJN UIBU UIF PQQPTJOH UFBN NFNCFST BSFiNVSEFSFSTwiFZ EPOU
POMZ QMBZ UP XJO FZ QMBZ MJLF JUT UIF mSTU PG UIF5FO $PNNBOEments (Potok, The Chosen
JTDPOWFSTBUJPOQVUTUIFOBSSBUPSPO
BMFSUUIBUUIJTHBNFXJMMCFEJFSFOU BMMPXJOHIJNUPGSFFMZEJTDVTTIJT
expectations. When the team enters the field dressed in traditional
)BTJEJD HBSC  3FVWFO OPUFT UIBU UIJT JT VOVTVBM JT QSPWJEFT BO
PQQPSUVOJUZ GPS 1PUPL UP JODMVEF B TIPSU EFTDSJQUJPO PG USBEJUJPOBM
)BTJEJDESFTTVOEFSUIFHVJTFPGFYQMBJOJOHIPXJUEJFSTGSPNXIBU
Reuven typically expects on the baseball field.
JTUZQFPGOBSSBUPSBMTPBMMPXT1PUPLUPJOUSPEVDFDVMUVSBMWPDBCV
MBSZUFSNTJOBHSBEVBMBOEOPUPWFSXIFMNJOHNBOOFSFUFSNTBSF
used without definition at first, allowing the characters to speak naturally in their cultural context. A definition can be inserted later when


UIFXPSEJTVTFEJOBTUSBOHFDPOUFYU GPSDJOHUIFQSPUBHPOJTUUPUIJOL
about the contrast with the usual meaning or use and simultaneously
HJWJOHUIFBVEJFODFUIFEFmOJUJPO8IFOUIFTUBSQMBZFSPGUIFSJWBM
baseball team reaches Reuvens base, he says, I told my team were
HPJOHUPLJMMZPVBQJLPSTJNUIJTBGUFSOPPOw 1PUPL The Chosen
#Z
3FVWFOTSFBDUJPO UIFSFBEFSDBOUFMMUIF:JEEJTIXPSEJTTPNFTPSUPG
epithet, but no definition is then given. However, several pages later,
when Reuven contemplates why Danny might call his team apikorsim,
we then find out the word means a Jew educated in Judaism who denied
CBTJDUFOFUTPGIJTGBJUI MJLFUIFFYJTUFODFPG(PEw 1PUPL The Chosen

3FVWFOmOETUIJTVTFPGUIFXPSETUSBOHF TJODFIFCFMJFWFTJO(PE
BOEUIF5PSBI CVUUIFOIFDMBSJmFTUIBUUIFVTFPGUIFUFSNJTBSFTVMU
PGUIFEJFSFODFTCFUXFFOUIFJSSFTQFDUJWFTFDUTi*XBTBOBQJLPSPTUP
Danny Saunders . . . because I did not have side curls and was attendJOHBQBSPDIJBMTDIPPMXIFSFUPPNBOZ&OHMJTITVCKFDUTXFSFPFSFEw
(Potok, The Chosen
#ZEFmOJOHUIFTFDUTJOUIJTNBOOFS 1PUPL
BWPJETIBWJOHUPHJWFBMPOHMJTUPGXIBUFBDIEPFTBOEEPFTOUCFMJFWF
UIFSFBEFSVOEFSTUBOETUIFOBUVSFPGUIFEJFSFODFCZJNQMJDBUJPO
FOBSSBUPSTZPVOHBHFIFMQTUPNBLFUIFTFEFMBZFEFYQMBOBUJPOT
MFTT GSVTUSBUJOH My Name Is Asher Lev begins when Asher is very
ZPVOHBTJHOJmDBOUBNPVOUPGUIFFBSMZBDUJPOUBLFTQMBDFXIFOIFJT
TJY#FDBVTFPG"TIFSTBHF UIFSFBEFSVOEFSTUBOETUIFQSPUBHPOJTUJT
UPPZPVOHUPDPNQSFIFOEUIBUIJTXBZPGMJGFJTVOVTVBM#FDBVTF"TIFS
MBDLTFYQFSJFODFXJUIBOZPUIFSUZQFPGXPSME IJTVTFPG+FXJTIUFSNT
without explanation seems natural: growing up in a reclusive Hasidic
TFDU IFXPVMEOUCFBXBSFPGQFPQMFXIPEJEOUVOEFSTUBOEUIFTFUFSNT
"DIJMEOBSSBUPSBMTPBMMPXTBOPUIFSFYDVTFGPSVOGBNJMJBSWPDBCVMBSZ
UIFSFBEFSFYQFDUTNVDIPGUIFBEVMUXPSMEUPQBTTPWFSTJYZFBSPME
Ashers head. Allowing the same to happen to the audience has the side
CFOFmUPGDSFBUJOHFNQBUIZGPSUIFZPVOHOBSSBUPS JOBEEJUJPOUPKVTUJGZJOHUIFHSBEVBMSFWFMBUJPOPGUIFDVMUVSF*OEFFE UIFSFBEFSTJODSFBTJOHVOEFSTUBOEJOHPGUIFDVMUVSFQBSBMMFMT"TIFSTPXOHSPXUI
FPOMZESBXCBDLUPUIJTNFUIPEJTUIFQPTTJCJMJUZPGNJTMFBEJOH
UIFSFBEFSCZTVEEFOMZQVMMJOHPVUiUIJSEBSNT wVOFYQFDUFEJOGPSNBUJPOUIBUVOEFSNJOFTUIFSFBEFSTBTTVNQUJPOTBCPVUUIFOBUVSFPGB


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

person. For example, had Potok delayed in explaining the traditional


+FXJTIVOEFSHBSNFOU XIPTFGSJOHFT)BTJEJD+FXTXFBSPVUTJEFUIFJS
DMPUIJOH
BMBUFSNFOUJPOPGiUIFGPVSGSJOHFTUIBU%BOOZIBEBMXBZT
XPSOwXPVMEGPSDFUIFSFBEFSUPSFCVJMEBDIBSBDUFSIBMGXBZUISPVHI
UIFOPWFM1PUPLBWPJETUIJTQSPCMFNCZBMXBZTEFTDSJCJOHTVSGBDFMFWFM
EFUBJM TVDIBTWJTVBMPSWFSCBMDVFT
JNNFEJBUFMZ FWFOJGUIFFYQMBOBUJPOPGUIFJSTJHOJmDBODFNVTUXBJUVOUJMMBUFSJTNFUIPEQSPWJEFT
UIFSFBEFSXJUIQMBDFIPMEFSTGPSNFBOJOH HJWJOHUIFNBIPMJTUJDTLFUDI
PGUIFDPNNVOJUZmSTU XIJDIDBOMBUFSCFmMMFEJO*OUIJTXBZ 1PUPLT
novels immerse the reader immediately in a culture, making it posTJCMFUPGPMMPXBTUPSZFWFOBNPOHTUUIFGPSFJHOXPSETBOEVOGBNJMJBS
FYQFSJFODFTUIBU#BSCFSGFBSFEXPVMEPWFSXIFMNTVDIBOBSSBUJWF

C--C C C
I Mormon stories similarly accessible, writers
have sometimes used a device similar to Potoks child-in-an-unusualTJUVBUJPOOBSSBUPS"QBSUJDVMBSMZTUSPOHFYBNQMFJTUIFMJUFSBUVSFPG
UIFi-PTU(FOFSBUJPOwQFSJPEGSPNUP XIJDIDPOUBJOTUIF
clearest attempts in Mormon literary history to write novels that
XFSFiQVCMJTIFEBOEQSBJTFEOBUJPOBMMZw &OHMBOE
FIBMMNBSL
PGB-PTU(FOFSBUJPOOPWFMJTBQSPUBHPOJTUXIPJTBSFMVDUBOUDPOWFSU
PSJOTPNFPUIFSXBZBMJNJOBMNFNCFSPGUIF$IVSDI'PSFYBNQMF 
Mercy Baker, the protagonist in Virginia Sorensons A Little Lower
than the Angels, is a skeptic whose husband has converted. She proWJEFTPVUTJEFSDPNNFOUBSZPOUIFGPSFJHOBTQFDUTPGMJGFJO/BVWPP
Similarly, Clory in Maurine Whipples The Giant Joshua provides a
GSFTIQFSTQFDUJWFPOUIF4BJOUTTFUUMJOH4U(FPSHF"MUIPVHI$MPSZ
JTBNFNCFSPGUIF$IVSDI IFSNFNCFSTIJQJTOPUOFBSMZBTIJHIB
QSJPSJUZJOIFSMJGFBTXPSMEMZGBTIJPO)FSEFTJSFGPSUIFPVUTJEFXPSME
IJHIMJHIUTUIFTUSBOHFOFTTPG.PSNPOMJGFBOEDBVTFTIFSUPFYQMBJOJU
to the reader, much like Potoks child narrators.
Although both these outsider narrators allow the writer to explain
UIFOBUVSFPGUIFDPNNVOJUZ UIFZBMTPDPNQMJDBUFUIFCPPLTBCJMJUZ
UPCFBTZNQBUIFUJDOBSSBUJWFPGBDPNNVOJUZ0CWJPVTMZ UIFMPZBMUZ


PGUIFTFDIBSBDUFSTJTOPUXJUIUIFDPNNVOJUZCPUIBSFIFTJUBOUUP
FNCSBDFUIFJS.PSNPOOFTTBTBEFmOJOHBTQFDUPGUIFJSMJWFT3BUIFS 
UIFZPDDVQZBMJNJOBMTQBDFCFUXFFOUIFGVMMZDPNNJUUFENFNCFST
PGUIFDPNNVOJUZBOEUIFPVUTJEFXPSME CSJEHJOHUIFHBQCFUXFFO
UIFUXPCVUBMTPSFNBJOJOHEJTUBOUGSPNFJUIFS"TBSFTVMU UIFTF-PTU
(FOFSBUJPOOPWFMTBSFOPURVJUFBCPVUUIFVOJRVFFYQFSJFODFPGUIF
.PSNPODPNNVOJUZ CVUBCPVUUIFRVFTUJPOPGXIFUIFSUPDPNNJU
to the community. Both A Little Lower than the Angels and The Giant
Joshua contain vivid passages describing the Mormon experience, particularly the camp meeting in The Giant Joshua where the Saints tell
FBDI PUIFS UIF TUPSZ PG UIF FBSMZ QFSTFDVUJPO PG UIF $IVSDI )PXFWFS JOUIFFOE UIFQFSTQFDUJWFPGFBDIOPWFMJTUIBUPGBOPVUTJEFS
FOUBOHMFEJOBGPSFJHODPNNVOJUZUIFSFTOPSFBMRVFTUJPOPGXIFUIFS
the protagonist will leave the community, only how long they will
FOEVSFCFGPSFUIFJSUJNFDPNFTUPMFBWFPTF MJLF%BWJE1BDF XIP
BSFDPODFSOFEBCPVUUIF.PSNPOMPWFPG1PUPLTXSJUJOHCFMJFWFUIBU
IJTOPWFMTDPOUBJOMBSHFMZUIFTBNFTPSUPGTUPSZUBMFTPGUIPTFXIP 
MJLF$MPSZBOE.FSDZ#BLFS CSFBLiGSPNUIFJSSFMJHJPOBOEUSBEJUJPO
JOPSEFSUPQVSTVFBQPXFSGVMJOOFSJEFOUJUZw 1BDF

However, many Potok readers believe that his work is different
GSPNUIJTMJNJOBMmDUJPO*OOVNFSPVTJOUFSWJFXT 1PUPLIBTEFmOFE
IJNTFMGJOPQQPTJUJPOUPUIFNBKPSJUZPG+FXJTImDUJPOXSJUFST BVUIPST
like Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, and Bernard Malamud, whose perspecUJWFTBSFTJNJMBSUPUIPTFGPVOEJO-PTU(FOFSBUJPOMJUFSBUVSF $IBWLJO
1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw8BMEFO
8IJMF+VEBJTN
mHVSFT QSPNJOFOUMZ BT TVCKFDU NBUUFS GPS UIFTF XSJUFST  UIFJS XSJUJOHGFBUVSFTNPTUMZiXBOEFSJOHBOEBTTJNJMBUFE+FXT wOPU+FXTGVMMZ
immersed in their community (Field ). Potok summarizes their writJOHBTEFBMJOHXJUIi+FXTXIPBSFBMPOHUIFQFSJQIFSZPGUIF+FXJTI
tradition, dont know much about it, and who may be peripheral
UP8FTUFSODJWJMJ[BUJPOwPSGVMMZBTTJNJMBUFEJOUPJU $IBWLJOo

FTFXSJUFSTWJHPSPVTMZPCKFDUFEUPCFJOHMBCFMFEBT+FXJTI"NFSJDBO
XSJUFSTCFDBVTFUIFZXBOUFEUPCFLOPXONFSFMZBTHSFBUXSJUFSTBTB
SFTVMU UIFZPGUFOEJTUBODFEUIFNTFMWFTGSPNUIFJS+FXJTICBDLHSPVOE
and avoided addressing stories peculiar to the Jewish experience.


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

$SJUJDTUFSNFEUIFNiNBSHJOBM+FXT BNCJWBMFOU+FXT TFMGDPOTDJPVT


+FXT UJNJE+FXT UPMJTUTPNFPGUIFNJMEFSFQJUIFUTw 'JFME
FJS
stories were about what Potok would term either periphery-core or
iQFSJQIFSZQFSJQIFSZDVMUVSFDPOGSPOUBUJPOTw $IBWLJO
#FDBVTF
the protagonist starts out as an outsider, the story is not primarily
about the community, but rather whether these individuals even
belong to any community.
#Z DPOUSBTU  1PUPL UFSNT IJT PXO XSJUJOHiDPSFUPDPSFw DPOGSPOtation. He pictures American civilization as a rubbing between the
dominant culturewestern secular humanismand numerous
TNBMMFSBOENPSFQFSTPOBMDVMUVSFT 1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT
8F5SBWFMw
6OMJLFUIFMJNJOBMQSPUBHPOJTUTPG3PUIBOEPUIFS+FXJTIXSJUFST 1PUPLTNBJODIBSBDUFSVTVBMMZiJTMPDBUFEBUUIFIFBSUPGIJT
PSIFSPXODVMUVSF LOPXTUIBUDVMUVSFUIPSPVHIMZ <BOE>DPOTUSVDUT
UIFXPSMEUISPVHIUIFWBMVFTZTUFNBOEGSBNFTPGSFGFSFODFPGUIBUDVMUVSFw $IBWLJO
"MNPTUBMXBZTUIJTDFOUSBMDVMUVSFJTB+FXJTIPOF
&BDIDIBSBDUFSUIFOiFODPVOUFSTDPSFFMFNFOUTGSPNBOPUIFSDVMUVSFw
Freudian psychology in The ChosenMJUFSBSZDSJUJDJTNJOThe Promise
western art in My Name Is Asher Lev $IBWLJO
FQSPUBHPOJTUT
then attempt to resolve the conflict between the two systems, to derive
their own answer to Potoks central question: What do you do with
BTZTUFNXIJDIZPVGFFMIBTDFSUBJOUSVUITCVUXIJDIBUUIFTBNFUJNF
DPOUBJOTDPNQPOFOUTUIBUBSFBOUBHPOJTUJDUPZPVSPXOTFOTFPGWBMVFT 
ZPVSTZTUFNPGJEFBT w 1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw

JTQBUUFSOPGDPOnJDUBOEUIFXBZ1PUPLSFTPMWFTJUEFSJWFTMBSHFMZ
GSPNIJTPXOFYQFSJFODFi*IBEBQSPCMFNXJUICFDPNJOHBXSJUFS
PG mDUJPO *U XBT B QSPCMFN PG IPX UP CSJOH UPHFUIFS BOUBHPOJTUJD
BOEDPOnJDUJOHQBTTJPOTNZMPWFGPSNZPXOUSBEJUJPOPOPOFIBOE 
BOENZMPWFGPSNPEFSOMJUFSBUVSFPOUIFPUIFS'SPNUIFIFBSUPG
NZPXOXPSME *MFBSOFEBCPVUUIFSJDIOFTTBUUIFIFBSUPGBOPUIFS
XPSMEw 1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMwo
*OIJTPXO
DPOnJDU 1PUPLNBEFUIFDIPJDFUPMFBWFUIF0SUIPEPY+FXJTIUSBEJtion. However, rather than becoming antagonistic, his devotion to his
Jewish core led him to convert to a sect more in line with his personal vision: the Conservative Jewish alternative was very close to my


XBZPGUIJOLJOH XJUIPVUUIFGVOEBNFOUBMJTUDPNNJUNFOUw 8BMEFO

0GDPVSTF CFDBVTFPGPVSJOTJTUFODFPOBTJOHVMBSVOJmFEiUSVF
DIVSDI w.PSNPOBVUIPSTEPOPUIBWFTVDIBMUFSOBUJWFNPEFTPGXPSTIJQXIFOBSUBOECFMJFGDPMMJEF POFNVTUCFEJTDBSEFE1FSIBQTUIF
BQQBSFOUOBSSPXOFTTPGCFJOHBOiBDUJWFw.PSNPOJTXIBUCSJOHTUIF
contradiction Pace noted. Potok admits, had there been no alternative
NPEFTPG+FXJTIQSBDUJDF IFQSPCBCMZXPVMEIBWFCFDPNFBMUPHFUIFS
TFDVMBS 8BMEFO
/FWFSUIFMFTT BTBSFTVMUPGIJTDPOnJDUXJUI+FXJTIUSBEJUJPO 1PUPLIBTHSFBUTZNQBUIZGPSUIPTFXIPGBDFiUXPVOJWFSTFTPGEJTDPVSTFUIBUUIFZMPWFQBTTJPOBUFMZBOEUIBUBSFBUUJNFT
JOBCTPMVUFDPOnJDUw 1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw

JTTZNQBUIZJTXIBUEJFSFOUJBUFT1PUPLTOPWFMTGSPNUIFMJNJOBMmDUJPOPG+FXJTIBVUIPSTMJLF1IJMJQ3PUIBOEFWFOGSPNUIFUZQF
PGXSJUJOHUIBUDIBSBDUFSJ[FT4PSFOTPOTA Little Lower than the Angels.
PVHIJOBMMUISFFUIFQSPUBHPOJTUNBLFTUIFEFDJTJPOUPMFBWFUIF
community, the emotional situation represented in Potoks writing is
EJFSFOU*O3PUITTUPSJFT UIFQSPUBHPOJTUJTOPUGVMMZBUUBDIFEUPUIF
community, so the decision to condemn it is much easier. In condemning the community, the protagonists lose nothing that they valued and
HBJOBOBJSPGTVQFSJPSJUZCFDBVTFPGUIFJSQFSDFQUJWFKVEHNFOUXIFSF
others had been tricked. In Potoks novels, the characters inner comNJUNFOUUPUIFDPNNVOJUZDIBOHFTUIFOBUVSFPGUIJTEFDJTJPOF
EFDJTJPOJTBMXBZTNBEFXJUINVDIJOOFSSFMVDUBODF BOEBTQJSJUPG
love rather than condemnation.
1FSIBQTUIFCFTUFYBNQMFPGUIJTFNPUJPOBMEJFSFODFDPNFTJOThe
Chosen%BOOZ4BVOEFSTJTIFJSUPIJTGBUIFSTQPTJUJPOBTUIFtzaddik,
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and would rather study psychology, even though his religion bans the
TUVEZPGNPEFSOUFYUT"TBSFTVMUPGUIJTDPOnJDU %BOOZCFHJOTBT
an angry character, willing to believe anything negative about his own
SFMJHJPOJOPSEFSUPKVTUJGZIJTEFDJTJPOUPSFCFM*OUIFOPWFM IPXFWFS 
Danny learns how to achieve a balance between secular knowledge
BOESFMJHJPVTDPNNJUNFOUPVHI%BOOZEPFTFOEVQSFMJORVJTIJOH
UIFGBNJMZUJUMFJOPSEFSUPBUUFOEDPMMFHF IFEPFTTPXJUIIJTGBUIFST
QFSNJTTJPO BMMPXJOHBTQJSJUPGSFDPODJMJBUJPOCFUXFFO%BOOZBOEUIF


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

TFDUIFIBTMFGU%BOOZTUPQTXFBSJOHIJTUSBEJUJPOBM)BTJEJDHBSCBOE
FBSMPDLTJOUIFTFRVFM CVUIJTCFMJFGJO+VEBJTNNPEFSBUFTIJTQSBDUJDFPGQTZDIPMPHZ8IBU%BOOZmOETJTOPUBSFKFDUJPOPGIJTSFMJHJPO 
CVU B NPEFSBUJPO PGiUXP VOJWFSTFTUIBU <IF> MPWF<T> QBTTJPOBUFMZw
1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw

" TJNJMBS USBOTGPSNBUJPO PDDVST GPS PUIFS 1PUPL QSPUBHPOJTUT *O
The Promise, Reuven compromises between traditional scriptural interpretation and literary historical analysis: In coming to terms with these
tools, Reuven decides to use them only on the Talmud. He will not
VTFUIFNPOUIF#JCMFw 1PUPL iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw

In My Name Is Asher Lev, Ashers Hasidic community is offended by
IJNBTiBSFMJHJPVT+FXQBJOU<JOH>BDSVDJmYJPOwFWFOBTBTZNCPMPGIJT
mothers suffering, and so Asher is asked to leave the community (Potok,
iF$VMUVSF)JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw
PVHI"TIFSBHSFFTUPMFBWF 
IFEPFTTPOPUPVUPGBOHFSPSSFKFDUJPOPGIJTUSBEJUJPO CVUNPTUMZUP
avoid hurting his parents any more. In this way, although Potoks charBDUFSTPGUFOEFQBSUGSPNUIFJSGBJUI UIFTFEFQBSUVSFTBSFNPSFDPNQMJDBUFEUIBOUIFPVUBOEPVUEFOVODJBUJPOTPGMJNJOBMOPWFMT
JTJTOPUUPTBZUIBU1PUPLTUZQFPGMJUFSBUVSFJTJOIFSFOUMZCFUUFS
UIBOUIFPUIFSGPSNTPGSFMJHJPVTMJUFSBUVSFFUXPUZQFTTFSWFTFQBSBUFQVSQPTFT BT1PUPLOPUFTi&BDIPOFPGUIFTF<UZQFTPGXSJUJOH>
JTBEJFSFOUTJUVBUJPO FBDIZJFMETEJFSFOUSFTQPOTFTw $IBWLJO

FTVDDFTTPG1PUPLTXPSLEPFTOPUJOBOZXBZNBLFJUUIFPOMZQBUI
GPSBSFMJHJPVTXSJUFS)PXFWFS TPNBOZ.PSNPOTIBWFCFFOESBXO
UP1PUPLTXPSLUIBUJUTFFNTUIJTUZQFPGXSJUJOHJTTPNFUIJOHUIBU
resonates with us. Potoks writings provide Mormon writers with an
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examine Mormonism while grounding their loyalty unquestionably in
JUTUFBDIJOHT POFUIBUUFMMTUIFTUPSZPGIPXUIFZSFDPODJMFUIFJSGBJUI
with supposed contradictions. I believe it is this aim that causes many
Mormon writers to admire Potoks work. He interests them because
he tells stories about people who remain loyal to their religion and
XIPEFBMXJUIDPOnJDUTJOBXBZUIBUQSFTFSWFTGBJUI1PUPLTXSJUJOH
has defied the critical commonplace that good boys, like good men
BOEHPPEXPNFO< >BSFMJLFMZUPTFFNQSFUUZEVMMJOmDUJPOw 'JFME



T G
J M L
B QSJNBSZJOUFSFTUTIPVMECFJGUIFTFTBNFUFDIniques could help Mormon literature go mainstream. Phyllis Barber,
GPSPOF RVFTUJPOTXIFUIFSUIFTFUFDIOJRVFTBSFSFBMMZUSBOTGFSBCMFUP
BSFMJHJPOBTOFXBT.PSNPOJTN"GUFSQPJOUJOHPVUUIFEJDVMUJFT
in making our paradigm relevant to a mainstream audience, Barber
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"OPCTFSWFSDBOTBZ i8IBUBCPVU$IBJN1PUPL<BOEPUIFS>+FXJTI
and Catholic writers? People are interested in them. As I understand
it, Judaism and Catholicism are much more universal, much more
ancient and puzzling to the public mind than is Mormonism, which
many consider a quaint, odd, right-wing cult, mainly known by its
PEEJUJFT JUTZFMMPXIFBEMJOFT

Barbers statement highlights the problem with assuming Potoks


UFDIOJRVFT DBO CF USBOTGFSSFE UP B .PSNPO TUPSZ  UIBU JT  UIF QVClic mindset into which stories are born, which gives Jewish literature distinct advantages over Mormon literature in its ability to go
mainstream.
'JSTU JT UIF QSPCMFN PG GBNJMJBSJUZ XJUI UIF SFMJHJPO "MUIPVHI
1PUPLTTUPSJFTBSFNBJOMZBCPVUBGVOEBNFOUBMJTUCSBODIOPUSFQSFTFOUBUJWFPGNBJOTUSFBN+VEBJTN UIFZBSFTUJMMSJHIUMZDPOOFDUFEXJUI
UIFMPOHFSUSBEJUJPOPG+VEBJTNJOUIFQVCMJDNJOEPVHIGPSFJHO
UPUIFSFBEFSTQSBDUJDF +FXJTIOFTTTUJMMIBTUIFGBNJMJBSJUZPGJUTIJHI
profile presence both in political history and practice. It seems like
something that readers ought to learn aboutone might pick up the
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Cisneross House on Mango StreetQSJNBSJMZUPHFUBHMJNQTFPG-BUJOP
DVMUVSFBOEPOMZTFDPOEBSJMZCFDBVTFPGJUTBSUGVMDPNJOHPGBHFTUPSZ
Judaisms massive presence in modern society raises interest in it as a
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DVSTPSZLOPXMFEHFBSFGBTDJOBUFECZUIFiBODJFOUBOEQV[[MJOHwOBUVSF
PGUIFSFMJHJPO #BSCFS
"UBMFPG+VEBJTNCSJOHTDPOOPUBUJPOTPG


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

IPMJOFTTBOETFDSFDZ PGTUSBOHFBODJFOUSJUVBMT BOEJOHFOFSBM BXBZ


PGMJGFCPUIDPOOFDUFEBOEEJTDPOOFDUFEGSPNPOFTPXO
0OUIFPUIFSIBOE UIFQVCMJDJNBHFPG.PSNPOJTN JGJUFYJTUTBU
BMM JTPGUFOOFHBUJWFUPNPEFSOTFOTJCJMJUJFT"SFBEFSXJUIOPLOPXMFEHFPG.PSNPOJTNNBZGFFMOPBUUSBDUJPOBUBMMUPBCPPLBCPVUJUT
QFPQMF(JWFOUIFWBTUBNPVOUPGQVCMJTIFENBUFSJBM BOPWFMBCPVU
a strange and obscure culture, one which a reader may be ignorantly
certain they will never encounter, may serve to place it below seemingly more relevant works in the readers priority. At the opposite
FOE SFBEFSTGBNJMJBSXJUI.PSNPOJTNNBZFYQFDUB.PSNPOOPWFM
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NBJOTUSFBNCPPLTBCPVU.PSNPOTIBWFCFFOKVTUUIBU.BSUIB#FDLT
Leaving the Saints TFSWFT BT UIF NBJO FYBNQMF  BMPOH XJUI TDPSFT PG
lesser known memoirs recently published by those who have escaped
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in mainstream genre fiction exist primarily as a convenient label on
generic cult behavior (Austin). And even the great Lost Generation
novelsThe Giant Joshua and A Little Lower than the Angelsshow
UIJTTBNFMFBOJOHUPXBSEBTFOTBUJPOBMJTUEFQJDUJPOPG.PSNPOJTN"
EFTJSFUPSFQMBDFUIJTUZQFPGMJUFSBUVSFXJUITPNFUIJOHNPSFQPTJUJWF 
modern, and community centered has driven Mormons to envision
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hit the national news with a mostly positive spin, are paving the
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stereotypes. However, their influence is limited in two ways. First,
these events have been countered by negative press the Church has
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series Big Love, and the SBJETJO5FYBT XIJDI JOTQJUFPGall the
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to polygamy.
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propelling Mormonism into the public eye seem small and temporary
compared with the events that propelled this centurys interest in
Jewish literature. In particular, Jewish scholars have noted that events
TVDIBTUIF)PMPDBVTUBOEUIFFTUBCMJTINFOUPG*TSBFMXFSFOPUPOMZ
UIFJNQFUVTGPSNVDI+FXJTIXSJUJOH CVUBMTPBESJWJOHGPSDFCFIJOE
that writings popularity. In his book on the Jewish presence in AmeriDBOMJUFSBUVSF -PVJT)BSBQOPUFT iFTFFWFOUTEJEBHSFBUEFBMUP
reduce the exoticism with which the Jew was regarded. Jews could
be treated in literature as individuals, rather than a stereotype, to a
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DPOUBDU XJUI +FXT  XIJDI DPOUSJCVUFE UP UIFJS EFNZTUJmDBUJPOw

$MFBSMZ  .PSNPO IJTUPSZ MBDLT BO FWFOU PG UIF TBNF PSEFS PG NBHnitude to attract public interest and dampen stereotypes. Although
the Holocaust is certainly an extreme example, other subcultures in
America have similar large-scale events backing their relevancy to the
modern reader.

C S
R E
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seem to think so: who would want to read a novel about a backwater
SFMJHJPVTUSBEJUJPOXJUIMFTTUIBOUXPIVOESFEZFBSTPGJUTPXOIJTtory? Yet one might also ask, as Jewish literary critic Sheldon Grebstein does:
What would seem an unlikelier best seller than . . . a novel about
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Chaim Potoks novel The Chosen . . . was a best seller indeed, even rising
to the exalted number one position on the New York TimesMJTU

As Grebstein notes in his article, predicting best sellers is a diffiDVMUCVTJOFTT CVUJUJTJSSFTJTUJCMFUPTFFJGUIFZDBOCFiFYQMBJOFEBGUFS




Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

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JTGBTDJOBUJOHCFDBVTFUIFTUPSJFTIFUFMMTBSFCPUIGPSFJHOBOEGBNJMiar. Although The ChosenEFBMTXJUIUIFTQFDJmDQSPCMFNTPGBCPZ
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one has been brought up with and those encountered in the world is
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culture highways crowded with ideas. And we continue to encounter
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$FSUBJOMZTJUVBUJOHUIFSFBEFSJOUPBOFXTPDJFUZ
presents some challenges to the writer, but as we see in Potok, this
barrier is not insurmountable.
"OPUIFSFWJEFODFPGUIJTJT1PUPLTPXOEJTDPWFSZPGUIJTNPEFPG
XSJUJOH"TBmGUFFOZFBSPME 1PUPLSFBE&WFMZO8BVHITOPWFMBrideshead Revisited,iBCPPLBCPVUBOVQQFSDMBTT #SJUJTI$BUIPMJDGBNJMZ 
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And you can imagine that I knew a great deal about upper class BritJTI$BUIPMJDTw 8BMEFO
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FYQSFTTJPO 8BMEFO

"GUFSIBWJOHBTJNJMBSFYQFSJFODFXJUI+BNFT+PZDFTPortrait of the
Artist as a Young Man, 1PUPL XBT DPNQFMMFE UP DSFBUF GPS UIF +FXJTIXPSMEXIBUUIFTFUXPOPWFMTIBEEPOFGPSUIF$BUIPMJDPOF)F
saw that these writers could get me to be interested in two different


Catholic worlds although there ought to have been no connection to


his own perspective.
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obedience to QSJODJQMFTBOEPCFEJFODFUPTFMG PSUIFTUSVHHMFXJUI
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UJNFBOEFOFSHZHFUUJOHJOUPUIBUXPSMEw $IBWLJO
"TOPWFMTMJLF
Waughs, Joyces, or Potoks immerse us in a world, they teach us to
think as that community, to understand the signs and symbols otherXJTFNFBOJOHMFTTUPVT8FBTSFBEFSTMFBSOUPQMBZCZUIFSVMFTPGUIF
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we first thought. Perhaps what draws Mormons to Potoks work is his
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XSJUFSTDBOIBWFOPCFUUFSNPEFMUIBOUIJT0SUIPEPY+FX

W C
"VTUJO .JDIBFMi .PSNPO4UFSFPUZQFTJO1PQVMBS'JDUJPOw
Sunstone Symposium4BMU-BLF$JUZ %FDhttp://www
.adherents.com/lit/austin_lds_poplit.html.
#BSCFS 1IZMMJTiF.PSNPO8PNBOBT8SJUFSwDialogue: A Journal
of Mormon Thought
o
Chavkin, Laura.A Interview: Chaim Potok. 

o
England, Eugene.Mormon Literature: Progress and Prospects. Mormon
Literature Database."QShttp://mldb.byu.edu/progress.htm.
'JFME -FTMJFi$IBJN1PUPLBOEUIF$SJUJDT4BNQMFSGSPNB$POTJTUFOU
Spectrum. Studies in American Jewish Literature
o


Busby: Chaim Potok as a Model

(SFCTUFJO  4IFMEPO iF 1IFOPNFOPO PG UIF 3FBMMZ +FXJTI #FTU


4FMMFS1PUPLTF$IPTFOwStudies in American Jewish Literature

o
)BOTFO %BWJEi".-3FWJFXPG0ME.FOBU.JEOJHIUw Review
Archive.BShttp://www.aml-online.org/reviews/b/B
.html.
Harap, Louis. In the Mainstream: The Jewish Presence in th Century
American Literature s. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Pr,

1BDF %BWJE(i"GUFSUIF 4FDPOE
'BMM"1FSTPOBM+PVSOFZUPXBSE
Ethnic Mormonism. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought

o
Potok, Chaim. The Chosen./FX:PSL'BXDFUU$SFTU 
iF $VMUVSF )JHIXBZT8F5SBWFMw Religion and Literature

o
Walden, Daniel, ed. Conversations with Chaim Potok. Jackson, MS:
61PG.JTTJTTJQQJ 



Maralise Petersen, Helden

Wrestling with Motherhood:


Evolving Feminism in Josephine Spencers
To Keep and Little Mother
K N T

*  + 4 BVUIPSFEi5P ,FFQ w UIF TUPSZ PG B


mother and her son, a typical boy who attends college, serves a
NJTTJPO  DPVSUT B HJSM  BOE FWFOUVBMMZ NBSSJFT %FTQJUF GBNJMJBM SFMBtionships that strike a modern reader as bizarre, the story is generally
BOFNCPEJNFOUPGUIF)PNF-JUFSBUVSFNPWFNFOUTJNQMFBOEEJEBDtic, with stereotypical characters acting to underscore obvious religious themes. Eighteen years later Spencer published Little Mother,
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mUTJOUIF)PNF-JUFSBUVSFHFOSF'BSGSPNBUZQJDBMFBSMZ.PSNPO
story, Little Mother has complex characters, intricate relationships,
CJUJOH EJBMPHVF  BOE VOEFSTUBUFE UIFNFT F FOEJOH JT BNCJHVPVT
rather than didactic, and the heavy-handed religiosity in To Keep
gives way to a mother who prays to, doubts, and even curses God.
Comparing the two stories highlights the seconds stunning departure
GSPN UIF QFSJPET FYQFDUFE QBUUFSOT F QMPU  XPSE QMBZ  DIBSBDUFSizations, and uncertain conclusion in Little Mother reveal an idealJ[FE  VOXPSLBCMF DPODFQU PG NPUIFSIPPE UIBU EFNBOET B NPUIFST
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MJWJOH JOi;JPOw 8IJUOFZ
 $IVSDI QVCMJDBUJPO SFTQPOEFE BDDPSEJOHMZ  XJUI UIF
Young Womans Journal GPSFYBNQMF EFDMBSJOHJOUIBUJUTQVSQPTFXBTi 5PQMFBTF
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4DPSFTPG authors answered the call by writing stories, poetry, drama, and essays
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Josephine Spencers original story, To Keep, introduces two main
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BU #PCT CJSUI #FSUIBiTOVHHMF<T>w UIFiNJUF MZJOH JO IFS BSNTw BOE
ponders how tiny and helpless the baby is. Her dearest thought is
that the baby is all hershers to mold, and guide andkeep. Hers
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Bertha takes mother love to an uncharacteristic extreme: she asserts,
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SFBMJTN UIFZGPSDFSFBEFSTUPEJTUSVTUUIFDIBSBDUFS4IFTFFNTQPTTFTsive at best, slightly psychotic at worst. Calling her baby it multiple
times only showcases Berthas strange ideas about mothering: apparFOUMZTIFUIJOLTIFSDIJMEJTBOPCKFDU BQPTTFTTJPOUPPXOBOEiLFFQw
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Bertha fights him, then decides that she cannot interpose her mothers
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#PC
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LFFQw 
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marry Elsie, and Bertha struggles until Bob convinces her that she will
not lose him, but gain a new daughter. Somehow Bertha persuades
IFSTFMGUIBUi#PC<JT>TUJMMIFSTIFSTAUPLFFQw

Predictably, problems arise between Elsie and her mother-in-law,
eventually reaching the point where Bob and Elsie teeter on the brink
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CFUXFFOIFSBOE#FSUIB*OBTVSQSJTJOHUVSOPGFWFOUT #FSUIBEPFT
not struggle when Bob indicates that theres only one alternative that


Turley: Wrestling with Motherhood

will allow him to avoid a devastating divorce. Rather than fighting to


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#FSUIBTBDRVJFTcence startles a reader grown accustomed to her previous unswerving
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author uses the pet phrase as her title and then emphasizes subsequent occurrences with quotation marks.
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was about overly possessive mothers) Bertha awakens to realize that her
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changed. She will not selfishly try to keep her son, but will sacrifice so he
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more by the authors need to get to the conclusion than by any growth
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UIBO#FSUIB)JTTPMFBOUBHPOJTUJDGVODUJPOJTUPEFWFMPQTJUVBUJPOTUIBU
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supposedly teaches herand readersa lesson about selflessness and
sacrifice, but the character development is hardly believable.
(JWFO#FSUIBTGSFBLJTIPCTFTTJPOUPLFFQIFSTPO SFBEFSTBSFQSPCably relieved that she learns her lesson. Bertha is clearly a mother who
needs to cut the apron strings. Yet To Keep raises unresolved questions
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Even though his eyes are still dim, Bob springs onto the trolley car with


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relationship with his mother and endure misery (or divorce) with Elsie.
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melodramatic, but a different tone sounds when husband Hal tenderly
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#PCTPVOETTJNJMBSMZDPOEFTDFOEJOHBOEEFNFBOJOH
XIFOIFBCSVQUMZCFHJOTDBMMJOHIJTNPUIFSiMJUUMFNPUIFSwBGUFSIJTNJTTJPO4QFODFSSFGSBJOTGSPNGVSUIFSFYQMPSBUJPOPG#PCTQBUSPOJ[JOHBUUJtude, but it seems odd, given Berthas role as the protector and keeper
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BCPVUTBDSJmDF BMCFJUXJUIBGBOBUJDBMNPUIFS UIFSFBSFIJOUTPGDPOnJDU
regarding both gender roles and motherhood.
Perhaps such questions pushed Josephine Spencer toward the more
complex, less  BOE NPSF BNCJHVPVT  SFXSJUF PGi5P ,FFQw
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*OUIFOFYUWFSTJPO i-JUUMF.PUIFSwCFDPNFTUIFUJUMFPGUIFTUPSZ BOE
all the characters except Elsie (who remains as Elsie) acquire titles
rather than names. Bertha is Little Mother, Bob becomes Boy, and the
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lead readers to generalize the experience, even to characterize themTFMWFTJTTUPSZJTOPUBCPVU#FSUIB )BM BOE#PCJUJTBTUPSZBCPVU
Mothers, Men, and Boys, an inherently biased grouping that defines
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#JH.BOGFFMTUIBUJUJTiXPOEFSGVMMVDLwUPIBWFBTPOi8JUIBHJSMJUT


Turley: Wrestling with Motherhood

EJFSFOUIFSGVUVSFJTNPSFPSMFTTBDFSUBJOUZ JGTIFTBSFBM USVF HJSM


With a boy there are a thousand chancescareers galore. His words
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IJNTFMGXJUI#JH.BO8IFOUIFiPDJBMEPDVNFOUwDPNFTBOOPVODing Boys diplomatic assignment in Europe (no longer the religious misTJPODBMMPGi5P,FFQw
#JH.BOEFDMBSFTUSJVNQIBOUMZUP#PZUIBUUIF
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iHMPBU<JOH>GPSBMPOHUJNF.FOGBTIJPO UIFJSUBMLMBSEFEXJUIUFDIOJDBMFYQSFTTJPOT TVQQSFTTFEFHPUJTNBOEMBSHFPVUMPPLw
FXPSE
choice suggests that man talk is essentially alien to women, and, indeed,
Little Mother is not participating. Finally Boy notices that Little Mother
JTOUKPJOJOHUIFifamilyKVCJMBUJPO wBOE#JH.BODPNQPVOETUIFJSPOZCZ
saying that Boys appointment is what weve really planned and worked
GPS FWFSTJODFIFXBTCPSOw NZFNQIBTJT
-JUUMF.PUIFS IPXFWFS 
GFFMTEJFSFOUMZ*OUIJTTJUVBUJPO BTJONBOZPUIFSTJOUIFTUPSZ
#JH
.BOBOE#PZBDUUPHFUIFS5PKPJOUIFiGBNJMZwNFBOT-JUUMF.PUIFS
NVTUDIBOHFIFSQPJOUPGWJFX*SPOJDBMMZ JUJTVTVBMMZIFSDPODFSOGPS
LFFQJOHUIFGBNJMZUPHFUIFSUIBUTIFNVTUTVQQSFTT
When Boy becomes involved with the Woman during his European
diplomatic assignment, the conflict deepens. Little Mother understands
the whole perilous story suggested by Boys impetuous, adulatory
QISBTFT  BOE TUVEJPVTMZ XPSEFE EFGFOTFw
 #JH .BO BQQBSFOUMZ
PWFSMPPLTUIFiTMJNXIJUFUISPBU QJOLnFTIBOESFEIBJSQBJOUFEJOMJGFMJLFMJOFTCZUIF#PZTJOGBUVBUFEQFOw-JUUMF.PUIFSNVTUFYQMBJOUPIFS
IVTCBOEUIBU#PZJTPCTFTTFEXJUIBXPNBOXIPi MVSF<T>IJNGSPNIJT
XPSLBUXJMM<BOE>ESBH<T>IJNBUIFSIFFMTBCPVUUIF&VSPQFBODBQJUBMT
BOEFWFOUP.POUF$BSMPw"OYJPVTBOEBGSBJE -JUUMF.PUIFSMJLFB
HPPE )PNF -JUFSBUVSF NPUIFSQSBZTiOJHIU BGUFS OJHIUw BOE XSJUFT
DBSFGVMMZ XPSEFE MFUUFST UPiGSFFw #PZ GSPN UIF 8PNBO )FS NPSBM
SFTQPOTF JT OPU QBSUJDVMBSMZ TVSQSJTJOH #JH .BOT TIPDLJOHMZ MJCFSBM
WJFXJTPVHITPCFSFECZUIFTJUVBUJPO IFEFDMBSFT i*TVQQPTFJUIBE
UPDPNF TPNFUJNF"ZPVOHGFMMPXTCPVOEUPIBWFIJTNPSBMIB[JOHJO


IJTUJMUXJUIUIFXPSME/PPOFDBOIFMQIJNJUTTPSUPGBUJEFSJQUIBU
TVDLTGSPNXJUIPVUBOEXJUIJO/FJUIFSTLJMMOPSTUSFOHUIDPVOUNVDI
JOUIFTUSVHHMF*GIFHFUTPVUXIPMF JUTBMXBZTNPSFKVTULOBDLPSMVDLw

8IFUIFSUIFJTTVFJT#PZTDBSFFSPSIJTQIJMBOEFSJOH #JH.BO
BOE#PZBSFJOBHSFFNFOU-JUUMF.PUIFSJTBMPOFJOIFSXJTIGPS#PZUP
SFNBJODMPTFUPUIFGBNJMZ JOIFSDPODFSOBCPVUNPSBMJUZ BOEFWFOJO
UIFUXJOHFTPGSFHSFUTIFGFFMTBT#PZHSPXTVQ
Little Mother grows progressively more alone as the story continVFT)FSWJFXTEJFSGSPNUIFWJFXTPG#JH.BOBOE#PZ ZFUJOUIF
CFHJOOJOHTIFJTBUMFBTUQIZTJDBMMZQSFTFOUXJUIIFSGBNJMZ&WFOUVBMMZ
even that closeness evaporates. When Boy is gone to Europe, Big Man
becomes ill and realizes he will die. Little Mother desperately longs
GPSUIFDPNGPSUPGIFSPOMZDIJME CVU#JH.BOUIJOLT-JUUMF.PUIFS
TIPVMEGBDFIJTEFBUIVOBJEFE TJODF#PZTKPCNJHIUCFUISFBUFOFEJGIF
SFUVSOFEIPNFUPBUUFOEUIFGVOFSBM-JUUMF.PUIFSCPXTUP#JH.BOT
appeal, saying she would rather meet whatever comesalone, despite
UIFPWFSXIFMNJOHTFOTBUJPOUIBUTIFJTiUSZJOHUPGFFMIFSXBZBTPVU
PGBCJH JNQFOFUSBCMFEBSLOFTTw
8IJMF-JUUMF.PUIFSIBTOFWFS
IBENVDIFNPUJPOBMTVQQPSUGSPNIFSGBNJMZ TIFOPXEPFTOPUFWFO
IBWFUIFJSQIZTJDBMQSFTFODFGPSDPNGPSU)FSBCBOEPONFOUEFNPOstrates that the split between the genders has become a gaping chasm:
JOUIJTMJGFBOEEFBUINPNFOU#JH.BOBHBJOBMJHOTIJNTFMGXJUI#PZ
JOTUFBEPGXJUIIJTXJGF8IFOCBMBODJOHUIFiDSVFM JOIVNBOwUBTLPG
GBDJOHEFBUIBMPOFXJUIUIFiMJHIUFTUDIBODF<#PZ>NBZMPTFIJTDBSFFS w
Big Man claims there is one answer: Little Mother should sacrifice.
PVHI#JH.BOFRVJWPDBUFTCZFYQSFTTJOHDPODFSOGPS-JUUMF.PUIFSTXFMGBSF IFDMFBSMZCFMJFWFTUIBU-JUUMF.PUIFSTOFFEGPSFNPUJPOBM
support is less important than the unsubstantiated, lightest chance
UIBU#PZTKPCCFKFPQBSEJ[FE
BU-JUUMF.PUIFSTTBDSJmDFTBSFUJFEUPIFSNPUIFSIPPEJTDMFBS
8IFO TIF PWFSDPNFT IFS XJTI GPS #PZ UP TUBZ BU UIF MPDBM VOJWFSTJUZSBUIFSUIBOHPJOHBXBZUPDPMMFHF #PZBOOPVODFTIJTKPZXJUIB
iSFTPVOEJOHLJTTwBOEUIFDPNNFOU i*EQJDLZPVGSPNBMMUIFNPUIFST
JOUIFVOJWFSTFw
#PZTSFNBSLSFXBSETIFSCFIBWJPSXJUIIJTTBUJTGBDUJPOBOEUJFTCPUIUIFTBDSJmDJBMCFIBWJPSBOEIJTTVCTFRVFOUIBQQJOFTTUPIFSSPMFBTIJTNPUIFSFO XIFO-JUUMF.PUIFSBHSFFTUIBU


Turley: Wrestling with Motherhood

he should take the diplomatic assignment in Europe, Boy gives her a


bearish hug and declares,Youve always been a brick, Little Mother. . . .
*LOFXGPSTVSFZPVXPVMEOUXBOUNFUPTMVNZNBJODIBODFw

"HBJO #PZSFXBSETIFSTFMGTBDSJmDFXJUIIJTQMFBTVSFBOEJOUJNBUFT
UIBUTIFTVSFMZXPVMEOPUXBOUIJNUPTBDSJmDFBOZUIJOHIJNTFMG#JH
.BOBMTPUJFTIFSTBDSJmDFUPNPUIFSIPPE"GUFSTIFBHSFFTUPGBDFIJT
EFBUIBMPOF IFQVMMTIFSDMPTFBOETBZT i#SBWF-JUUMF.PUIFSw

While the words are meant as a compliment, they again underscore
UIFOPUJPOUIBUCFJOHBNPUIFSDBMMTGPSiCSBWFwTBDSJmDF
6MUJNBUFMZ -JUUMF.PUIFSTBDSJmDFTIFSTFMGSJHIUPVUPGFWFSZPOFT
lives. As his marriage crumbles, Boy comes to her, expecting her to
TPMWFIJTQSPCMFNTZFUBHBJO*OXPSETFDIPJOHIJTGBUIFSTmOBMSFRVFTU 
#PZ CFMJFWFT UIFSFTiPOMZ POFw BMUFSOBUJWF JG IF JT UP BWPJE EJWPSDF
Apparently Elsie is unhappy about Boys relationship with Little
.PUIFS  BOE JG IF JT UP TBWF IJT NBSSJBHF  IF NVTU DIPPTF CFUXFFO
IJTNPUIFSBOEIJTXJGF8IJMFIFMJLFIJTGBUIFSTFFNTUPXBWFS 
XIBU#PZFYQFDUT-JUUMF.PUIFSUPEPJTDMFBSMFBWFIJTMJGFTPUIBU
IFBOE&MTJFDBOCFIBQQZUPHFUIFS-JUUMF.PUIFSVOEFSTUBOETTIF
TUBUFTMPHJDBMMZ i/PUIJOHNVTUDPNFCFUXFFOZPV BOEZPVSXJGFBOE
DIJME"NPUIFSNVTUOPUEPJU BCPWFBMMUIJOHTw

-JUUMF .PUIFST XPSET UFDIOJDBMMZ NBLF TFOTF  GPS PWFSCFBSJOH
mothers and mothers-in-law can damage a marriage. But the context
JTBMMXSPOH6OMJLF#FSUIBJOi5P,FFQ w-JUUMF.PUIFSJTJOOPXBZ
EFNBOEJOH PS QPTTFTTJWF SPVHIPVU UIF TUPSZ  IFS SFRVFTUT IBWF
been simple and realistic. She thought that Boy could go to the local
VOJWFSTJUZSBUIFSUIBOBOFYQFOTJWF QSFTUJHJPVT GBSBXBZTDIPPM"GUFS
#PZDPNFTIPNFGSPNDPMMFHF TIFNFSFMZBTLTUIBUUIFGBNJMZiTQFOE
POFFWFOJOHBUIPNFwUPHFUIFS
4IFEPFTOPUFWFOSFRVFTUUIBU
#PZ SFGVTF UIF &VSPQFBO EJQMPNBUJD BTTJHONFOU TIF TJNQMZiGBMUFSTw
when contemplating eight long years without her son. And who could
DPOEFNOIFSGPSEFTJSJOHGPSIFSPOMZDIJMETTVQQPSUXIFOIFSIVTband is dying? Little Mothers talk about coming between Boy and his
XJGFTFFNTTJMMZTIFIBTOPUTUFQQFECFUXFFO#PZBOEBOZUIJOHIFBOE
#JH.BOEFTJSFE.PSFPWFS BGUFSIFSDPNNFOUBCPVUDPNJOHCFUXFFO
her child and his spouse, Little Mother asserts that doing so would be
MJLFiDVUUJOHwIFSDIJMEiPVUPG<IJT>CJSUISJHIUwPSiTIVUUJOHBEPPSUP


LFFQ<IJN>GSPNQBSBEJTFw
JTGVSUIFSDMBJNTFFNTFWFONPSF
VOMJLFMZ BOE BCTVSE5P USVMZ CF BCMF UP GPSDF IFS TPOT EJWPSDF BOE
LFFQIJNPVUPGIFBWFOXPVMEDSFEJU-JUUMF.PUIFSXJUIGBSNPSFBCJMJUZUPJOnVFODFUIFNFOJOIFSMJGFUIBOTIFIBTFWFSIBECFGPSF
-JUUMF.PUIFSTVTFPGiCJSUISJHIUwIFSFFDIPFT#JH.BOTPSJHJOBM
EFDMBSBUJPO PG XIBU CPZT BOE HJSMT BSF DBQBCMF PG EPJOH BU -JUUMF
.PUIFS  XIP GPMMPXT UIF QBUI PG UIFiSFBM  USVF HJSMw CZ CFDPNJOH
a mother, would be the reason Boy cannot achieve his birthright is
paradoxical in the extreme. Apparently she cannot be a Little Mother
XIJMFIFSTPOJTPOIJTXBZUPCFDPNJOHBi#JH.BOwFUXPSPMFT
appear mutually exclusive, and Little Mother must sacrifice her own
SPMFBTBNPUIFSUIFWFSZUIJOHUIBUEFmOFTBOEOBNFTIFSJG#PZJT
to attain his birthright. Little Mother is given an impossible task: both
to be a mother and not to be a mother. Being a mother in this story
means sacrificing the very mother and son relationship that makes her
XIP TIF JT 4IF NVTU EFOZ IFSTFMG IJT QIZTJDBM QSFTFODF  FNPUJPOBM
TVQQPSU BOE FWFOUVBMMZ BMMDPOUBDUJOBOZGPSNTPUIBUIFDBOBUUBJO
his paradise, not to mention his thousand chancescareers galore.
F NPUIFSJOH SPMF JOi-JUUMF .PUIFSw JT DPNQMFUFMZ VOXPSLBCMF B
XPNBOJTEFmOFEBOEOBNFETPMFMZCZIFSGBNJMJBMSFMBUJPOTIJQTXIJMF
simultaneously being expected, should others require it, to deny herTFMGPGUIFDPNGPSUPGLJOTIJQUJFT
'PS FYBNQMF  SFQFBUJOH UIF FYBDU QISBTF GSPN UIF PSJHJOBM TUPSZ 
#PZUFMMT-JUUMF.PUIFSUIBUIFiLOPXTXIBUJUXJMMDPTUwGPSIFSUP
HPPVUUPUIFGBSNBOEPVUPGIJTMJGF CVUUIBUiJUXJMMTBWFVTNF
BOE&MTJFBOEPVSDIJMEBTPSSPXXPSTFUIBOEFBUIw
*OUIJT
devastating moment, Boy once again clearly identifies us as a group
UIBUEPFTOPUJODMVEFIJTNPUIFS0SJHJOBMMZOPUBQBSUPGUIFiGBNJMZw
DPNQSJTFEPG#JH.BOBOE#PZ TIFJTOPXOPUQBSUPG#PZTOFXGBNJMZ-JUUMF.PUIFS BTBNPUIFS JTOFWFSBUPOFXJUIUIPTFTIFMPWFTTIF
is named by a relationship she is not allowed to have.
6OMJLF-JUUMF.PUIFS &MTJFIBTGBNJMZSFMBUJPOTIJQTBOEJTBMMPXFE
to continue having them, which complicates the prescribed gender
BTTPDJBUJPOT6OGPSUVOBUFMZ &MTJFSFQSFTFOUTBDIBMMFOHFGPSUIFMJUFSary critic: she cannot be viewed holistically since she is only explicitly


Turley: Wrestling with Motherhood

QSFTFOUEVSJOHPOFTDFOFPGUIFTUPSZ OFWFSTQFBLTPVUMPVE BOEIBT


IFSWJFXQPJOUTJUFSBUFEUISPVHI#PZ BDIBSBDUFSXIPGSFFMZBENJUT
UIBUIFDBOOPUTQFBLPGUIFJSTJUVBUJPOXJUIPVUCJBT iXJUIPVUNBLJOH
IFSCFBSUIFCMBNFw
'SPN#PZTQFSTQFDUJWF &MTJFJTVUUFSMZTFMGish and difficult, initiating the marriage breakup and demanding her
IVTCBOETiKPJOUMPZBMUZBOEEFWPUJPOUPIFSLJOESFE XJUIBOBMNPTU
UPUBM EJTSFHBSE PG <#PZT> PXO SJHIUTw #MBNJOH IFS GPS UIF QPTTJCMF
EJWPSDF #PZTBZTIFDBOOPUFOEVSFiUIFEBJMZKBOHMJOH BOEJOTJTUFODF
upon personal rights, whose absolute counterpart she denies me

"TTVDI TIFJTQSFTFOUFEBTUIFTUFSFPUZQJDBMOBHHJOHXJGF
Yet things are not so simple. While she seems selfish to Boy, Elsie
is actually doing exactly what real, true girls are supposed to do: be
UIFNPUIFSPGBDIJMEBOEUIFEBVHIUFSPGBNPUIFSFPOMZEJFSFODFJTUIBU&MTJF VOMJLF-JUUMF.PUIFS SFGVTFTUPHFUDBVHIUJOUIF
EPVCMF CJOE BOE SFGVTFT UP TBDSJmDF IFS NPUIFSEBVHIUFS SFMBUJPOTIJQT#PZDBMMTIFSSFMBUJPOTIJQPSJFOUBUJPOBEFNBOEGPSiQFSTPOBM
rights, which is inaccurate, not to mention ironic, considering his past
CFIBWJPS)FSDMBJNGPSiQFSTPOBMSJHIUTwJTSFBMMZBOJOTJTUFODFPOQSFTFSWJOHUIFSFMBUJPOTIJQTUIBUEFmOFXIPTIFJTBUTIFDBOOPUiTFOTFw
Boys personal ties and home associations is no great surprise since
IFIBTTQFOUNPTUPGUIFTUPSZSVOOJOHGSPNUIPTFWFSZUJFT XIFUIFS
it be to college, to Europe, or to other relationships.
&MTJF PCGVTDBUFT UIF HFOEFS CPVOEBSJFT PG UIF TUPSZ BOE QSFTFOUT
an interesting comparison to Little Mother. She is a daughter and a
mother and thus is the real, true girl described by Big Man, yet she
SFGVTFTUPTBDSJmDFIFSSFMBUJPOTIJQXJUIIFSPXONPUIFS1FSIBQTTIFJT
escaping the motherhood dilemma that traps Little Mother, although
Elsies own child is not yet old enough to demand that she sacrifice.
&MTJFBQQBSFOUMZSFGVTFTUPHJWFVQPSFWFOUPNJOJNJ[FIFSSFMBUJPOTIJQ
XJUIIFSPXOGBNJMZCVUJTEFQJDUFECZ#PZBTTFMmTICFDBVTFPGJU4IF
JTEFmOFEXJUIJO#PZTGBNJMZHSPVQCVUPOMZCFDBVTF-JUUMF.PUIFSJT
XJMMJOHUPCFDVUPVUFOUJSFMZBU-JUUMF.PUIFSDBOOPUCFBNPUIFS
PGBCPZJTDMFBSUIFSFMBUJPOTIJQNVTUCFTBDSJmDFE1FSIBQT&MTJFT
FYBNQMFTIPXTUIBUJUJTQPTTJCMFUPCFBNPUIFSPGBHJSM TJODFTIF BTB
daughter, maintains her relationship with her mother. Elsiewith all


her contradictionsseems to bridge the wide chasm between genders


in this story, an achievement highlighted when she alone is designated
by a name rather than a title. She is a person, not necessarily a wellliked person, but an individual, rather than a role or a gender. Nevertheless, Elsie is granted personhood at Little Mothers expense.
Ironically, Little Mothers ultimate sacrifice, a sacrifice that in ChrisUJBOUIFPMPHZTIPVMEIFMQIFSimOEwIFSTFMG TJODFTIFIBTDPNQMFUFMZ
iMPTUwIFSTFMGTFSWJOHPUIFST CSJOHTIFSUPBQPTUBTZ*OUIJTWFSTJPOPGUIF
TUPSZ -JUUMF.PUIFSBDUVBMMZMFBWFTGPSUIFGBSNSBUIFSUIBOTJNQMZEJTDVTTJOHUIFQMBOFiMBTUCMPXwPDDVSTXIFO-JUUMF.PUIFSSFDFJWFTB
UFMFHSBNUFMMJOHIFSUIBU#PZJTEFBE
8IJMF#PZTiTPSSPXXPSTF
than death has been avoided by Little Mothers sacrifice, there is no
POFUPTBDSJmDFGPSIFS)FSiMJQT<CFHJO>UPGSBNFTPNFUIJOHBMNPTU
CMBTQIFNPVT wBOETIFEFDMBSFTUIBUUIFSFJTiOP(PEBGUFSBMMw%JWPSDF
XPVMEIBWFCFFO#PZTSFMJHJPVTiEFTUSVDUJPO wBGBUFIJTNPUIFSIFMQFE
him to avoid. But Little Mothers destiny is Boys death and her own
MPTTPGGBJUI4IFOPMPOHFSCFMJFWFTJOiB#FJOHTVQSFNFJOLOPXMFEHF
and power and mercy. In the end, Little Mothers sacrifices have not
FBSOFEIFSUIFMPWFBOEBFDUJPOPGIFSGBNJMZ*OTUFBE TIFSFDFJWFT
only increasingly more difficult opportunities to sacrifice, and finally
utter loneliness, physical isolation, and at least momentary atheism.
FEFNBOETPGNPUIFSIPPEBSFUPPHSFBU
As she doubts God, Little Mother wishes that He would have
UBLFOIFSMJGFTPXSFUDIFEBOEVTFMFTT BOETBWFEUIBUPUIFSUSVUIGVMPOFGPSJUTXFMMTUBSUFEQJMHSJNBHFw
)FSCFMJFGUIBUIFSNPUIFSJOHMJGFJTiXSFUDIFEBOEVTFMFTTwXIJMF#PZTMJGFJTBiUSVUIGVMPOFw
with a well started pilgrimage once again echoes Big Mans prophecy
BCPVUUIFSPMFTPG#PZTBOE(JSMT:FUJUJTDMFBSUPSFBEFSTUIBUTPNFUIJOHJTXSPOH-JUUMF.PUIFSEJEOPUIBWFPUIFSDIPJDFTJGTIFXFSF
to be a real, true girl, but pursuing that role put her on a kamikaze
DPVSTFUPXBSEMPTTPGGBJUI
3FBEFST BSF MFGU JO B RVBOEBSZ"SF UIFZ TVQQPTFE UP FNQBUIJ[F
XJUI UIF QSPUBHPOJTUT KPVSOFZ UP BQPTUBTZ  *U TFFNT DPOUSBEJDUPSZ
UIBU (PE XPVME TBODUJPO B SPMF UIBU MFBET UP MPTT PG GBJUI JO )JN 
CVUOPPOFQSPWJEFTBDMFBSBMUFSOBUJWFUIFTFMGTBDSJmDJBMDPODFQUPG


Turley: Wrestling with Motherhood

motherhood is unthinkingly accepted by everyone except unlikeable,


voiceless Elsie. Little Mothers mothering did not help her physically,
FNPUJPOBMMZ  TPDJBMMZ  PS SFMJHJPVTMZ  BOE GBJUIGVM SFBEFST GFFM QVTIFE
either to question God with Little Mother or to critique the motherIPPESPMFUIBUGPSDFEIFSUPUIJTTJUVBUJPOTVSQSJTJOHMJOFTPGJORVJSZ 
FTQFDJBMMZHJWFOUIFJSQSPNQUJOHCZBGBJUIGVM author in a Churchsponsored magazine. Readers might find some middle ground in wonEFSJOHXIFUIFS-JUUMF.PUIFSTTFMGEFTUSVDUJWFNPUIFSJOHXBT(PET
XJMMBUBMMDMFBSMZIFSFPSUTBUNPUIFSJOHEJEOPUIFMQIFSCFDPNF
NPSFSFBMPSUSVFJOBSFMJHJPVTTFOTF1FSIBQTUIFGFFMJOHTBOEEFTJSFT
that she constantly suppressed in order to be at one with her male
GBNJMZNFNCFSTXFSFNPSFSJHIUFPVTUIBOTIFPSPUIFSTSFBMJ[FE*GTP 
then Spencer is not suggesting that readers question God or motherIPPE CVUUIFOFBSMZVOJWFSTBMBDDFQUBODFPGUIFOPUJPOUIBUNPUIFST
should sacrifice. Had Little Mother, like Elsie, demanded the right
UP GPMMPX IFS JOTUJODUT BOE JOTJTUFE PO LFFQJOH IFS GBNJMZ UPHFUIFS 
UIFTUPSZMJLFMZXPVMEIBWFFOEFEEJFSFOUMZ&WFOJGUIFQMPUEFWFMoped identically, Little Mothers experience with and understanding
PGUIFTFFWFOUTXPVMEIBWFCFFOEJFSFOU
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answers. As in To Keep, the protagonist suddenly awakens to find
IFSMJGFXBTKVTUBESFBN CVU XIJMF#FSUIBTMFTTPOTBSFDMFBS XIBU
-JUUMF.PUIFSXBTTVQQPTFEUPMFBSOPSIPXIFSMJGFXJMMQMBZPVUJT
very much in doubt. Little Mother ends exactly where it began, with
-JUUMF.PUIFSTEFDMBSBUJPOUIBUIFSCBCZJTIFSTiUPLFFQw
.PSFover, Little Mother whispers hungrily to her baby at the beginning
and holds the baby hungrily in the conclusion, and, by echoing the
original strong word choice in her conclusion, Spencer intimates that
UIFNBJODIBSBDUFSTEFTUSVDUJWFDZDMFJTEPPNFEUPSFDVS0OUIFPUIFS
IBOE JOUIFJOUSPEVDUJPO -JUUMF.PUIFSJTiTOVHHM<JOH>wBOEXIJTQFSJOHi.JOFUPLFFQwCPUIiTPGUMZwBOEiIVOHSJMZ wXPSEDIPJDFTUIBUDPOOPUFBNPUIFSTXFFUMZMPWJOHIFSCBCZFO JOUIFDPODMVTJPO -JUUMF
.PUIFSJTEFTQFSBUFBOEGSBOUJD iUISBTI<JOH>BCPVUXJUI<IFS>BSNTw
TPWJPMFOUMZUIBUTIFJTIVSUJOHUIFCBCZ6OMJLF#FSUIBJOi5P,FFQ w
XJUIIFSGBJOUTNJMFBOEDPNQMJBODF -JUUMF.PUIFSBTLTGPSUIFCBCZ


iRVJUFXJMEMZ DMBTQJOHUIFCPZIVOHSJMZUPIFSIFBSUw*GUIJTTUPSZXBT
supposed to teach a lesson in sacrifice, Little Mother did not learn it.
#FSUIBXBTSFBEZUPLFFQIFSTPOiXIJMF<TIF>NBZ wCVU-JUUMF.PUIFS
demands rights to her child: He is mineI tell youI have gone
EPXOUPUIFHBUFPGEFBUIUPHBJOIJN)FJTNJOFUPLFFQw-JUUMF
Mothers declaration is not vague or understated. She repeats her wish
to keep her son in both the introduction and the conclusion, but she
NFBOT TPNFUIJOH EJFSFOU IFS XPSET BSF UIF TBNF  CVU TIF JT OPU
FESFBNMJGFNBZSFQFBUJUTFMG CVUOPUCFDBVTFPG-JUUMF.PUIFST
DPNQMJBODF3FBEFSTDBOTFFDMFBSMZUIFUSBHFEZPGUIFESFBNMJGF CVU
what Little Mother can or should do to avoid it is not spelled out.
*O NZ BOBMZTJT  UIJT TUPSZ JT USBHJD GPS -JUUMF .PUIFS  CVU UIBU JT
not the whole tragedy. I have risked oversimplification to pull out the
BOUJXPNBONPUIFSUIFNFT-JUUMF.PUIFSJTUSBQQFEJOBOJOnFYJCMF 
QBSBEPYJDBMSPMFUIBUDBVTFTIFSBCTPMVUFNJTFSZ4IFJTUIFWJDUJNPG
BOVOXPSLBCMFDPODFQUPGNPUIFSIPPEUIBUEFNBOETTIFCFPOMZB
mother while simultaneously telling her to sacrifice the relationships
that make her a mother. It would easy to blame Big Man, whose obvious bias toward his son alienates and ostracizes Little Mother, or to
CMBNF#PZ XIPDPOUJOVFTUIFQSPDFTTPGBMJFOBUJPO BOETVDIBDPODMVTJPO XPVME OPU CF VOXBSSBOUFE:FU UIFTF GBNJMZ NFNCFST MPWF
POFBOPUIFS#JH.BOTmSTUXPSETBGUFSUIFCJSUIPG#PZBSFiBOL
(PE  JUT PWFS  -JUUMF .PUIFS  BOE ZPV BSF TBGFw )F UIFO LJTTFT IFS
iXJUIBHSFBUSFWFSFODFw
*OIJTmOBMNPNFOUT UIPVHIIFBTLT
IFSUPTBDSJmDFGPS#PZ IFJTOPUXJUIPVUDPODFSOGPSIFSIFIBTCFFO
iIPQJOHQSBZJOHwUIBUTIFNJHIUCFiTQBSFEwUIFUSJBMPGIJTEFBUI)F
LOPXTUIBUiPOFPG<UIFN>IBEUPHPmSTUBOEUIFUIPVHIUPGJUTTPSSPXGBMMJOHPO<IFS>IBTCFFOBQFSQFUVBMUPSNFOUw)FFWFOBTLTIFS
UPQSPNJTFiOPUUPMFUJUIVSUUPPIBSEw

#PZ UPP IBTNPNFOUTPGHFOVJOFMPWFPVHINPTUPGIJTEFNPOTUSBUJPOTUPXBSEUIFCFHJOOJOHPGUIFTUPSZBSFDIJMEJTIFYDMBNBUJPOTPG
MPWFXIFOIFHFUTXIBUIFXBOUT IJTBDUJPOTPOSFUVSOJOHGSPN&VSPQF
BSF NPSF NBUVSF )FiTFOT<FT> DMFBSMZw IJT NPUIFST OFFE GPS IJN UP
CFUIFCPZIFVTFEUPCFBOELJOEMZiQVU<T>BTJEFUIFCFBSEwIFIBE
HSPXOJO&VSPQF*OBEEJUJPO IFTVQQSFTTFTiIJTPXOHSJFGBOETFOTF


Turley: Wrestling with Motherhood

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sacrificial motherhood. Boy and Big Man are also doing what males
have been told to do: make a career and climb the rungs leading to
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women are defined solely as mothers and men by their careers, raising children becomes a battleground. Parents are at odds when Little
Mothers are trying to mother while Big Men are pushing their Boys
toward the thousand chancescareers galore. In the end, women
are pulled to destruction, and men grow up selfish despite instincts
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CVUJUJTOPHSFBUKPZGPSNFO
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Relief Society Magazine. Josephine Spencers story pushes readers to ask
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DIJMESFOQMBZJOUIFDSFBUJPOBOENBJOUFOBODFPGUIPTFSPMFTFJOEFmnite conclusion leaves readers with no solutions: Little Mothers wellJOUFOUJPOFEWFSTJPOPGNPUIFSJOHJTVOTVDDFTTGVMBUCFTU DBUBTUSPQIJD
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represented by the silent Elsie, seems unpleasant, controlling, and selfish,
at least as it is portrayed by Boy. Sacrificial mothering is not the way to
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Bertha learned easily and conveniently to sacrifice her overprotecUJWFNPUIFSJOHJOTUJODUTBOEUPIPMEIFSCBCZiXIJMF<TIF>NBZw4VDI
simplistic resolutions, however, seem contrived and ultimately serve
to undermine the storys didactic purpose. Moreover, they provide no
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the hauntingly bold Little Mother is unknown, as she died five
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a stark and memorable story. Modern readers can only wish she had
SFXSJUUFONPSFPGUFO

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iF&EJUPST%FQBSUNFOUwYoung Womens Journal 0DUPCFS


Spencer, Josephine. Little Mother. Relief Society Magazine .BZ

o
. To Keep. Young Womans Journal .BZ
o
8IJUOFZ 0STPO'i)PNF-JUFSBUVSFwJOA Believing People, Richard H.
$SBDSPGU BOE /FBM & -BNCFSU  FET 4BMU -BLF $JUZ #PPLDSBGU 

4FQUhttp://mldb.byu.edu/homelit.htm.



From the Archives

Little Mother
J S

L M to consciousness to find the Boys tiny


head pillowed on her arm, and his ridiculously small fingers clinging
at her breast.
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head, and clinging hands.
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its all over, youre really not sorry its a boy?

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GFXQPFNTBOETIPSUTUPSJFTJOOBUJPOBMKPVSOBMTTVDIBTUIFOverland Monthly, most
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BOE PWFS  TIPSU TUPSJFT 4PNFUJNF EVSJOH UIF T  4QFODFS XBT IJSFE BT UIF
Deseret NewsTPDJFUZBOEMJUFSBSZFEJUPS BKPCTIFIFMEGPSEFDBEFT4IFOFWFSNBSSJFE
PSIBEDIJMESFOBOEMJWFENPTUPGIFSBEVMUMJGFXJUIIFSTJTUFSBOEIFSTJTUFSTDIJMEJO
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NPWFEUP$BMJGPSOJB XIFSFTIFXBTMJLFMZPOUIFFEJUPSJBMTUBPGUIFPasadena Star
XIFO TIF EJFE 0DUPCFS   'PS NPSF JOGPSNBUJPO  TFF ,ZMJF /JFMTPO5VSMFZ 
iA6OUSVNQFUFE BOE 6OTFFO +PTFQIJOF 4QFODFS  .PSNPOA"VUIPSFTT w The Journal
of Mormon History 4QSJOH
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Society Magazine .BZ
o

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they put my first doll in my arms, and told me it was mineto keep.
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live doll.
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But I can come back between whiles, Little Mother, he pleaded.
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$PMMFHFBMPOFXPVMEUFTUIJTSFTPVSDFTUPTBZOPUIJOHPGUIFNPSUgage and other things.
Im going to pay it all back, Little Mother. When I finish Ill work
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i*EBMXBZTUIPVHIUPGZPVSmOJTIJOHVQSJHIUIFSFBUUIFIPNF6OJversity, Boy.
iF 6OJWFSTJUZT BMM SJHIUJO JUT XBZ w IF DPODFEFE HFOFSPVTMZ
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his powers. I need the experience to help make me a man. I cant get
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was urging the economies. What he had said, though, was true
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Spencer: Little Mother

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cord were loosened, somehow, in her own being.
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you and your progress.
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mothers in the universe, he declared.

T G
P - outside the window, and
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shuttled gold.
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it came to actual measurement.
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was glad now that she had not stood in his way, but she would not
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She came and stood beside his chair and laid her arm possessingly
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Going out again tonight, Boy?
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Little Mother smiled and pinched the Boys ear. Seems to me
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drops out it leaves a girl over, and breaks up the bunch.
Its all right, dearie. I want you to be in things, and have a good
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there hasnt been a night or day since you came home without someCPEZCFJOHIFSFPSZPVSCFJOHPVU*UIPVHIUJUXPVMECFmOFGPS
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like old times. Suppose we say tomorrow night.
Its fierce, Little Mother, but theres the Parks party on tomorrow,
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camping party in the mountainsand
Its splendid, Boyyour being in all these nice things, said Little
Mother. Im glad. And she and Big Man spent the evening alone, talkJOHPWFSUIFJSKPZJOUIF#PZTKPZ BOEUIFJSTBUJTGBDUJPOJOIJTTFFNJOH
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and though Little Mother tried to fix her mind on the playand
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the Boy, who sat in the stage-box with the bunch. Little Mother could
not help preening a good deal over the Boys good looks, his evident
popularity and assured social standing. But she was silly and selfish
FOPVHIUPJOEVMHFBNJUFPGBUXJOHFXIFOTIFIBQQFOFEUPDBUDIUIF
shy glances exchanged between the Boy and Girl while the play was in
progress. It was a society playreplete with situation and love scenes,
and it was during the tender dialogue that the young-couple-in-thebox stole glances at each other.
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She recalled the delicious little thrill in those past innocent diversions
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and actually begrudging the Girl her share in the Boys pastimes.


Spencer: Little Mother

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Big Man, who laughed at it heartily.
Dont begin to worry over those things, yet, Little Mother! he
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T M C
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Youve landed it! he cried, shaking an official document at the Boy.
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those heelers and lobbyists pulling at the game. I simply put in your
application and had a quiet talk with the secretary. Its another big
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have to do dirty work to win out in a laudable ambition.
F#PZSPTFJOFYDJUFNFOUBOEXFOUUPMPPLPWFS#JH.BOTTIPVMder. Its the real thing, Dadgilt seals, red tape, everything. And I
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prestige, but the experience. Four years in Europe, and in the tip-top
diplomatic circles will be liberal education. A chance like that dont
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with technical expressions, suppressed egotism and large outlook.
It was the Boy who first noticed Little Mothers silence.
Why, Little Mother, you havent uttered a word. Arent you going
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and fire cannon!


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games later on, both in diplomacy and politics.
Big Man stood up and he and the Boy looked expectantly at Little
Mother.
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Yes, but
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It means practically thatyes, said Big Man. But its his chance
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was born.
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called people pikers who did that! Well, they should see that she
would not put a single clog in their elation!
Little Mother tried to manage a smile, but did nothing more than
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Its certainly fineyour getting the position, she said, though Im
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ordinary would come to you.
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want me to sluff my main chance.

T W
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coming sometimes pantingly, in quick gasps, and again in long, slow
sighs.
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Spencer: Little Mother

Mothers fingers worked convulsively as she pictured the slim white


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work at will to drag him at her heels about the European capitals and
even to Monte Carlowhy, the very worst must comedismissal,
debauch, disgrace.
Little Mother carried her misery tremulously to Big Man, who lisUFOFEJOTJMFODFCVUXJUITFUUFFUI*UXBTTPNFUJNFCFGPSFIFTQPLF
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have his moral hazing in his tilt with the world. No one can help
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white lips.
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cautiously phrased. Few could have detected anything under their
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Boys answers came she took them away to her room and studied
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sere willows, showing healthy sap to be creeping upward through
dried barkran in the Boys letters.
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tears blinding her eyes so that she could hardly see the words. When
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meeting. She told him sitting on his knee with her arms around his


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always trusted so in himand the Boy.

B M
B M nearly as white as the pillow on which it had
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Little Mother had put aside the hint angrily, rebelliously, incredulously. Such a thing was impossible! Whyshe had leaned on Big
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HPCZUIFNTFMWFTUIFZCFMPOHUPBTFQBSBUFBVUPDSBUJDLJOHEPNUIF
SFBMNPGUPPIBSEUPCFBS4IFIBEQVUUIFIJOUBXBZSFTPMVUFMZBOE
EFmOJUFMZJOUIBUQMBDFBTCFJOHUPPBCTVSEGPSDPOTJEFSBUJPO
5PEBZ TIFSPTFGSPNUIFXBUDIXIJDITIFIBELFQUUJSFMFTTMZGPS
weeks and went to the bedside. Big Mans lips were moving, and
TIF MFBOFE PWFS IJN  IVOHSJMZ  MJTUFOJOH )F IBE OPU TQPLFO CFGPSF
that day.
#JH.BOTFZFTNFUIFSTXJTUGVMMZ QJUZJOHMZ
iFSFBSFUIJOHTUIBUNVTUCFTBJE -JUUMF.PUIFS wIFNVSNVSFE 
iJGZPVXJMMJGZPVDBOCFBSUPMFUNFTBZUIFNw)FTUPQQFEBUUIF
UPVDIPGXFUESPQTPOIJTGBDF UIFO QSFTFOUMZXFOUPO
Ive been hopingprayingthis trial might be spared you, he said,
WFSZGBJOUMZi #VU*HVFTTJUIBTUPCFw)FSDSZBTISJMMNPBOCVTU
GPSUIQJUFPVTMZBOE#JH.BOQVUPVUIJTIBOEGPSUIBOEIFMEIFSPXO
UJHIUMZGPSBNPNFOUXIJMFIFIBETUSFOHUIi*XBOUZPVUPQSPNJTFGPSNZTBLFOPUUPMFUJUIVSUUPPIBSE0OFPGVTIBEUPHP
mSTUBOEUIFUIPVHIUPGJUTTPSSPXGBMMJOHPOZPVIBTCFFOQFSQFUVBM
torment.
Little Mother choked back her tears, and laid a tight hand on her
wild heart.
i:PVNVTUOUMFUUIBUXPSSZZPV wTIFGBMUFSFE i*BNHPJOHUPIBWF
TUSFOHUIUPHPUISPVHIXIBUFWFSDPNFT:PVLOPXIPX*GFMUXIFO


Spencer: Little Mother

#PZXFOUBXBZCVU*WFMJWFEUISPVHIJUBOE*TVQQPTF*MMKVTUHP
on the same.
i*UTBCPVU#PZ*XBOUUPTQFBL w#JH.BONVSNVSFE BDIJOHBUTJHIUPG
her misery. Its doubly hard to askwhen you will have so much to bear.
Ive thought it over and overand always with the one answerthat it is
cruel, inhuman, to ask you to meet it alone. But the Boys prospectsthe
LOPXMFEHFUIBUJGIFMFBWFTUIFmFMEOPX XIFOUIFMJHIUFTUDIBODFNBZ
MPTFIJNIJTDBSFFS*DBOUEFDJEFw#JH.BOTWPJDFGBJMFEJOBIBMGTPC
-JUUMF.PUIFSTBURVJUFTJMFOUGPSBNPNFOU'PSXFFLT TJODFUIF
IJOE IBE CFHVO UP UBLF SPPU  TIF IBE MPOHFE UP TFOE GPS UIF #PZ
PVHIU BMPOF PGUIFJNQFOEJOHCMPX IBETFFNFEUPPNVDIUPCFBS
5PNFFUUIFUIJOHJUTFMGTIFTBUGSP[FO USZJOHUPGFFMIFSXBZBT
PVUPGBEFFQ JNQFOFUSBCMFEBSLOFTT
FHOBXJOHTFOTFPG#JH.BOTNJTFSBCMFFZFT SPVTFEIFS
i0G DPVSTF w TIF XIJTQFSFE  TP GBJOUMZ IF DPVME IBSEMZ IFBS i#PZ
NVTUOPUCFDBMMFEBXBZGSPNIJTXPSLVOEFSBOZDJSDVNTUBODFT*U
would surely imperil his interests, and I would rather meet whatever
comesalone.
#JH.BOSFBDIFEPVUXJUIGFFCMFIBOETBOEESFXIFSXFUGBDFDMPTF
to his own.
i#SBWF-JUUMF.PUIFS wIFGBMUFSFE

T B
I XIJNPG-JUUMF.PUIFSTUIBUTIFDPVMEOPUTUBOEGPS
the Boys beard. She said it made him seem strange and alien. Boy had
TNJMFEBUIFSSFRVFTUi4IBWF 8IZ PGDPVSTF -JUUMF.PUIFS *NOPU
SFBMMZTFUPOUIFCFBSENZTFMGF#FSMJOGFMMPXTBMMEPJU ZPVTFF BOE
XF"NFSJDBOTGBMMJOMJOF*XPSFJUIPNFCFDBVTF*UIPVHIUZPVEIBWF
UPIBWFBQSPPGUIBU*NSFBMMZHSPXOVQw
-JUUMF.PUIFSDMVOHUPUIF#PZTCJHIBOEBTJGJUXFSFUPTBWFIFS
GSPNTPNFUIJOH"MMUISPVHIUIBUEBSLUJNFXJUI#JH.BO BOETJODF 
she had not been able to picture the Boy save as the tiny thing she
IBETOVHHMFEPODFJOIFSBSNTJOEBJOUZNVTMJOTBOEMBDFTJTIBE
DPNGPSUFEIFSJOBXBZKVTUIPX TIFDPVMEOPUUFMM


i0I #PZ wTIFTBJEi*UTUIFDIBOHFT*XBOUUPGPSHFU*XBOUZPV


UPQVUBTJEFFWFSZUIJOHZPVDBOGPSBXIJMFUIBUDBOTFQBSBUFNF
GSPNUIFPMEBTTPDJBUJPOTw
And the Boy, sensing clearly, put aside the beardtogether with
IJTPXOHSJFGBOETFOTFPGBNJTTJOHQSFTFODFBOEBJSFEOPUIJOHJOIFS
sight but his old cheery smile and boyish confidences.
"OEIPXEFBSJUBMMTFFNFE-JGFCFHBOUPMPPLUP-JUUMF.PUIFSBT
JGJUNJHIUIPMETPNFUIJOHGPSIFSBGUFSBMM#PZ XJUIIJTMPWJOHGBDF
opposite her at table, and his stalwart presence an assured stay and
QSPUFDUJPOFWFSZEBZ)PXTIFIBENJTTFEUIBUPODFGBNJMJBSTFOTFJO
those past, dark months! Little tasks whose dullness and routine had
TQFMMFEEJTUBTUFJOIFSMJTUMFTTNJTFSZ VOEFSUIF#PZTTIPXPGJOUFSFTU
CFHBOUPTFFNJNQPSUBOU/PUIJOHXBTUPPNJOVUFGPSIJTBQQSFDJBtive notice. It made everything look different.

T C
L M MPTUIFSPODFQPJHOBOUTFOTFPGMPOFMJness when the career loomed in sight. It was only natural, as Big Man
IBE GPSFTFFO UIBU B ZPVOH NBO IBMPFE XJUI UIF QSFTUJHF PG B EJQMPNBUJDBQQPJOUNFOU TIPVME JOIJTIPNFUPXOCFBOFBSMZNBSLGPS
QPMJUJDBMQSFGFSFODF*UUPPL#PZPVUBHSFBUEFBM FTQFDJBMMZXIFOUIF
DBNQBJHOXBTJOGVMMUJMU-JUUMF.PUIFSNBOBHFEUPHFUUISPVHIUIF
EBZT GBJSMZ XFMM  CVU UIF FWFOJOHT XIJDI UIF #PZ TQFOU NPTUMZ XJUI
the Central Committee or at political meetings and state stumping,
seemed harder to bear. His step on the porch during that time became
more or less a daily and nightly vigil. She rose almost at daylight to get
UIFOFXTQBQFSBOESFBESFQPSUTPGIJTDBNQBJHOTQFFDIFTBOEJUBMM
CSPVHIUCBDLUIFPMEQSJEFTIFIBEGFMUBUIJTTDIPPMBOEDPMMFHFBOE
EJQMPNBUJD IPOPST PVHIUT PG IPX #JH .BO XPVME IBWF SFKPJDFE
BUUIJTEBZDBNFVQPGUFOUPDIPLFIFS CVUTIFIBTUJMZQVUUIFNBXBZ 
remembering her solemn promise to Big Man, in that last dark hour.
When the election was over, and the Boy came home escorted by
the brass band and the prominent party members, Little Mother
FYQFSJFODFE B HVJMUZ RVBMN BU UIF UIPVHIU PG CFJOH BCMF UP JOEVMHF


Spencer: Little Mother

TVDIIBQQJOFTT*UCPVHIUBHSFBUFSKPZUIPVHIXIFOTIFSFBMJ[FEUIF
DBNQBJHOXPSLXBTFOEFEBOEUIBUTIFXPVMEOPXTFFNPSFPGUIF
#PZFZXFSFUBMLJOHJUPWFSBUCSFBLGBTU BOEUIF#PZXBTCFBNJOH
XJUIIFSCFDBVTFPGIJTHPPEGPSUVOF
i*UNFBOTFWFONPSFUIBOKVTUUIFXJOOJOHPVU -JUUMF.PUIFS wIF
TBJEi.ZBTTVSFEQPTJUJPONBLFTQPTTJCMFBOFWFOUGPSXIJDI*IBWF
been dearly longing this past year.

T W
L M still while he told her. It had occurred
UPIFSPGUFO PGDPVSTF UIBUJOFWJUBCMFTPNFUIJOHCVUTIFIBEQVUJU
BXBZRVJDLMZFBDIUJNFXJUIBMJUUMFTIJWFSF#PZXBTBMMTIFIBE
OPX  TVSFMZ OP POF IBE TVDI B DMBJN PO IJN BT TIFBU MFBTU GPS B
time. She expected it to happen sometime, but not until her sore
TFOTF PG UIBU PUIFS TFQBSBUJPO IBE TPNFXIBU IFBMFE F #PZ XBT
ZPVOH UIFSFXBTQMFOUZPGUJNFBOETIFSFBMMZIBEIBETPMJUUMFPGIJT
DPNQBOZGPSZFBST4VSFMZ
Dont think, Little Mother, the Boy was saying, Dont think this
XJMMNFBOTFQBSBUJPOGSPNZPV4IFJTBTVOTFMmTIBTTIFJTCFBVUJGVM 
BOETPGBSGSPNMPTJOHBOZUIJOHPVUPGZPVSMJGF ZPVXJMMHBJOZFT 
more than you think. You will have a daughter, you see, as well as a
TPO*IBWFQJDUVSFEJUPGUFO -JUUMF.PUIFS ZPVSIBWJOHTPNFPOFUP
IFMQCFBSZPVSMPOFMJOFTT*UXJMMUBLFBOBDUVBMMPBEGSPNNZTIPVMEFST UPGFFMUIFSFXJMMCFBOPUIFSOFBSBOEEFBS POFUPDBSFGPSZPV
as I do.
Little Mother brightened at this picturelike the morning-glories
POUIFQPSDIWJOFBUUIFUPVDIPGUIFEFX
i*NTVSFJUXJMMCFBMMSJHIU #PZ *LOFXJUXPVMEDPNFTPNFUJNF PG
course, andI am gladyou have chosen so well. She will make you
BHPPEXJGF *UIJOL BOE*XJMMEPBMMJONZQPXFSUPIFMQZPVNBLF
both happy.
Little Mother thought it all over when the Boy had gone downtown. It would be as he said: No separationno estrangement
OPUIJOHCVUHBJOBOPUIFSMJGFBEEFEUPUIFJST UIFZXPVMECSJOHUP


FBDIBHSFBUFSDPNQMFUFOFTTFSFNJHIUCFDIJMESFO UPPIFSIFBSU
HBWFBKPZPVTUISPCBUUIFUIPVHIU)PXCMJOEBOEOBSSPXBOETFMGish her love had been! It was time something had happened to bring
her to her senses.
June cameand the wedding was over with its buoying excitement,
and warm-hued hopes. Summer and autumn, and winter again, with
endless weeks and long, dark days.
Something was wrongsomething that lay in the repeated
BCTFODFT HSPXJOHTUFBEJMZMPOHFSBOEMPOHFS"GFXEBZT BUmSTUUIFO
a week, two weeks, and now nearly a month. In the same city, too,
XJUIBTUSFFUDBSQBTTJOHCPUIUIFJSEPPST BOEOPUFWFOUIFUSPVCMFPG
USBOTGFS4IFIBEOPUOPUJDFEBUmSTUMJUUMFUIJOHTNJHIUIBWFBSJTFO
IPVTFIPMEEVUJFTGPSUIFXJGF FYUSBXPSLBUUIFPDFJOUIFFWFOJOH 
QFSIBQT BOE4VOEBZUPLFFQ#PZCVTZFZXFSFUIFMPOFMJFTU UIPTF
4BCCBUIT 4IF IBE GPVHIU BHBJOTU UIF GFFMJOH BT TPNFUIJOH BMNPTU
XJDLFE %FBEMZ MPOFMZ  UIPVHI  UIF IPNFDPNJOH GSPN $IVSDI UP
the empty house, and lonely mealtimes. Her neighbor had come in
PGUFOGSPNOFYUEPPS UPCFTVSFCVUXIPFWFSGSBNFEUIBUQSPWFSC
BCPVUUIFDPNQBSBUJWFUIJDLOFTTPGCMPPETIPVMEIBWFTFOTFEUIFUJF
PGNPUIFSIPPEUPLOPXBMMUIBUJUNFBOU
What is it, Boy? She asked the question again, with her hand on
his drooping head, as he sat in the arm-chair. Is itam I the cause
have I done anything to trouble you?
Mother! You
You have been away so long, dear, that iscompared to the first
GFXNPOUIT ZPVLOPX*XBTBGSBJETPNFUIPVHIUMFTTOFTTPGNJOF
might have been the cause.
i*UIBTOPUIJOHUPEPXJUIZPVQFSTPOBMMZBUBMM*UTKVTUXFMM &MTJF
isnt well, you know, mother, andshe naturally wants me with her.
4IFEPFTOUDBSFUPHPPVUNVDI OPX ZPVTFF BOE*XFMM PGDPVSTF *
DBOUMFBWFIFS:PVMMNBLFUIFCFTUPGJU XPOUZPV.PUIFS GPSBXIJMF 
JG*EPOUTFFZPV "GUFSBXIJMF XIFO&MTJFGFFMTCFUUFS JUXJMMCFEJGGFSFOU4IFXJMMHFUPVUNPSFw
i(FUPVUNPSFw4IFXJTIFEIFSOFJHICPSIBEOPUUPMEIFSPGUIF
XFFLMZ TFXJOH DMVC  PG UIF NBUJOFFQBSUJFT XIFSF &MTJF IBE CFFO 


Spencer: Little Mother

BDDPSEJOH UP UIF OFJHICPST HMPXJOH BDDPVOU iUIF MJGF PG UIF DSPXEw
)BEJUCFFOSFBMMZIFSGBVMU TIFBTLFEIFSTFMGTPNFMJUUMFJOBUUFOUJPO 
or thoughtlessness towards the girl-bride? She had wished to be mindGVMTIFIBEBOVOEJTTFNCMFEBFDUJPO XIJDITIFGFMUTVSF&MTJFNVTU
IBWFTFOTFE4IFXBTBXBLFGBSJOUPUIFOJHIU XPOEFSJOH BOESPTFUP
IFSMPOFMZCSFBLGBTUXJUITPNFUIJOHMJLFUIBUEFBEXFJHIUBUIFSIFBSU
TIFIBELOPXOBGUFS#JH.BOEJFE*UMBZUIFSFNBOZBEBZ BGUFSUIBU 
though Boy called her up twice a day, by wire, and Elsie came down
XJUI#PZPOF4VOEBZBGUFSOPPO BOETIBSFEIFSMJHIUMVODIXJUIIFS
&WFOXIFO#PZCFHBOUPNBLFXFFLMZDBMMT SVOOJOHEPXOFWFOJOHGPS
BIBMGIPVSTDIBUBTIFIBEOPUEPOFGPSNPOUITUIFXFJHIUEJEOPU
MFTTFO CVUJOEFFEHSFXGPSUIFUSPVCMFEMPPLJOUIF#PZTGBDFIBE
deepenedwas always there, and a constraint, too, in his manner that
made him seem somewhat alien, like the German beard.
4IFXBUDIFEIJNBOYJPVTMZ UIPVHIXJUIPVUTJHO GFBSGVMMFTUTIF
NJHIUUPVDI VOXJUUJOHMZ TPNFTPSFTFOTFFUSPVCMF JGUSPVCMFJU
were, made the first one he had not discussed with her, as a comrade,
JOCZHPOFUJNFT*UXBTTVDIBMJUUMFUIJOH UIJTPOFBOEPOMZSFTFSWF
she was childish, yes, even, selfish, to make it an anxiety. She would
QVUUIFUIPVHIUPGJUPVUPGIFSNJOE BOEUSZUPIFMQIJNCBDLUPUIF
PMECPZJTI DBSFGSFFOFTT
FDPNJOHPGUIFHSBOETPOIFMQFE*OUIFKPZBOEFYDJUFNFOUPG
UIFXPOEFSGVMBEWFOU PMECVUFWFSOFX UISJMMFEXJUIJUTJOFYQMBJOBCMF
NBSWFM  BMM DPOTUSBJOU WBOJTIFE FSF XBT B TQFDJBM EJOOFS BU -JUUMF
.PUIFSTIPNFJOIPOPSPGUIFmSTUWJTJUPGUIFUJOZQPUFOUBUF UIFOPOF
BU#PZTXJUIUIFPMEHPPEXJMMBOEGSBOLMZLJOEGBNJMJBSJOUFSDPVSTF
SFOFXFE4JYNPOUITQBTTFEXJUIBOFXTFOTFPGIBQQJOFTTJO-JUUMF
.PUIFSTMJGFFHBJO#PZIBEQJDUVSFEXIFOIFUPMEPGIJTGVUVSF
marriage, seemed really to be coming true, with still another link added
UPIFSDMBJNPOUIFXPSMEFCBCZTUJOZGBDFMFBSOFEUPCSJHIUFOBU
Little Mothers sight, and the dimpled arms to go out to her in flatterJOHXFMDPNFXIFOTIFXBTQSFTFOU BOEUIFMJOFTPGBHFBOETPSSPXJO
MJUUMF.PUIFSTGBDFTPGUFOFEVOEFSUIFSFOFXFEJOnVFODFPGDIFFS
Boy did not find time to make the weekly visits now, since the
OFXDMBJNPOIJTIPNFMJGFCVUUIFSFXBTOPDPOTUSBJOU OPTQJSJUPG


CSPPEJOHFTUSBOHFNFOUUPXPSSZIFS8JUIIFSQMBJOHBSEFOJOGSPOU 
BOEUIFMJUUMFQMPUBUUIFCBDLPGUIFIPVTFXIJDI#PZIBEQSPVEMZ
planted in spring shoots, and her neighbor coming in now and then
to while away the hours at home, and her own duties, the time passes
XJUITVSQSJTJOHTXJGUOFTTBOEQMFBTVSF
4IFCMBNFEIFSTFMG XIFOTIFCFHBOUPOPUJDFUIJOHTBHBJOi .ZPXO
JEMF TFMmTIJNBHJOBUJPOwTIFUPMEIFSTFMG JOEJHOBOUMZi *BNCFHJOOJOH
UPEFNBOEUIBUNZMJGFTIBMMIBWFOPDMPVE UIBUTBMM"TJG* PS#PZ PS
BOZPOFFMTFDBOFYQFDUQFSGFDUDPOUFOUBOEQFBDFUPMBTU5JNFUPHFU
SJEPGUIJTNPSCJEJNBHJOBUJPO JG*NOPUUPNBLFNZTFMG BOE#PZBOE
everyone else miserable.
She held to her struggle resolutely, even when Boy began to come
down every day, with his mouth set in hard, determined, but unhappy
lines, and his manner distraught with the old constraint.
-JUUMF .PUIFS XBUDIFE #PZ ESPQ GSPN UIF DBS QMBUGPSN POF EBZ
XJUIBOVOVTVBMUJHIUFOJOHPGIFBSU)JTGBDF QBMFBOETUSBJOFE IJT
manner almost hopelesswhat could it all mean?
She put the question involuntarily, as he entered the door and flung
IJNTFMGPOUIFMJUUMFTFUUFF
)FXBTTUJMMGPSBNPNFOU UIFOTVEEFOMZXBMLFEUPUIFUBCMFi*UT
that, mother, he said, laying something on the table.
She looked at the small gold band, dazedly.
i*EPOUVOEFSTUBOEZPV #PZ wTIFTBJEiBUSJOHw
Its Elsies, motheryes, the wedding ring. You know what it means
XIFOBXJGFHJWFTUIBUCBDL EPOUZPV w
)FTBUEPXOPOUIFTPGBBHBJO BOECVSJFEIJTGBDFJOIJTIBOET
Little Mother, he said, desperately, with a sob in his voice. I cant
TBZBOZUIJOHJOTFMGKVTUJmDBUJPOXJUIPVUTFFNJOHDPXBSEMZXJUIPVU
making her bear the blame. But I have tried to make things go right
JOPVSMJWFT#VUJUEJEOUTFFNKVTUUPNF BOEOFWFSXJMM UPTBDSJmDF
ZPVBCTPMVUFMZUPPVSPXOTFMmTIFBTFBOEIBQQJOFTT"TJG*DPVMECF
IBQQZXJUIZPVEFMJCFSBUFMZQVUPVUPGNZMJGF:FT UIBUTJUTVCTUBOUJBMMZ*UTOPUKVTUBQFSTPOBMDMBJNPGXJGFBHBJOTUNPUIFS*DPVMETFF 
BOEIBWFZJFMEFEUPUIBUOBUVSBMDMBJNBTGBSBTJUEJEOPUFODSPBDIPO
BDUVBMKVTUJDFUPNFBOEZPV#VUJUJTBDMBJNPGGBNJMZBHBJOTUGBNJMZ 


Spencer: Little Mother

BOJNQFSBUJWFDMBJNGPSPVSKPJOUMPZBMUZBOEEFWPUJPOUPIFSLJOESFE 
XJUIBOBMNPTUUPUBMEJTSFHBSEPGNZPXOSJHIUT4IFDBOOPUTFOTFUIBU
I have my personal ties and home associations as dear as hers. She canOPUTFOTFUIBUNZDMBJNJT JOJUTXBZ NPSFJNQFSBUJWFCFDBVTFPGZPVS
lonelinessa condition, which she has had no chance to sense.
iBUJTUIFGPVOEBUJPOPGJUBMM -JUUMF.PUIFSPI PGDPVSTFUIFSF
have been other thingsthings we have said to each other in trying
to argue it out, each on our own side. She calls my stand stubbornness, you see, but I have made concessions that have kept me sleepless
UIJOLJOHPGZPVBOEXIBUZPVNJHIUUIJOLPGNZEFTFSUJPO*DPVMEOU
explainyou can see that, cant you, Little Mother? Ive held itbeDBVTF*XBTBGSBJE BMNPTUUPWPJDFTVDIBUIJOHBTBNJTVOEFSTUBOEJOH
CFUXFFONFBOENZXJGF*UIBTIVSUUPUIFDPSF .PUIFS:PVDBOU
HVFTTIPXNVDI*MPWFIFS*DPVMEOUMPWFIFSNPSFUIBO*EPOPX
CVU JUT NJTFSZ * DBOU TUBOE  UIF EBJMZ KBOHMJOH  BOE JOTJTUFODF VQPO
personal rights, whose absolute counterpart she denies me.
F OPPOEBZ TVO TUSFBNJOH UISPVHI UIF NVTMJO DVSUBJO CMJOEFE
Little Mothers eyes. Something dark at least came between her and
#PZTXSFUDIFEGBDF4IFQVUVQCPUIIBOETBOETIVUJUBMMPVUGPSB
moment, then quicklysensing that Boys suffering would only grow
with her own, put them down.
iJTJTTFSJPVT #PZ wTIFTBJE QSFTFOUMZi8FNVTUUIJOLXFMMBOE
EJTQBTTJPOBUFMZ TPBTOPUUPNBLFNJTUBLFTJTJTUIFCJHHFTUQSPCMFNPGZPVSMJGFZPVNVTUTUFQBTDBSFGVMMZBTJGZPVXFSFPOUIJO
glass, whose breaking will plunge you to destruction.
#PZTPXOGBDFXBTIJEEFOBOEIJTTIPSUESZTPCTXFSFUIFmSTUTIF
had heard since he was a child.
4IF ESFX IFS DIBJS UP UIF TPGBi-FUT UBML JU PWFS  #PZ w TIF TBJE
iFSFNVTUCFTPNFXBZPVUPGUIJTUIJTNJTUBLF*UTPOMZUIBU ZPV
NVTUSFNFNCFSOPUIJOHNVTUDPNFCFUXFFOZPV BOEZPVSXJGFBOE
child. A mother must not do it, above all things. You see that, dont
ZPV EFBS *UXPVMECFMJLFDVUUJOHZPVPVUPGZPVSCJSUISJHIU PSTIVUUJOHBEPPSUPLFFQZPVGSPNQBSBEJTFw
Boy sat up and threw out his arms. But the alternative, theres only
POF ZPVLOPX OPX BGUFSBMMUIBUIBTQBTTFECFUXFFOVTw


i"OEJUJTOUTPEJDVMU #PZ JGZPVMPPLBUJUJOUIFSJHIUXBZw


i:PVNFBOGPSNFUPHJWFZPVVQ w
i'JHVSBUJWFMZ  ZFTGPS B UJNF  BU MFBTU *U JT BMM OFX UP IFS  ZPV
knowthis relationship, with its new ideas, and ties. In time, I am
sure, things will look differently. We must consider her side, even a
little more than ours.
Boy uttered a little despairing groan. I have tried to do that,
Mother.
i:FT CVUZPVIBWFIBEUIFTUSVHHMFBMPOF*UJTBIBSEPOF FWFOGPS
an experienced person, and you two young people have been trying to
TUSBJHIUFOJUBMMPVUZPVSTFMWFT*GZPVIBEPOMZUPMENFBUmSTU *NJHIU
have helped you both. I can do it now, though thank heaven.
#PZHSPBOFEBHBJOi*UTUPPMBUF OPXJUTHPOFUPPGBS#FTJEFT BT
I told youa settlement can only come about on conditions I cannot
as a man, a son, or a Christian, concede.
-JUUMF.PUIFSESFXBMPOHCSFBUIFTFOTFPGUIBUDPODFTTJPOMBZ
MJLFBXFJHIUBUIFSIFBSUCVUJUNVTUOPUCBMBODFPOUIFXSPOHTJEF
You are taking it all too seriously, dear, time brings everything out
SJHIU JG XF NFFU UIJOHT BT UIFZ DPNF JO UIF SJHIU XBZ /PX MFU NF
IBOEMFUIJTGPSBXIJMF*WFKVTUIBEBUIPVHIUBOJOTQJSBUJPO XFXJMM
DBMMJUBXBZPVU*UTUIBUMJUUMFGBSNPGPVSTPVUJOUIFDPVOUSZF
QFPQMFPOJUIBWFOUCFFOEPJOHSJHIUCZVT*IBWFGFMUJUGPSTPNF
UJNF/FJHICPSTPVUUIFSFTBZUIFNBOJTSFBMMZTIJGUMFTT MFUTUIJOHT
HPIBQIB[BSE*WFGFMUGPSBMPOHUJNFPOFPGVTPVHIUUPCFPVUUIFSF
UPMPPLBGUFSUIJOHT*UJTOUNVDI PGDPVSTF BMMUPMECVUJUTPVST BOE
TPNF UJNF NBZ NFBO B HSFBU EFBM UP ZPVBOE ZPVS DIJMESFO F
UIJOHGPSNFUPEPSJHIUOPXJTUPTUBZUIFSFBOEXBUDIUIJOHTw
i-JUUMF .PUIFS )FBWFO LOPXT ZPV BSF MPOFMZ FOPVHI OPX 0VU
there
iFSFXJMMCFTPNFPOFXJUINF PGDPVSTF*TIBMMLFFQPVSUFOBOUT
PO UIFSF UPEPUIFXPSL*MMKVTUCFUIFCPTT ZPVTFFXJUIBMJUUMF
DPSOFSPGNZPXOUPLFFQBTBTPSUPGUISPOFSPPN*XPOUIBWFUJNF
UPCFMPOFTPNF ZPVLOPX XJUIBMMUIFGBSNUIJOHTPONZNJOEw
Boy came and knelt down by her low chair. Little Mother, I see
what you meanand I know what it will cost. But I believe it will


Spencer: Little Mother

save usme and Elsie and our childa sorrow worse than death.
God bless you, Little Mother, andand help to bring it out all right
in the end.
4IFXBUDIFEIJNTXJOHPOUIFDBS IJTTUFQMJHIUFSCZGBSUIBOXIFO
IFIBEDPNFFIPQFMFTTMPPLPOIJTGBDF UPP IBEMJGUFE UIPVHIIJT
mouth dropped and the eyes that gave her a parting glance were dim.
8IFOIFXBTRVJUFPVUPGTJHIU -JUUMF.PUIFSGFMMPOIFSLOFFT

T E
L M IBETPVOEFEUIFVUNPTUEFFQTPG
MPOFMJOFTTBGUFSUIFQBTTJOHPG#JH.BO CVUUIFOTIFIBEUIF#PZT
IPNFDPNJOHUPMJWFGPSBOEOPXUIFSFXBTOPUIJOH
FGBSNMBZNJMFTGSPNUIFSBJMSPBEBOEUIFOFBSFTUOFJHICPS BOE
Little Mothers sole companions were the hired help, who were in a
TUBUFPGQFSQFUVBMHSPVDICFDBVTFUIFQSFTFODFPG-JUUMF.PUIFSJOUFSGFSFEXJUIUIFJSPXOEFTJHOT
-JUUMF.PUIFSTFOTFEUIJT IBMGQJUJGVMMZ4IFXBTJOFWFSZCPEZTXBZ
&WFO#PZXPVMEIBWFBDFSUBJOTFOTFPGSFMJFGJOIFSBCTFODFFSF
XFSFIJTXJGFBOEDIJMEBOEDBSFFSFOPVHIUPLFFQBOZNBOTNJOE
PDDVQJFEFZXPVMEIFMQIJN JGOPUUPGPSHFU BUMFBTUOPUUPNJTT
her. Time and custom wipe out many things.
/FXDIJMESFOXPVMEDPNFUIFZXPVMEIFBSPGIFSTPNFUJNFT PG
DPVSTFTIFDPVMEUSVTU#PZTMPZBMUZGPSUIBUCVUUIFJSDIJMEJTIMPWF 
UIFJSTFOTFPGLJOTIJQXPVMEOFWFSVOGPME
-JUUMF.PUIFSQJDUVSFEIFSTFMGHSPXJOH BTZFBSTXFOUPO MFTTBOE
MFTTUPBMMPGUIFNBOEmOBMMZTPMJUUMF JOBSFBMTFOTF UIBUXIFOUIF
worse came, it would mean but a momentary wrench to be quickly
BTTVBHFE4IFNJHIUFWFOEJFBMPOFJOUIFGBSPQMBDF
-JUUMF .PUIFST TPSSPXGVM CSPPEJOH XBT JOUFSSVQUFE CZ B TVEEFOLOPDLBUUIFEPPS4IFXFOUIBTUJMZBOETJHOFEGPSUIFUFMFHSBN
mechanically but with trembling hands. She did not open or read the
NFTTBHF GPSIFSIFBSUUPMEIFSCFGPSFIBOEXIBUJUXBTFMBTUCMPX
IBEGBMMFOUIBUDPVMEXSJOH-JUUMF.PUIFSTIFBSU
FSFXBTOP(PEBGUFSBMM


A Being supreme in knowledge and power and mercy would have


TQBSFEIFSUIJTBOHVJTI)FXPVMEIBWFUBLFOIFSMJGFTPXSFUDIFE
BOEVTFMFTT BOETBWFEUIBUPUIFSUSVUIGVMPOFGPSJUTXFMMTUBSUFEQJMgrimage. Boy dead! It was a thing absolutely monstrousunholy! For
UIFmSTUUJNFJOIFSMJGF-JUUMF.PUIFSTMJQTCFHBOUPGSBNFTPNFUIJOH
almost blasphemous

* * * * * * * *
W, L M Y NVTU CF IBWJOH CBE ESFBNT *G ZPV
thrash about with your arms like that youll hurt the Babe.
It was Big Mans voice, a little curious and anxious.
i4IF TBX UPP NVDI DPNQBOZ ZFTUFSEBZ w TBJE UIF OVSTF GSPN UIF
DPSOFS XIFSFTIFXBTQVUUJOHBGSFTIDMVTUFSPGSPTFTJOUPBWBTFF
&YDJUFNFOUIBTNBEFIFSGFWFSJTI BOE*TIBMMQVUBTUPQUPWJTJUPST
DBMMTGPSBUMFBTUBXFFLw
iBUEJDUVNEPFTOPUJODMVEFIFSCFTUCFBV *IPQF wTBJE#JH.BO 
including Little Mother and the Boy in a general hug.
Let me take him, said Little Mother quite wildly, clasping the Boy
hungrily to her heart. He is mineI tell youI have gone down to
UIFHBUFPGEFBUIUPHBJOIJN)FJTNJOFUPLFFQw



Beauty for Ashes


E M

I.
&*watch this reality show, What Not to Wear. Clinton
BOE4UBDZ UIFTUZMFHVSVT UBLFTPNFPOFXJUIPVUBOZGBTIJPOTFOTF 
mock her wardrobe, give her style advice, and take her on a five thouTBOEEPMMBSTIPQQJOHUSJQFDIPTFOXPNFOCFHJOUIFTIPXDMJOHJOH
UPUIFJSTBEGBTIJPODIPJDFTUIFHJSMXFBSJOHQBOUTXJUITBGFUZQJOOFE
seams, the military woman hiding her toned body in shapeless black
DMPUIFTFXPNFOTUBSUPVUEFGFOTJWFUIFZMFBWFUSBOTGPSNFE DSZJOHUFBSTPGHSBUJUVEF
*XBUDIJUBOE*UIJOL *XFBSFMBTUJDXBJTUFEQBOUT0GUFO/PUKVTU
XIFO *N QSFHOBOU  PS FWFO CBCZ SFDPWFSJOH FZ BSF DPNGPSUBCMF
*TJUSFBMMZTPCBE *XFBS5TIJSUT QPOZUBJMT BOETDSVODIJFTBUT
NZXBSESPCF6OMFTT*UIJOLBCPVUJUUPPIBSE *EPOUSFBMMZNJOE
8BUDIJOH$MJOUPOBOE4UBDZEFDSZCBEGBTIJPONBLFTNFUIJOLBCPVU
JU*FOWZBOEBENJSFUIFNBOEBMMXIPCFMPOHUPUIFJSCFBVUJGVM QVU
together clan. I want to imitate their impeccable taste and to belittle
it at the same time. Whenever I turn off the television, Im caught up
in the same internal debate: are Clinton and Stacy petty or are they
engaged in a noble work, rescuing a new Eliza Doolittle each week?
$MJOUPOBOE4UBDZNBZUSBOTGPSNQMBJOXPNFOJOUPCFBVUJFT CVU
they spew cruel one-liners along the way. I cringe contemplating what
they would say about my olive green, pilled sweater (it goes with my
FMBTUJDXBJTUFEKFBOT
*UTGSPNUIFDMPTFUPGNZNPUIFSJOMBX XIP
EJFEGPVSZFBSTBHP8FXFOUUISPVHIIFSDMPUIFTBGUFSIFSEFBUI*
LFQU B GFX UIJOHT  BOE * XFBS UIFN FZ SFNJOE NF PG IFS  FWFO
though they would not pass muster on television. My sweater would

CFDSJUJRVFE MBVHIFEBU BOEUPTTFEJOUIFUSBTI KVTUMJLFUIFTBGFUZ


pinned slacks.
How blind, I think, as I listen to Stacys prescripted catty comNFOUTFSFTNPSFUPUIFTFHPPEQFPQMFUIBOXIBUUIFZXFBS*SPMM
my eyes at so much shallowness, and at the same time, I wish it were
me on the show. I would pick out a miraculous skirt to hide the gut
UISFF$TFDUJPOTMFGUCFIJOE*XPVMENPSQIGSPNGSVNQZNPNJOUP
chic woman. For all my sniping at What Not to Wear, I must acknowlFEHFUIBU$MJOUPOBOE4UBDFZIBWFBQPJOUQFPQMFKVEHFNFPOUIF
XBZ*MPPL*LOPXUIFZEP*XJTIUIFZEJEOU CVU*EPJUUPP*TFF
BQFSGFDUMZNBEFVQNPNXJUIBIBOEGVMPGLJETJOUIFHSPDFSZTUPSF 
BOE*UIJOL IPXUIFIFDLEPZPVMPPLUIBUHPPEXJUIGPVSDIJMESFO 
8IBU LJOE PG UJNF EPFT JU UBLF 8IZ JT JU XPSUI JU UP ZPV "OE *
always wonder, should looking that polished be worth it to me?

II.
*    FOSJDINFOU DPNNJUUFF GPS B GFX ZFBST 0ODF *
missed a meeting and, in my absence, the leader entrusted me with a
GBNJMZIPNFFWFOJOHEJTQMBZUBCMF*XPSSJFEPWFSUIBUUBCMF*TFBSDIFE
UIF*OUFSOFUGPSJEFBT*QSJOUFEVQTJHOTBOEIBOEPVUT CVU*IBEOP
idea how to make it look cute. Nervous about what I had prepared,
*BSSJWFEBOECFHBOUPTFUVQFOUIFFEVDBUJPODPVOTFMPSCVTUMFE
over, bringing a tablecloth. A tablecloth! I hadnt even thought about
B UBCMFDMPUI  UIBU FTTFOUJBM 3FMJFG 4PDJFUZ JOHSFEJFOU  UIF CVUU PG BMM
UIFKPLFT
FXPNFOJONZXBSEHMBODFEBUNZEJTQMBZFZUPPLUIFIBOEPVUTFZUIBOLFENF#VUJUXBTBTBEMJUUMFUBCMFOPnPXFSDFOUFSQJFDF OPEJFDVUmHVSFT OPUIJOHTDSBQCPPLZ+VTUTPNFMJTUTPGJEFBT
*QSJOUFEVQ CMBDLBOEXIJUF BOEBTUBDLPGIBOEPVUT"MMTJUUJOHPO
that tablecloth.
* GFMU SFMJFWFE XIFO UIF OJHIU FOEFE * SFTFOUFE NZ BTTJHONFOU
I did many Church things well: Sunday School lessons, visiting teaching, playing the piano. Why ask me to make a display table? Why


Milner: Beauty for Ashes

not BTTJHOJUUPTPNFPOFXIPXPVMEFOKPZIFSTFMGBOEHBUIFSDPNQMJNFOUTJOTUFBEPGJOEJFSFODFPSFWFOQJUZ

III.
I I MPWFEUIFUIFBUFS*GBOUBTJ[FEBCPVUQFSGPSNJOH
on stage, though our director never cast me in a play. Instead, I wore
TUBHFIBOECMBDLBOESVTIFETFUTJOUPQMBDF UIFOMJTUFOFEGSPNCFIJOE
UIF TDFOFT UP UIF BDUPST EJTUBOU WPJDFT 0OF OJHIU CFGPSF B QFSGPSmance, a makeup girl decided to make me over.
i$PNFPO w%FBOOBTBJE4IFXBHHMFEUIFNBLFVQCSVTIJOGSPOUPG
me. Just let me do your eyes. Just your eyes. She pursed her mouth,
looked me over. Maybe lips, too.
.BLFVQCBFENF*SFBEUIFUFFONBHB[JOFFYQMBOBUJPOTPGIPX
UP BQQMZ JU BOE UIFZ TFFNFE GPSFJHOi"QQMZ UIF FZF TIBEPX JO UIF
DSFBTFw*IBEWFSZTNBMMFZFTFSFXBTOUNVDIPGBDSFBTFi-JHIUMZ
CSVTIUIFBQQMFTPGZPVSDIFFLTw.ZSPVOEDIFFLTXFSFBMMBQQMF
But maybe this girl could teach me how it was done. We had a couple
PGDMBTTFTUPHFUIFS4IFXBTPOFPGUIPTFOJDFHJSMT OPUUPPQPQVMBS OPU
UPPTNBSU KVTUOPSNBM#VUTUJMM OPUTPNFPOF*LOFXXFMM*GFMUJOTFDVSF
$PVME%FBOOBXBWFIFSNBTDBSBXBOEBOEDIBOHFNFJOUP#FBVUJGVM
i0I  BMM SJHIU w * TBJE  BDUJOH BT UIPVHI * XFSF EPJOH IFS B GBWPS 
JOTUFBEPGUIFPUIFSXBZBSPVOE*EJEOPUXBOUUPTIPXIPXNVDI*
cared about this.
%FBOOBXPSLFEPONZGBDF BOEXIFOTIFXBTEPOF*MPPLFEBU
NZTFMGJOUIFNJSSPSFGBDFTUBSJOHCBDLBUNFCFMPOHFEUPBEJFSent girl. Not me, not me.
iBOLT w*TBJE iJUMPPLTPLBZw*XBTUSZJOHUPCFDBTVBM CVUNZ
WPJDFDIPLFE BOE*GBJMFE8BTJUPOMZQPTTJCMFGPSNFUPMPPLQSFUUZ
when someone helped me? I did not know Deanna well. Red lips and
QJOLDIFFLTNBEFNFGFFMOBLFE*EJEOUUSVTUIFS8PVMETIFHPTTJQ
about me later? Would she whisper about making over the notorious
nerd and about how she had made me cry? It didnt matter how well
*XPSFNBLFVQBOZXBZ *UPMENZTFMG*DPVMEOFWFSCFBTQSFUUZBTUIF
popular girls, so I might as well not spend too much time trying.


IV.
0camping trip, my husband Matt and I drove
into Kodachrome Basin State Park at night. To get to Kodachrome
we drove through Bryce Canyon, so I assumed that somewhere, in
the dark outside, the scenery was spectacular. Right then, though,
*DPVMETFFOPUIJOHCVUUIFTIJOJOHQSPKFDUFECZPVSIFBEMJHIUT BOE
the occasional animal blinded by unexpected light. I doled out snacks,
snapped at our tired kids, and wondered why we had made the effort
PG HPJOH DBNQJOH POMZ UP BSSJWF TP MBUF 8F XPVME OFFE UP QVU VQ
PVSMJUUMFUFOUCZnBTIMJHIU XIJMFPVSFYIBVTUFEDIJMESFOXBJUFEGPSB
place to sleep.
My husband, patient like water, put up the tent without getting
BOHSZ*IFMEUIFCBCZBOEUIFnBTIMJHIU*NVUUFSFEUPNZTFMGBCPVU
UIJTCFJOHPVSmSTU MBTU BOEPOMZDBNQJOHUSJQ/PUUPPMPVEUIPVHI
*EJEOPUXBOUNZBUUJUVEFUPJOGFDU4DPUUBOE/PSBI NZDIJMESFO*
XBOUFEUIFNUPFOKPZDBNQJOH FWFOUIPVHI*OFWFSEJE*IBEUIJT
GBOUBTZPGGBNJMZCPOEJOHCFTJEFBDBNQmSF*OTUFBE*DIBTFEUIFN
BSPVOEUIFTPGUEJSU DBMMJOHi$BOZPVIPMEUIFnBTIMJHIUGPS%BEEZ w
and Stay close to the tent!
Matt finished setting up and we spent a sleepless, cold night, in
OFXTMFFQJOHCBHTUIBUEJEOPU[JQVQXFMM/PSBISFGVTFEUPFOUFSIFS
TMFFQJOHCBHBOETMFQUJOTUFBEPOUPQPGJU TIJWFSJOH0VSCBCZOFFEFE
UPTVDLPOIJTUIVNC TP*MFGUJUPVUTJEFPGIJTXBSNCVOUJOHJT
gave him a thumb to suck on, and also a very cold hand. He did not
XBOUUPTMFFQ TP*OVSTFEIJNBOEXFTOVHHMFEUPHFUIFSGPSXBSNUI
*HPUVQXIFOUIFTLZCFHBOUPUVSOHSBZXJUIMJHIUFO BDSPTT
GSPNPVSDBNQTJUF *TBXGPSUIFmSTUUJNFUIFSFBTPOXFDBNFUIFSF
BHJBOUSFEDIJNOFZ#JHBOETUPOZ JUMPPNFEPWFSUIFSPBEJOGSPOUPG
our campsite.
"I*MPPLFEBUJUGPSBXIJMF*SFNFNCFSFEXIZ*XBOUFEUPHP
camping. I wanted my kids to see these chimneys, and to sense a little
awe as we stood in their presence. I wanted those red rocks in my
memory, and in theirs.
When Norah woke up, she continued to boycott the camping experience until we placated her with M&Ms. But when Scott emerged


Milner: Beauty for Ashes

GSPNUIFUFOU IFTBXUIFUBMMSFEDIJNOFZBOEKVTUHB[FEBUXBT
XIBU XF DBNF UP TFF  XIBU (PE NBEF GPS VT )JT IBOE TIBQFE UIF
SPDLTBOEMFGUUIFNCBSFBOESFE SFNJOEJOHVTPGCFBVUZ PGQPXFS BOE
BMTPPGUIFNJMMFOOJBPGFPSUSFRVJSFE TPNFUJNFT UPNBLFTPNFUIJOH
CFBVUJGVM

V.
0enrichment committee assignments was to bring
china to our August garden party.
i$IJOB w*UPME.BUUBUIPNF BGUFSNZNFFUJOHi8IZDIJOB 8IZ
OPU QMBTUJD  FZ NBLF OJDF QMBTUJD EJTIFT UIFTF EBZT 8IP OFFET
DIJOB w*HSVNCMFEGPSBXIJMFBCPVUUIFMPHJTUJDTPGDPMMFDUJOHFOPVHI
DIJOBGPSTJYUZQFPQMF
How am I going to carry it? And whos going to let me use their
china? I asked the enrichment leader in our next planning meeting. I
was a little passive aggressive: I would do it, but along the way I would
QPJOUPVUBMMUIFEJDVMUJFTPGHFUUJOHJUEPOF
i8SBQQFEJODMPUIBOEUPXFMT JUTOPUUPPGBS wTIFTBJEi"OE*CFU
UIFSFBSFMPUTPGXPNFOXIPXPVMEWPMVOUFFSUIFJSTw
8FVTFENJOF JUTmSTUVTFTJODF*HPUNBSSJFE BOEUIFDIJOBPG
TFWFSBMPUIFSTJTUFST*QBDLFEJUDBSFGVMMZJOUPXFMTBOEMBVOESZCBTLFUT  BOE CSPVHIU JU GPS UIF DPNNJUUFF UP TFU VQ * DPVMEOU TUBZ UP
IFMQ  CVU * DBNF CBDL MBUFS KVTU BT UIFZ XFSF mOJTIJOH UIF QSFQBSBtions: eight round tables, lavender-colored linen tablecloths, tiered
IPSTEPFVWSFDFOUFSQJFDFT&BDITJTUFSIBEBDIJOBQMBDFTFUUJOHF
XBSNBJSTNFMMFEPGCBTJMBOEUPNBUPFTFSFXBTBMJUUMFHB[FCPJO
UIFHBSEFO BOEBGFXQBUITUPFYQMPSF
*XBUDIFEUIFTJTUFSTGBDFTBTUIFZFOUFSFEFZTPGUFOFE FODPVOUFSJOHUIBUHBSEFOFXPNFOSFTQPOEFEUPJUTCFBVUZ UPUIFIPVST
TQFOUJOQSFQBSBUJPOKVTUGPSUIFN
"MMUIFTFMJUUMFUPVDIFTEJEOUDPNFOBUVSBMMZUPNFFZXFSFOPU
UIJOHT*XPVMEIBWFUIPVHIUPGPONZPXOUIFDFOUFSQJFDFBSSBOHFE
KVTUTP UIFUJFSFETFSWFSTPOFBDIUBCMF UIFJSPOFEUBCMFDMPUIT*CBMLFE


at them: is this really necessary? Do we have to add this detail? Its


HPPEFOPVHI JUTCFBVUJGVMFOPVHI
4UJMM *IBEDPMMFDUFEUIFDIJOB QBDLFEJUVQ CSPVHIUJUGPSUIFTF
sisters. My efforts, though grudging, had contributed to this sweet
TVNNFSFWFOJOH"OE*SFBMJ[FEUIBUUIF3FMJFG4PDJFUZFOSJDINFOU
DPNNJUUFF DSFBUFE CFBVUZ JO JUT QVSFTU GPSN OPU UP CF CFUUFS UIBO
anyone else, but to serve.

VI.
+ CFGPSFNZNPUIFSJOMBXTGVOFSBM*ESPWF
through the snow the way I always do: fists tight on the steering wheel,
CBDLUJHIUXJUIUFOTJPO*OFFEFEUPLFFQNZTFMGDPNQPTFEBT*SBO
errands. Driving in snowy conditions did not help.
*IBEHPOFUPIVOUGPSTPNFUIJOHUPXFBSUPUIFGVOFSBM"OE XJUIout thinking too hard about it, I pulled into a beauty salon with a
walk-ins welcome sign, and I walked in.
i%PZPVIBWFBOZPOFGSFFOPX w*BTLFEUIFSFDFQUJPOJTU4IFIBE
QFSGFDU IBJS  HFOUMZ nJQQFE  OJDF IJHIMJHIUT F TBMPO TNFMMFE MJLF
NVTLZTIBNQPP TPNFUIJOHXJUIBMPUPGIFSCTJOJU-BWFOEFSBOE
anise and who knows what else.
4IF MPPLFE NF PWFS  TDSVUJOJ[JOH NZ XPSO KFBOT BOE QPOZUBJM
*IBWFBGPVSNPOUIPMECBCZ *XBOUFEUPUFMMIFS BOE*NKVTUOPU
putting that much into looking good right now. But you cant really
EPUIBUZPVDBOUXFBSBTJHOUIBUTBZT*MPPLGSVNQZUPEBZCFDBVTF
#FDBVTFJUUBLFTIBMGBOIPVSUPCMPXESZNZTUVQJEIBJSBOEFWFO
UIFOJUEPFTOUMPPLSJHIU#FDBVTF*LFFQGPSHFUUJOHUPCVZOFXNBTDBSB#FDBVTFNZGBTIJPOTFOTFJTQFSNBOFOUMZTUVDLJOUIFFJHIUJFT
#FDBVTF*DSJOHFBUTQFOEJOHNPSFUIBOmGUFFOEPMMBSTPOBOZJUFNPG
clothing.
i*UIJOL+BOFUTBWBJMBCMFOPX wTIFTBJEi$PNFCBDLUIJTXBZw*GPMMPXFEIFSUPUIFTUZMJTUTDIBJSFSFDFQUJPOJTUXBTTUJMMMPPLJOHBUNF
JOUIBUTVQFSJPSXBZ PSNBZCFJUXBTKVTUNZJNBHJOBUJPO&JUIFSXBZ 
*GFMUPVUPGQMBDF


Milner: Beauty for Ashes

+BOFU XBT B CJU QMVNQ /PU GVMMZ PWFSXFJHIU MJLF NF  CVU OJDFMZ
SPVOE8JUIHSFBUIBJS PGDPVSTF#VU*MJLFEIFSNPSFCFDBVTFTIF
was not rail thin like the receptionist.
What are we doing today? she asked.
A cut to look like this, I told her, pulling out a picture. Dont layer
JUUPPNVDI*NOPUWFSZHPPEXJUITUZMJOHJUw
i*TUIJTGPSTPNFUIJOHTQFDJBM wTIFTBJE4IFXBMLFENFPWFSUPUIF
sink and ran her fingers through my hair.
i*UTNZNPUIFSJOMBXTGVOFSBM w*TBJEi*KVTUOFFEJUUPMPPLHPPE
GPSUIBUw
"MM PG B TVEEFO * XBT FNPUJPOBM  USZJOH OPU UP DSZ * IBE CFFO
shopping all morning, and I hadnt cried, even though I hated shopQJOH*IBEGPDVTFEPOUSZJOHUPmOETPNFUIJOHBQQSPQSJBUFUIBUBMTP
NBOBHFEUPNBLFNFOPUMPPLGBU CBCZXFJHIU *UPMENZTFMG CBCZ
weight).
"T * TJGUFE UISPVHI DMPUIFT BOE DIFDLFE UIF UBHT GPS TJ[FT  * EJE
OPUDSZ*QJDLFEPVUBTLJSUGPSUIFGVOFSBMCSPXOQMBJE XJUIBGSJOHF
around the bottom, and a long creamy wool sweater. With new shoes
UPP CMBDLnBUT*FWFOUPMEUIFTIPFMBEZXIBUUIFZXFSFGPS NZWPJDF
neutral, without emotion. But here, sitting in the hairdressers chair,
UIFUFOTJPOGSPNTIPQQJOHBOEESJWJOHJOUIFTOPXGFMMBXBZ BOE*MFU
the tears come.
Were you close? Janet asked me.
I nodded. I sniffled. Somehow I could dump all this now, when
* IBE CFFO TUSPOH JO GSPOU PG UIF TIPF MBEZi4IF MJWFE JO NZ CBTFNFOU GPS UIF MBTU UXP ZFBST w * TBJE * UPME +BOFU BCPVU .PN )PX
she loved my son, her only grandson, and played with him every day.
Doctors told her she would never live to see any grandchildren, but
TIFIBEFOUIFEJBCFUFTUIBUIBECFFOLJMMJOHIFSGPSNBOZZFBST
finally won.
+BOFUXFOUPODVUUJOH MJTUFOJOH TBZJOH iBUTUPPCBE wPSi8PXw
at needed intervals. I kept talking.
She was a musician, I told her, and she composed Primary songs.
4PXFXBOUUIFNVTJDBUUIFGVOFSBMUPCFSFBMMZHPPE*WFCFFOPVU
TIPQQJOHGPSOFXDMPUIFT TPNFUIJOHUPXFBSUPJU BOEUIFO*SFBMJ[FE


*IBEOUHPUUFONZIBJSDVUTJODFCFGPSF/PSBIXBTCPSO BOE*OFFE
that done too. I want to look nice.
i*DPVMETUZMFZPVSIBJSGPSZPVUIBUNPSOJOH w+BOFUPFSFEi'PS
GSFFw
i0IZPVSFLJEEJOH*XPVMEOUBTLUIBUPGZPV w*TBJE#VU*XBT
UIJOLJOHXIBUBSFMJFGJUXPVMECFUPIBWFTPNFPOFFMTFEPNZIBJSPO
UIFNPSOJOHPG.PNTGVOFSBM UPCFTVSFUIBUJUMPPLFEBMMSJHIU UP
have one less thing to worry about.
i* XPVME CF IBQQZ UP w TIF TBJE iKVTU DPNF FBSMZ XJUI JU BMSFBEZ
XFU BOE*MMEPJUGPSZPVw4IFTNJMFEBUNFBOEmOJTIFECMPXJOHNZ
hair dry. It was a layered style, not too many layers. Enough to give it
CPEZFOPVHIUIBU*LOFX*XPVMEOFWFSCFBCMFUPEPJUKVTUSJHIUCZ
NZTFMG
4IFXBMLFENFUPUIFDBTISFHJTUFS BOEXFTFUVQBUJNFGPSNF
UPSFUVSO#BDLJONZDBS *CFHBODSZJOHBHBJO CVUOPUGSPNHSJFG*U
XBTUIFLJOEOFTTPGUIJTXPNBO XIPIBEHJWFONFBMJUUMFCFBVUZGPS
my ashes.

VII.
M , PWFSBIVOESFEQPDLNBSLTMFGUCZDIJDLFOQPY
JONZUFFOBHFZFBST QMVTBDPVQMFPGEFFQBDOFDSBUFST*BNNPTUMZ
VTFE UP UIFN  FYDFQU XIFO * DBUDI B HMJNQTF PG NZTFMG JO UIF NJSror and once again notice my scars. Ive learned to accept the stretch
marks winding around my belly, and the way my hair has changed,
thinner and more limp with every birthing. But what I am not accustomed to, and it still surprises me, is the tender way my husband looks
BUNF DSBUFSFEGBDF TUSFUDINBSLT BOEBMM/JOFZFBSTJUTCFFO BOE
still I wonder over my ability to charm him.
F NJSBDMF UP NF JT UIBU FWFO XJUI UIJT CPEZ GVMM PG TBHT  UIJT
QPDLFEGBDF TPNFUJNFT*GFFMBLJOEPGSBEJBODF BHMPXJOHUIBUFMJNJOBUFT TDBST BOE TFMGDPOTDJPVTOFTT * IBWF TFFO JU TUBSJOH PVU BU NF
GSPNUIFNJSSPS GSPNNZIPMFZ IPMZGBDF*UJTUIFBXBSFOFTTUIBUXJUI
UIJTCPEZ*IBWFNBEFnFTIUBCFSOBDMFTGPSUIFEBODJOHTQJSJUTPGNZ
children. And my creations are not limited to children. I have strung

Milner: Beauty for Ashes

CFBEFEXPSETUPHFUIFSBOEGFMUUIFXFJHIUPGUIFN QFSGFDUBOESPVOE 
settle against my heart. Sometimes, moved by the Spirit, I have spoken grace-filled truths and healed souls.
*CFMJFWFUIBUPOFEBZXFXJMMTFFFZFUPFZF BMMPGVT*XJMMNFFU
BHBJOUIFQFPQMFXIPIBWFCSPVHIUCFBVUZUPNZMJGFBOEUIFOTMJQQFE
PVUPGJU BOE*XJMMUIBOLUIFNBOECFUIBOLFEJOUVSOCZUIPTF*IBWF
IFMQFE BOE GPSHPUUFO FO  XF XJMM IPME PVS PFSJOHT  PVS CFBVUZ
BOEBTIFT PVUUPBIFBMJOH NFSDJGVM(PE



Maralise Petersen, Blooming

Two Poems on Fatherhood


T C

I. T K F T P


Scrubbing the kitchen floor


on my hands and knees:
Dad walks in, looks down, says,
Youll make someone a good wife
someday, then grins. I
shake my head,
laugh back, and return
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in linoleum.

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and our three-year-old downstairs
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mop the kitchen floor,
watching crumpets rise
in the oven because

shes playing tea party and I thought


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this time.
II. A G S M A
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and toddler in tow, I step
to the checkout stand. You
playing Mom today?
the cashier asks. Looking up
then down, Im tempted to
TUSJQNZTFMG TBZ Did I
wear my wifes breasts today
by accident? Slip on her
twice-episiotomied sex
with my underwear, her
labor-wide hips with my jeans?
No wonder nothing fits.
I must have missed the mirror
on our way out the door. Instead,
while unloading groceries
on the conveyor belt,
I patronize her smile with mine, and,
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tell her, Something like that,
although its really

Chadwick: Poems

nothing like that (Dragotis


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reload the cart, and gather my girls
into the flaming circle
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Watching the Sunrise in St. George, Utah



.BZ

I wish I knew the names


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wings wound tight against the wind,
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even at this hour,
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prouding its head to swallow, then
vanishing down a nearby bluff.
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throws dust and air at my presence. And yesterday,
as we came into town, Im sure it was a raven
that arced across the road, tilting its wings
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to gather sky around its violet-

Chadwick: Poems

blue gloss. But that brooding coo,


too long and low
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did Adam, at first,
even really know that name?

Fourth Month Rosary

Im spotting,
she says,
holding her underwear
so I can see
the crimson-brown
beads.
She hands them off,
asks, What
should I do?
then turns,
without
my answer,
to call her . I
walk to the sink
and, hands
churning
beneath a string
PGXBUFS XBTI
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with prayers.

Psalm of a Heretic
D M. E

/PUIJOHJTQSPGBOFGPSPOFXIPLOPXTIPXUPTFF
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

*    pleasant growing up in the Auvergne, a provJODFOFTUMFEJOBQBSUPG'SBODFPMEFSUIBOBOZUIJOH"OHMP4BYPOJO


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green overlapping green to the horizonwould have filled him with
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Brandon Schrands statement:
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and music which are nearly as importantand in rare cases even more
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demonstrate complexity and an intellectual capacity on the writers part to
negotiate that complexity effectively and evocatively. Last, I admire essays that
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Somewhere in all that green were volcanic fields, tan, deep red, and
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climbing on hands and knees over the rough rock. He couldnt have
known then, chasing adventure over glowing hills set on fire by an
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God and Church was strong enough Chardin took vows as a Jesuit
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the world together. For him, there were volumes waiting to be read in
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a good bead on how things connected, even when their presence was
brought to his attention by their apparent disagreement.
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every creature on the planet was somehow connected? But this new
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Edwards: Psalm of a Heretic

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questions.
But as I grew up I started to notice things, concepts that appeared
to disagree, holes in church history, ideas I couldnt align. I didnt get
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one to come, do hermaphrodites fit in?
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filling that void in knowledge with anything, any answer or excuse,
becomes more important than exploring, poking around the landscape.
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unanswered questions: Is questioning the same thing as doubt? Can
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At first I threatened to move out, go live with my Grandma Fish, but
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night. It was my place to relax and think, so I was angry the first night
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where we talked about society and politics, music and pop culture, I
began to know my brother, and the easy label wicked didnt fit the perTPO*XBTHSPXJOHUPVOEFSTUBOE%FTQJUFPVSGVOEBNFOUBMEJTBHSFFments, there was some common ground: We disliked politicians who
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should be made to protect our rights, not to tell us what is right and
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Despite lingering questions, I believed my religion and at nineUFFOXBTTFUBQBSUBTBGVMMUJNFNJTTJPOBSZGPSUIF$IVSDIPG+FTVT
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around Pennsylvania, knocking on doors in my white shirt and little
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others in confidence. It amazed me how people could open up to a
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In his book Faith, Madness, and Spontaneous Human Combustion,
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spots where logic is conveniently moldy, gaps that we could never find
glue to fill, but gaps that we came to overlook because we couldnt
resist the final construction. Into those gaps, we squeeze the mortar
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Edwards: Psalm of a Heretic

in a hole in the wall. Apologetics are a quick fix, a magicians sleight


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on a fishing trip with my dad. It was sometime in the early morning hours. I was balancing my way along a rocky shoreline, stepping
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filled the sky, the way they do at night in a land where time seems to
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the water. How could any fish not be stunned into submission? Its the
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it was about more than the fishing. Im not sure he was even thinking
about fish at the time. He seemed more like a dancer moving to a song
that I, with my standard cast and reel, was unworthy to hear.
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with big glasses and even bigger ears, dropped us off at the Talkeetna
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in it up to my thighs and had to try to stand at an acute angle to the
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mind told me and reality were two vastly different things. I was standing straight up, I could see the opposite bank, the green brush hanging
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By the time we stopped, somewhere between Alaska and Russia,
there was no coast to see. We sat in special chairs with a built-in spot,
like a cup holder, to support the massive deep-sea fishing poles. We
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vomiting lumpy pink into glassy blue. When I finished, my dad told
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more real now than back then. I could have sat down and interviewed
the damn thing, and it probably still wouldnt have seemed real.
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its influence has made men more indolent, more unenterprising, less
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Edwards: Psalm of a Heretic

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restrictions placed upon him and his work caused him to suffocate
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His letters to Marguerite are filled with comments on Mass and advice
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his helmet to his head and the other entangled in his rosary, grenades
popping all around as he prayed over a wounded or dead soldier, he
thought it possible that worse days lay ahead. It was during this time,
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God in mystic vision, in that pantheistic way he had come to believe
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the concrete and spirit, the temporal and eternal, like waves, catching
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I believe that it takes more courage to live with your convictions in
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battlefield Chardin saw God.
S GSPNNZNJTTJPO*mOENZTFMGUFBDIJOH
&OHMJTIBU6UBI4UBUF6OJWFSTJUZ*UTBOJDFEBZ*NXBMLJOHGSPNUIF
TUVEFOUDFOUFSUPNZPDFJOUIF3BZ#8FTUCVJMEJOH$SPXETPGUFO
HBUIFSPVUTJEFUIFTUVEFOUDFOUFSGPSPOFUIJOHPSBOPUIFSCMPPEESJWF 
KPCGBJS TUVEFOUCPEZCPOEJOHBDUJWJUJFT5PEBZ UIFDSPXETFFNTUPP
TFSJPVTUPCFCPOEJOHUXPNFOBSFJOUIFDFOUFSXJUIBXIJUFCPBSE
UIBUSFBET iF(PEPGUIF#JCMFWTUIF.PSNPO(PEw4PVOETMJLF
BHPPEUJDLFU"TFMMPVUIFSFJO6UBIFZPVOHFSPGUIFUXPNFOJT
arguing with what is obviously a recently returned Mormon missionBSZFZIVSMTDSJQUVSBMQBTTBHFTBUFBDIPUIFSMJLFEVFMFSTUISPXJOH
LOJWFT  BOE GPS B TFDPOE * GFFM BO PME VSHF UP KVNQ JO UIF GSBZ  CVU
as I continue to listen, each counterargument grows more and more
PVUPGDPOUFYU/FJUIFSNBOJTSFBDIJOHGPSVOEFSTUBOEJOHZPVDBOU
when youre that angry. I wonder what theyre trying to accomplish,
but I should know, because that used to be me: filling the cracks with
XIBUFWFSXBTIBOEZ MPPLJOHGPSBOTXFSTXJUIPVUUIJOLJOHBCPVUUIF
RVFTUJPO FZ BSFOU SFBMMZ MPPLJOH  BOE OFJUIFS XBT * F BOTXFS
being right didnt matter as much as it being present.
"OOJF%JMMBSEPODFTBJE i"OZBOEBMMDMBJNTPGSFWFMBUJPODBOOPUCFTP
GBSGFUDIFEBTBTJOHMFHJSBFw*EBEE iPSBIBMJCVUw*NBZOFWFSTFF(PE 
PSFWFOmOEBOBOTXFS CVUJUTTUJMMXPSUIBTLJOHUIFRVFTUJPOTFSFJT
TPNFUIJOHUPCFMFBSOFEGSPNUIFQSPDFTTPGBTLJOHRVFTUJPOT FWFOPOFT
apparently without answers, or at least when the answers dont come
FBTJMZ"OE*DBOUCFBGSBJEPGUIFRVFTUJPOT CFDBVTFUIFSFJTCFBVUZJO
UIFDPNQMJDBUJPOTUIFSFJTMJGFJOUIPTFDMFBSTIJOJOHNPNFOUTCFUXFFO
UIFGPBN3FTUJOHCFUXFFOBDLOPXMFEHFNFOUPGUIFJHOPSBODFJOIFSFOU
JOIVNBOJUZ BOEUIFWJTJPOPGTPNFUIJOHOPNPSFSFBMUIBOBIBMJCVU 
lies breath and existence and beauty, draped in the unknown.



Maralise Petersen, Into

Dear Father, Love, Abish


M B

All those harvests and not a shudder


GSPNZPVBTZPVSBNCMFE
through markets, stopped at wells,
NBSLJOHUIFMFWFMPGXBUFS
UIFXBZBNBTPOKVEHFTTUPOF
How did we keep
UIBUGSJHIUFOJOHKPZJOTJEF
How did we plug up
UIFMJHIUOJOHPGZPVSWJTJPO
when you perceived the tumble
PGBNPWFENPVOUBJO
UIFTJQPGOFXXJOF PSUIBUQJMMBS
PGmSFQVSHJOHUIFnPPS
Somehow we said nothing
and still believed, remained silent
BTUIFEFTFSUCFGPSFSBJO
closed our mouths so hard
not even a child or neighbor
could tease out our secrets
and then
the enemy came with your smile
peppered about his lips, his phrases
BGUFSUIFNBOOFSPGZPVSUPOHVF
his tradition and your doctrine
CFOEJOHUIFDSPXOPGUIFLJOH

Bennion: Poem

"GUFSXBSET*SBOXJUIBSJTJOHCBOOFS
GSPNEPPSUPEPPS BOEGPSPODFnPXFE
MJLFBXBUFSGBMMJOBMMJUTNJSBDMF
and danger. How unleashed my mind,
how untethered my lungs
each breath piling high and clear,
my legs roiling like years
in their speed and astonishment.
JTCVSEFOTVOEPJOHXBTJDF
breaking or a tower about to collapse.
4NPLFBOETUFBNHBMMPQFEGSPNNZNPVUI
people shouted, King Lamoni and the Queen,
the Nephite servant simply lay there.
When I came to
your door, you embraced me,
DBMMFEGPS.PUIFS XFQU
)PXZPVSKBXFBTFEBMJUUMF
how your shoulders released,
how your beard bristled,
TIJNNFSJOHMJLFUIFUJQPGBTXPSE
your voice gentle but urging,
Speak.

Swollen

. . . and the queen also sunk down,


being overpowered by the Spirit.
"MNB
*OUIJTTPVMTJEFPGWJTJPO XFTJOLEPXO
CFGPSFBOEBXBZGSPNUIFUJOTFMUJFENBTTFT
MZJOHTJEFCZTJEFBTJGNBSSJFECZTFQVMDIFS
limp in our linen and wrapped
in my long train. Servants hover above us
like the old tending their gardens, cambered
BOEXSJUIJOH UIFOGBMMUISPVHIWBVMUFEMJHIU
MJLFUIFIVTLBOETXBZPGDPSOTUBMLT
BMSFBEZZFMMPXGSPNUIFIBSWFTU QMVDLFE
by the autumn sun. You are the rampart
taking the tide, a vine extending reach,
the diaphanous spirit body more thronelike
JOUIJTCSFBDIPGQBMFUUFBOEXJOUFS GFFMJOH
PODFNPSFUIFSBOHFPGNPVOUBJOJOJUT
WBSJFUZ UIFTUFFQHSBEFPGBTDFOU 
the sweet water nestled in the highlands.
8FBSFSBOTBDLFEGPSUJmDBUJPO
BOEmSTUUJNFDIBSJPU GFFMJOHUIFDSVNCMF
PGTUPOFBOEUIFMBWBJOSPDL XIJSSJOH
MJLFUIFDZNCBMTPGDFSFNPOZJOUIJTmTTVSF
PGmSNBNFOUBOEFBSUI TIFMMBOEFTTFODF

Bennion: Poem

It is this dying I love, this unreeling,


this hurling rapprochement in a synagogue
PGCMVF*OIJTWPJDFDPNFTshofar,
cornet, flute, qeren. In his presence
BSJTFTUIFDZQSFTTBOEDFEBS GBMDPO
and dove. His wear is threshed wool
and pure cotton, silk and ash.
But its his touch that takes the blood
PGMPOHJOH PVSTFWFSTBOEDVUT CPUI
given and taken, become his scarlet
in this ineffable dream or vision
MJGUJOHVTIJHIFSUIBOUIFTPOHPGCJSET
as they dip and soar
knowing what it means to fly.

Coronation Plea

Limhi
.ZGBUIFS
 PGXIPNZPVBMMLOPX
  PGXIPN*BNBTIBNFE
   ZFUHSBUFGVM BMXBZTTBX
    UIFXPSUIMFTTOFTTPGziff
     BOEIPXRVJDLMZGSVJUDBOSPU
TJODFIJTPXOGBUIFS
came to be known
  nJSUFEXJUIBUJOHFPGTIBNF
understood the multiple shams,
    UIFGSVJUMFTTXBZTUPGPPMBOEDMBJN
position, even when it turns to naught,
CVUNZGBUIFS
who could not help but be known
  GPSHPUUIFTMFEHFPGGBVMU JNQVEFOU
   GPSZFBSTJOXIBUIFTBJE CFMJFWFE
    BOEEJE GFMMUPUIFUBYPGMB[JOFTT
     IJTPXOMJFTMFGUIJNGVSUJWF DVUP
GSPNIJTGBUIFS
 GSPNXIBU*OPXLOPX
  PGJOIFSJUBODF UIFTUJOH
   PGXBUDIJOHIJNTMJQ IBWJOH
tried to halt the drunkenness
     JOUIFNJETUPGCPOEBHF CFDBNFDBVHIU

Bennion: Poem

CFUXFFOBGBUIFS
and what you expect
me to be, I bow my head
to accept your voice, aware
    PGNZTQMJDFBOEOPUIJOHOFTT
     UIJTUISPOFGVMMPGUBSOJTIBOETQPUT
CFDBVTFNZGBUIFS
whom I loved yet knew,
  GPVOEUISJMMJOTIBNFMFTTOFTT
tried to stir up the old curtains
    PGOJHIUTIJOHFBOEMBXMFTTOFTT
     UIJTJTUIFCVSO UIFCMJHIUPGPMEDSPQT
UIJT UPOFXGBUIFST
help me not to pass on
  UIFTIBLZCSJEHFPGSFHSFU
illusions no one should know,
    BEFTPMBUFIPVTFPGMPOFMJOFTT
     UIFTJOTPGUIFGBUIFST NZHSJFWPVTMPU

The Land Eternal


J L
"3FWJFXPG8BSSFO)BUDITMapping the Bones of the World (Signature
Books, )

I M B of the World, Warren Hatchs debut collection


PGQPFUSZ UIFQPFUSFnFDUTVQPOIVNBOTBOEPVSDPFYJTUFODFXJUIUIF
MBOEFQPFNTBSFBSSBOHFEJOBTPSUPGMJGFDZDMFFmSTUEFTDSJCFTB
physically intimate moment between a man and a woman. Several poems
UIBUGPMMPXNFOUJPOCJSUIBOEFBSMZMJGFFNJEEMFQJFDFTEXFMMPOGBNJMZ
BOENFNPSJFTPGDIJMEIPPE.PTUPGUIFQPFNTJOUIFmOBMUIJSEPGUIF
collection deal at least tangentially with old age, and the final poem, TaxPOPNZPG4QJSJUT wTQFBLTPGQFPQMFXIPIBWFEJFEBOEPGiUIFJSHIPTUT
EPXOUIFSFJOUIBUDPVOUSZw
FXPSLBMNPTUGFFMTMJLFBNFNPJS
even though the people in these poems, both women and men, are not
BMXBZTPGUIFTBNFGBNJMZ PSFWFOPGUIFTBNFFUIOJDJUZ CVUUIFZBSFPG
the same place, and that is what binds them together. Mapping paints
GSBHNFOUTPGBTUPSZPGQFPQMFXIP PWFSUJNF BSFDPOOFDUFECZUIFDPMMFDUJWFFYQFSJFODFTPGQMBDFBOECZUIFFOWJSPONFOUUIBUTIBQFEUIFN
JTJEFBPGTIBQJOHBOECFJOHTIBQFECZUIFMBOEJTFYQSFTTFEXFMM
JOi8IFSFPV-PEHFTUw
old men and women,
shoulders stiffened against drought,
BSDIJUFDUTXJUI(PEPGUIFJSMBOE

-BOEBOE(PETIBQFQFPQMFQFPQMFBOE(PETIBQFUIFMBOEJO
knowing the land, people grow closer to God. In Northern Cross,
this rumination on the human-land-divine trinity is also discussed.
*UPVDIDPMMBSCPOFPOFBDITJEFPGZPVSOFDL
BOEGPMMPXJOHNZmOHFSTZPVUVSO NBQQJOHHBMBYZ
XJUIUIFDVSWFPGCPOFT

Lee: Land Eternal

By positioning the human body as the physical and spiritual conOFDUJPOCFUXFFOFBSUIBOETLZ UIFQPFNBSHVFTGPSUIFQPTTJCJMJUZPG
the human divine as a transcendent presence.
*OPQQPTJUJPOUPUIFFUFSOBMBSFUJNFBOEUIFBOUJDJQBUJPOPGEFBUI
*OPOFPGUIFDPMMFDUJPOTNPTUMZSJDBMQPFNT i4BMU7BMMFZ wBXPNBO
gazes over an ancient dry lakebed that eons ago had been drained
BXBZWJPMFOUMZUISPVHIFSPEFENPVOUBJOQBTTFTw
FQPFNFOET
with these questions, which seem to echo intermittently throughout
the entire collection:
How will years in this land be anything but hard?
How will she and everyone near her not wear down
and tumble away like so much alluvium? ()

F FWFSDIBOHJOH FBSUI EPFT OPU BMXBZT JOWPLF UIF JOmOJUF TPNFUJNFTJUSFNJOETVTUIBUXFBSFNPSUBMBOEUIBU BGUFSBSFMBUJWFMZCSJFG
JOUFSMVEFUIBUUPVTXJMMGFFMMJLFBMJGFUJNFPGTUSVHHMF DPOGVTJPO BOE
KPZ XFTIBMMQBTTBOECFGPSHPUUFO
#VUXIJMFXFZFUMJWF XFDBOIBWFDPOTFDSBUFENPNFOUTPGDMBSJUZ
*OUIFOBSSBUJWFQPFNi$POKVODUJPO wBCPZBOEIJTGBUIFSBSFQMBOFU
HB[JOHBUUXJMJHIU JOBOPUIFSNBOJGFTUBUJPOPGUIFFBSUINBOIFBWFO
paradigm, the boy chooses, according to emotional association, rocks
to represent the planets he sees and lays the rocks on the ground in
UIFQPTJUJPOTPGUIFQMBOFUT
*OBSBSFPDDVSSFODF GPVSQMBOFUTMJOFVQ
together, visible on the horizon to the naked eye.
iFZEPOUMJOFVQMJLFUIBUWFSZPGUFO EPUIFZ wIFTBZT
No, I say.
And we are here.
i:FT w*TBZ

#Z UIF UJNF UIF QISBTFi<B>OE XF BSF IFSFw BSSJWFT  JU IBT UBLFO PO
much more meaning than simply a boy pointing out the physical locaUJPO PG IJNTFMG BOE IJT GBUIFS JT QPFN CFDPNFT BU UIBU QPJOU B
DFMFCSBUJPOPGMJGF PGMJWJOHi )FSFwDPNFTUPNFBOBMJWF QSFTFOU BXBSF 
XIPMF MPWFE DPOOFDUFEFFQJQIBOZPGUIJTQPFNJTUIBU BMUIPVHI
UIFPDDBTJPOPGUIFCPZBOEIJTGBUIFSTQMBOFUHB[JOHBNPVOUFEUP


POMZBCSJFGKVODUVSF UIFEFQUIPGUIFSFBMJ[BUJPOBOEPGUIFFYQFSJence was exponentially greater than the time it took to peer at the
IFBWFOT 4VDI BO BXBSFOFTT  JO FFDU  EFGFBUT UJNF CZ UPVDIJOH  PS
nearly touching, the infinite.
/PU BMM PG )BUDIT QPFNT UBLF QMBDF PVU PG EPPSTi4JMJDPO w GPS
example, is set inside an office building. Nature does appear in the
GPSN PG TQJEFSTQVU UIFSF CZ UIF TQFBLFST DPXPSLFSTGPSDFE UP
mHIUFBDIPUIFSJOTJEFBKBSMJLFHMBEJBUPST0OFPGUIPTFDPXPSLFST 
.PNBU IBUDIFTBZFMMPXKBDLFUFHHBOEnJDLTUIFIBUDIMJOHXBTQJO
XJUIUIFTQJEFSTFXBTQRVJDLMZLJMMTUIFTQJEFSTCFGPSFJNQBMJOH
JUTFMGBOEEZJOH.PNBUMBUFSIPQTBUSBJOJOPSEFSUPFTDBQFUIFPDF
CVJMEJOHTUIBU JOIJTXPSET XFSFiQJMJOHVQJOPVSOFJHICPSIPPET
MJLFTIJUw
FTQFBLFSTFFNTTPNFXIBUFOWJPVTPG.PNBUTnJHIU
CFDBVTF JO TPNF XBZT  UIF TQFBLFS POF PG NBOZ TFFNJOHMZ BOPOZNPVTXPSLFST
JTKVTUBOPUIFSTQJEFSDPNQFUJOHJOBOPUIFSKBS UIF
greater capitalistic machine, which virtually always eschews nature).
&WFO JO B QPFN UIBU IBQQFOT JOEPPST  SFQSFTFOUBUJPOT PG OBUVSF
TQJEFSTQSPWJEFUIFWFIJDMFPGSFBMJ[BUJPO
"MUIPVHIUIFZEFMWFTPNFXIBUJOUPSFMJHJPOBOE.PSNPOMJGF UIF
poems in Mapping the Bones of the World are not didactic. Most are
OBSSBUJWFUIFZUFMMBTUPSZDISPOPMPHJDBMMZ XIJDIBMMPXTUIFQPFUUP
NBJOUBJO B DFSUBJO EJTUBODF GSPN UIF NFBOJOH FSF JT B TFOTF PG
DBSFGVMDSFBUJPOUPUIFUBMFTDPOUBJOFEXJUIJOUIFTFWFSTFT BUBQFTUSZ
PGTPSUT#ZTIPXJOHUIFSFBEFSUIFWJUBMNPNFOUTPGBOFYQFSJFODF 
)BUDIMFBWFTUIFSFBEFSUPSFDSFBUFUIFNFBOJOHGPSIJNPSIFSTFMG
At times, however, this light-handed approach seems like a weakness.
*GPVOENZTFMGEFTJSJOHBMJUUMFNPSFIFMQJOEJTUJMMJOHGSPNFBDIOBSSBUJWFUIFSFBMJ[BUJPO*DPVMETFOTFCVUOPUBMXBZTHSBTQBUJT VOUJM
I came to these two lines, which seem to provide a key to interpreting
the whole book:
4PXFXBOEFSUIFDBOZPOTFBSDIJOHGPSWPJDFT
UIBUXPWFOXJUIPUIFSWPJDFTNJHIUNBLFBTUPSZ


Each poem, or voice, contributes to a growing emotional awareness


JOUIFSFBEFS5BLFOUPHFUIFS UIFTFJOTJHIUTHMFBOFEGSPNUIFWPJDF


Lee: Land Eternal

PGFBDIQPFNDSFBUFUIFTUPSZ$PNQMFUFMZVOEFSTUBOEJOHUIFJOEJvidual poemgetting itisnt always the point with these pieces.


*OTUFBE UIFTFQPFNTNPSFPGUFOBXBLFOJOUIFSFBEFSTFOTBUJPOTPG
DPOnBUFEUJNFUIBUGFFMJOHPGGPSHPUUFOOPTUBMHJBUIBUTQSJOHTUPMJGF
XIFOZPVXBMLBMPOFUISPVHIUIFIPVTFZPVHSFXVQJOBOEGFFMUIF
NFNPSJFT TUPSFE JO UIF XBMMT UIFSF DPNF UP MJGF BMM BU PODF PG DPOflated spacean impression similar to one you might have had as a
DIJMEXIJMFTIJOJOHBnBTIMJHIUBUBTUBSBOEGFFMJOHUIBU EFTQJUFUIF
incomprehensible distance that stands between you and it, the star
XBTTFFJOHZPVSMJHIUPSPGTQJSJUVBMDPOOFDUJPOUIBUNFUBQIZTJDBM
TFOTF UIBU PDDVST JO UIPTF CSJFG NPNFOUT XIFO BOPUIFS DPOTDJPVTness touches your soul.
F TUPSZ UIBU XFBWFT JUTFMG UPHFUIFS GSPN UIF DBOZPOT PG UIFTF
pages, and the sensations these narratives create, is that everything is
NPSFSFBM NPSFNFBOJOHGVM NPSFJNNFEJBUF DMPTFS JGUIFUIJSEQBSUZ
in any relationship is the land, because the land, ultimately, mirrors
toward the eternal.

Hedges and Edges to a Genre-Based Market


D G
"3FWJFXPG&VHFOF8PPECVSZTThe Path of Dreams 1BSBCMFT 

and Chriopher Bigelows Kindred Spirits ;BSBIFNMB#PPLT 

T - , a Japanese academic, the other a canUBOLFSPVTQPMZHBNJTU BSSBOHFBGVUVSFNBSSJBHFCFUXFFO students.


FQMBO TFUPVUUISPVHIESFBNT QSPWJEFTUIFDPVQMF QBSUJDVMBSMZUIF
CSJEF XJUIBEFHSFFPGTFYVBMGVMmMMNFOUUIBUTVSQSJTFT BOEEFMJHIUT
Another scenario: A semi-Bohemian, passionate returned-missionary
TJOHMFXPNBOMJWJOHJO#PTUPOIBTBUFTUJNPOZPGUIFHPTQFMTPQPXFSGVM
BOESBXJUJODPSQPSBUFTGPMLNBHJD"TTIFUSJFTUPUFBDIUIFHPTQFMUPIFS
lover, an easygoing hedonist, she battles many obstacles, including her
PXO JODSFBTJOH TFYVBM OFFET BOE FWFO UFNQUBUJPO GSPN B QSFNPSUBM
GSJFOEPOFPGUIPTF JO.PSNPODPTNPMPHZ XIPGPMMPXFE-VDJGFSBOE
was cast away.
Whether or not these blurbs appeal to you, they are unique, even
edgy. But unless Richard Dutcher is willing to lose money again, they
wont be made into films. To apply the term edgy to Latter-day Saint
mDUJPODBOCFBTBMFTLJMMFSFNBSLFUJTWFSZHFOSFCBTFE4BGFIJTUPSJDBMmDUJPOBOEOPOQBTTJPOBUFSPNBODFTPFSUJEZQSPmUT BOEGPS
QVCMJTIJOHIPVTFTUIBUQSPEVDFUIJTLJOEPGXPSL BQSPmUBCMFBDRVJTJUJPOGSPNHJBOU%FTFSFU#PPLJTBMXBZTBUFNQUBUJPO
But there is edgy Mormon fiction out there. And there are publishJOHIPVTFTJOOPEBOHFSPGCFJOHBDRVJSFECZ%FTFSFU#PPLQVUUJOHPVUOFXXPSL;BSBIFNMB#PPLT GSPN1SPWP BOE1BSBCMFT GSPN
Woodsboro, Md., have both released such novels. From Parables is
the novel The Path of Dreams CZ&VHFOF8PPECVSZ"OEGSPN;BSBhemla is Kindred Spirits, by Christopher Bigelow.
#PUIBVUIPSTBSFWFUFSBOTPGUIF.PSNPOMJUFSBSZTDFOF#PUIOPWFMTBSFDSFBUJWF0OF Kindred Spirits, is much better than the other. But

Gibson: Hedges and Edges

UIFCJHHFSDIBMMFOHFGPSCPUIUIBOQMPUUJOH EJBMPHVFBOEDIBSBDUFSJ[Btion is finding readers. Non-Mormons are not buying these books.
FZBSFOPUESBXOJOUPUIFi.PSNPOFYQFSJFODFw.BOZBDUJWF.PSNPOT MPOHUIFUBSHFUBVEJFODFGPS fiction, are turned off when
they discover characters in novels who live lives that are R-rated . . .
or at least  4P GBS  EFTQJUF NBOZ FPSUT  .PSNPOUIFNFE BSU
remains a regional attraction.
In The Path of Dreams, vivid dreams lead introvert students
&MMZ1BDLBSEBOE$POOPS.D,FO[JFUPHFUIFSFESFBNTBSFTPQBTTJPOBUFUIBU&MMZCVZTCJSUIDPOUSPMGSPN1MBOOFE1BSFOUIPPE#PUI
SFUVSOFENJTTJPOBSJFTGSPN+BQBO UIFQBJSmOBMMZNFFUTPODBNQVT
and plots an impulsive marriage that clashes with their personalities
BOEDBUDIFTGSJFOETBOEGBNJMZCZTVSQSJTF
0OIJTXFCTJUF 8PPECVSZESBXTQBSBMMFMTCFUXFFOiBODFTUPSXPSship and the iXPSLGPSUIFEFBEwFNBHJDBM GBOUBTZFMFNFOUT
ESBXOGSPNUIFTFUIFNFTBSFUIFTUSPOHFTUQBSUPGUIFOPWFM$POOPS
BOE&MMZTJOJUJBMTFNJSFMVDUBODFUPGPMMPXUIFESFBNTUIBUXJMMMFBE
FBDIUPUIFPUIFSVOEFSTDPSFTUIFJSEJTUJODUQFSTPOBMJUJFTJOSFBMMJGF*O
one scene, Elly, in an accusatory tone, tells Connor, You always leave.
Initially baffled, Connor struggles with commitment not only in his
ESFBNT CVUJOSFBMMJGF
FBVUIPSJOEVMHFTIJTQBTTJPOTJOThe Path of Dreams. He clearly
loves Japanese culture, the environment, and the many personBMJUJFTBOERVJSLTPGQMBDFTBOEQFPQMFIFTFODPVOUFSFE8IJMFUIJT
enhances the magical elements, it makes the novel too long, and at
UJNFTEVMM0ODF$POOPSBOE&MMZEFDJEFUPHFUNBSSJFE UIFSFBEFS
JTTXBNQFEXJUIQBHFBGUFSQBHFBGUFSQBHFBGUFSQBHFPG$POOPSBOE
Elly preparing to get married. Just about everyEFUBJMJTDPWFSFEPTF
things are interesting to us when were getting married, but dont all
PGVTSFDBMMZBXOJOHUISPVHIUIFXFEEJOHEFUBJMTPGFWFOPVSEFBSFTU
GSJFOET
8IJMF8PPECVSZBENJUTPOIJTXFCTJUFUIBUUIFDIBSBDUFSPG$POnor is part autobiographical, it is Elly who is the deeper character.
Connors most pronounced attribute is a little passive-aggressiveness,
XIJDI IF USJFT UP TIFE UP BTTVBHF B EFFQFS GFBS PG MPTJOH &MMZ #Z

DPOUSBTU &MMZVOEFSHPFTBHSFBUFSQFSTPOBMJUZTIJGU MFBSOJOHUPMPWF


QBTTJPOBOETFYFWFOCFGPSFTIFDBOUFMMIFSIVTCBOEUIBUTIFMPWFT
IJN8PPECVSZBMTPTQSJOLMFTUIFQMPUXJUIBIFBMUIZEPTFPGFDDFOUSJDGBNJMZNFNCFSTBOEGSJFOETFSFBSFTPNFTUFSFPUZQFT CVUB
GFXDMJDL QBSUJDVMBSMZ$POOPST"VOU8BOEB BDSVTUZDVSNVEHFPO
UIFZPVOHDPVQMFMJWFTXJUIBGUFSNBSSJBHF
F OPWFM SFHBJOT TUFBN OFBS UIF FOE  XJUI &MMZ XJUOFTTJOH BOE
helping to resolve a long unspoken racial conflict that has dampened
IFSGBNJMZ8PPECVSZEFBMTGSBOLMZXJUIBUPQJDUIBUJTQSPCBCMZNPSF
common in culture than most want to acknowledge. Also, ConOPSBOE&MMZTWJSHJOBMTVSQSJTFBUIPXXPOEFSGVMTFYVBMJOUFSDPVSTF
proves to be is a clever mode Woodbury uses to bond their young
marriage.
Kindred SpiritsJTBmSTUOPWFMGSPN#JHFMPX PXOFSPG;BSBIFNMB
#PPLT BOE GPVOEJOH FEJUPS PG Irreantum 6UBICPSO TDIPPMUFBDIFS
Eliza Spainhower is in her thirties, single, living in Boston. An active
.PSNPO TIFIBTCPUIBQPXFSGVMUFTUJNPOZPGUIFHPTQFMBOEBQBTTJPOGPSMJGF*UJTUIFMBUUFSXIJDIHFUTIFSJOUPUSPVCMF"TUIFOPWFM
opens she is trying to get her membership back to normal, having
CFFOEJTGFMMPXTIJQQFEGPSBSFDFOUTFYVBMBBJS0OFEBZPO#PTUPOT
subway, the T, Liza meets thirtyish, hairy, ex-rocker Eric AbercromCJF XJUIBQSPOPVODFENPMFKVTUVOEFSIJTSJHIUFZFMJEBUOJHIU 
&MJ[B JNQVMTJWFBTFWFS QMBOTUPDPOWFSU&SJDBOETQFOEGPSFWFSXJUI
IJN8JUIBMPUPGCVNQTBOEUSJBMT UIFZBDDPNQMJTIUIBUHPBM CVU
ESBXOJOUP&MJ[BTBMSFBEZDSB[ZMJGFBSFBTOBQQZFYXJGF BQSFDPDJPVT
child, and a Wiccan surrogate mom.
$IBSBDUFSEFWFMPQNFOUJTUIFLFZTUSFOHUIPGKindred Spirits. Bigelow has created real people, the kind you see every day at the ballQBSL BUUIFNPWJFT PSPOUIFXBZUPXPSL&MJ[BJTPOFPGUIFNPTU
appealing characters I have come across in American literature. She is
OFVSPUJD JNQVMTJWF DPOUSBEJDUPSZ KVEHNFOUBM SFHSFUGVM BOEQSPOFUP
righteous anger. She is also passionate, liberal, tolerant, understandJOH XJME BOEQBUJFOU4IFXPVMEIBWFmUJOKVTUQFSGFDUMZXJUIUIF
FBSMZ4BJOUTXIPGPMMPXFE+PTFQI4NJUI&MJ[BXBTNBEFGPSUIFNJE
OJOFUFFOUIDFOUVSZUIFQSPHSFTTJWFFSBPG.PSNPOJTN


Gibson: Hedges and Edges

0OFNJOPSXPNBODIBSBDUFSJOKindred Spirits is described by Bigelow as oilier and muskier. Actually, oily and musky are apt descripUJPOT GPS UIJT CPPL #JHFMPX IBT XSJUUFO B TXFBUZ  QBTTJPOBUF OPWFM
&MJ[BTUXJOEFTJSFTBSFSFMJHJPOBOEQIZTJDBMJOUJNBDZFMBUUFSTIF
tries desperately to avoid prior to her marriage. Meanwhile, easygoing
Eric is taking the NJTTJPOBSZEJTDVTTJPOTUPQMFBTFIJTGVUVSFXJGF
and will do whatever she wants. Its telling that when Eliza and Eric
GBMMJOUPCFECFGPSFNBSSJBHFXIBU&MJ[BCFMJFWFTJTTFYVBMTJOJUT
Eliza who is the initiator.
#JHFMPXIBTNFOUJPOFEIFTBGBOPGThe Backslider by Levi PeterTPO XIPGPVOECFBVUZJOQFBSTIBQFECPEJFT GBUUIJHIT CVNQZDIJOT
and noses, big hands, and big stomachs. Bigelow manages the same.
Neither Eliza nor Eric is traditionally attractive, but through their
QBTTJPO  UIFSF JT CFBVUZ JO &MJ[BT DFMMVMJUF  CJH IJQT  BOE MBSHF GPSFheadand in Erics balding top and hairy and swollen body. Bigelow
is able to convey intimacy in little gestures, such as when Eliza tenderly presses down on the mole below Erics eyelid.
F OPWFM TXJUDIFT GSPN #PTUPO UP 6UBI BOE CBDL  BOE #JHFMPX
PFSTVQBRVJSLZDBTUPG6UBIDIBSBDUFSTBT&MJ[BTGBNJMZ"MUIPVHI
&MJ[B NPWFT UP #PTUPO UP HFU BXBZ GSPN IFS QSFBDIZ EBE  #JHFMPX
NBLFTUIFNBMPUBMJLF#PUIQPTTFTTGPMLNBHJDUFTUJNPOJFTPGUIF
HPTQFM&MJ[BTEBE XJUIUIFEFMJHIUGVMBook of Mormon name GidgidEPOJ i(JEw GPS TIPSU
 JT QSPOF UP JNQVMTJWF SFWFMBUJPOT BOE TQFDVMBUJPOT BMPOH UIF MJOFT PG XIFSF ,PMPC NJHIU CF GPVOE JO UIF TPMBS
system. Likewise, Eliza embraces the old-style religion. For example,
TIFCFMJFWFTBDBTUBXBZTQJSJUGSJFOE )BOOJBI JTIBVOUJOHIFS)FS
SFBDUJPOJTQVSF.PSNPOBNJYUVSFPGSFWVMTJPOBOEQJUZGPSUIFMPTU
TQJSJU&MJ[BBOEIFSEBEBMTPMFBOPOFBDIPUIFSGPSHVJEBODF&MJ[BT
SFMJBODFPOQSJFTUIPPEBVUIPSJUZDBVTFTIFSUPSFDPOTJEFSBMJGFBMUFSJOHEFDJTJPOBGUFSIFSGBUIFSNBLFTLOPXOBSFWFMBUJPO
0OBMJHIUFSOPUF &SJD XIPBEPQUT&MJ[BTMJGFXJUISFMJTI CFDPNFT
converted to a multimarketing company introduced to him by Elizas
NPN  -B7POOB  BOE TUBSUT BO FBTUFSO EJTUSJCVUPSTIJQ PGi;POHJ w B
i5POHBO XPOEFS JOHSFEJFOUw GPS TNPPUIJFT  DBQTVMFT  TPBQ  QPXEFS 
bread, etc. Kindred SpiritsJTGVMMPG#JHFMPXTSFGFSFODFT DPNNPOBOE


FTPUFSJDUPUIF.PSNPOGBJUI BOE readers will smile over several


quirky examples.
Yet, Kindred Spirits has its flaws. Bigelow doesnt know how to end it
BOEUBDLTPOBiMFUTXSBQJUVQwFQJMPHVFSFNJOJTDFOUPG5PN8PMGFT
hurried endings to the otherwise fine novels Bonfire of the Vanities and
A Man in Full. And some scenes areRVJUFNVTLZJOUIFJSTFYVBMGSBOLOFTT#VUUIFQBTTJPOTEFTDSJCFEBSFSFBM.PTUPGVTIBWFMJWFEUIFN
Honesty does not bring a novel down, and Kindred Spirits is the most
honest Mormon-themed novel since Petersons The Backslider.
What both The Path of Dreams and Kindred Spirits remind us is
that too many outsideand insidethe church regard MormonJTNBTDPOTFSWBUJWFBOETUBJEXIFO BDUVBMMZ PVSEPDUSJOFTPGFUFSOBM
GBNJMJFTBOEOFBSVOJWFSTBMTBMWBUJPOBSFQSPHSFTTJWFXIFODPNQBSFE
XJUI NVDI PG $ISJTUJBOJUZ * XBT SFNJOEFE PG UIJT XIJMF SFBEJOH
UIFMBUFTUJOTUBMMNFOUPGUIFQPQVMBS$ISJTUJBOLeft Behind series in
which a recently-resurrected married couple discovers they no longer
IBWFSPNBOUJDMPWFPSTFYVBMBUUSBDUJPOGPSFBDIPUIFSJTTFSJFTJT
SFHBSEFEBTEPDUSJOFCZUFOTPGNJMMJPOT CVUXIBUBCPSJOHBGUFSMJGFJU
would be without romantic love. For authors Woodbury and Bigelow,
attraction, commitment, passion, ecstasy, and desire are indispensable
UFOBOUTPGMPWFJOUIFJSXPSLBOEUIFGBJUIFEHZPSOPU



Coffee with Levi Peterson


%(1
"3FWJFXPGA Rascal by Nature, A Chriian by Yearning: A Mormon
AutobiographyCZ-FWJ41FUFSTPO 6OJWFSTJUZPG6UBI1SFTT


C BOEJOFYQFOTJWFXBZPGTUBZJOHPVUPGGBWPSXJUI
ones church, writes Levi Peterson in his autobiography, A Rascal
by Nature, A Christian by Yearning
FDIVSDIIFSFGFSTUP PG
DPVSTF JTF$IVSDIPG+FTVT$ISJTUPG-BUUFSEBZ4BJOUTXIJDIJOJUT
DBOPOJ[FE8PSEPG8JTEPNQSPIJCJUTUIFVTFPGiIPUESJOLT wBNPOH
PUIFS TVCTUBODFT *O BOPUIFS QBTTBHF  1FUFSTPO SFGFST UP UIF FYDPNNVOJDBUJPOTPGQSPNJOFOU.PSNPOJOUFMMFDUVBMTJOBOENVTFT
UIBUJGJUXFSFUPIBQQFOUPIJNIFXPVMEOUMFUUIFQSJFTUIPPEHFU
UIFCFTUPGIJNIFECFCBDLTMFFQJOHJOTBDSBNFOUNFFUJOHUIFOFYU
XFFLJTLJOEPGIVNPSPVTDBOUBOLFSPVTOFTTTVSGBDFTQFSJPEJDBMMZ
JOIJTCPPL BOEHSBUFGVMMZTP CVUJUJTIJTMPOHJOH IJTiZFBSOJOHwPG
the title that seeds this reminiscence with a perplexing and at times
moving tone. In the end what Peterson demonstrates to us is that
FWFOUIFQBUSPOTBJOUPGNPEFSO.PSNPOmDUJPODBOOPUDJSDVNTDSJCF
UIF.PSNPOVOJWFSTF*UJTNVDICJHHFSUIBOBMMPGVTGSPNUPEBZT
prophet to yesterdays excommunicant.
When I first read Peterson during the mid-eighties as an underHSBEVBUFBU#SJHIBN:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZ JUTFFNFEMJLFUIFXPSMEXBTUIF
.PSNPOTPZTUFSFSFXBTUBMLPGTOPUPOMZCFJOHiF-PSET
6OJWFSTJUZw CVU BMTPiF )BSWBSE PG UIF 8FTUw 1SFTJEFOU )PMMBOE
TFFNFEUPCFQMBZJOHUPUIFTUSFOHUITPGBSFMJHJPVTVOJWFSTJUZSBUIFS
than to its perceived limitations. More non- and marginally
QSPGFTTPSTXJUIEJWFSHFOUXPSMEWJFXTBOEPQJOJPOTTFFNFEUPCFPO
UIFGBDVMUZFDBMMJOHDBSETFFNFEUPNFUPCF i8FDBOCF.PSNPO
BOESFTQFDUFEJOUIFCSPBEFSXPSMEPGDPNNFSDF FEVDBUJPOBOEBSU 
BOEJOGBDUXFIBWFUPCFJGXFBSFUPMJWFVQUPPVSQPUFOUJBMBT;JPOw

&WFOTP 1FUFSTPOTmSTUDPMMFDUJPOPGTUPSJFT The Canyons of Grace


6OJWFSTJUZPG*MMJOPJT1SFTT
XBTTIPDLJOHUPNFXIJDI JOSFUSPTQFDU 
TQFBLTNPSFUPUIFDMPZJOHDIBSBDUFSPGNZSFMJHJPVTPSUIPEPYZBUUIF
time than it does to Petersons fiction. To that date I had never read
UIFLJOEPGiUPVHISFBMJTNBCPVU.PSNPOTJOTJOBOEUVSNPJMw

BT1FUFSTPOQVUTJUJODIBQUFS i#FDPNJOHB8SJUFSwThe Canyons of
Grace XBTEFTJHOFEUPCFiBLJOEPGNBOJGFTUPEFDMBSJOH<1FUFSTPOT>
MJCFSBUJPOGSPN.PSNPOJTN wQBSUJDVMBSMZUIFUJUMFTUPSZBCPVUEFGZing God and, by ceasing to believe, killing him. But something else
IBQQFOFE8IJMFTPNFPGVT BUUIFUJNF XFSFCFDPNJOHEFDFOUFSFE
JO PVS GBJUI CZ UIF EFTDSJQUJPO PG B SFDBMDJUSBOU TBJOU EFGFDBUJOH PO
UIFGSPOUTUPPQPGIFS4UBLF1SFTJEFOU JOUIFMFBTUBMBSNJOHPGUIF
TUPSJFT
1FUFSTPOSFBMJ[FEUIFQVCMJDBUJPOPGIJTTUPSJFTiNBEFNFGFFM
NPSF SBUIFSUIBOMFTT.PSNPOw

FVOFBTZQMBDF1FUFSTPOJOIBCJUTJOUIFSFMJHJPOPGIJTDIJMEIPPE
BOEUIFDPNNVOJUZPGIJTDIPJDFJTOPUVOMJLFUIBUXIJDINBOZPG
VT JOIBCJU  XJUIJO BOE XJUIPVU UIF JOTUJUVUJPOBM $IVSDI 6OMJLF JO
EFDFOUSBMJ[FE+VEBJTN UIFSFBSFGFXQMBDFTGPS.PSNPOWBSJBODFUP
CFFYQSFTTFEBOEUIVTGPSTPVM BTPQQPTFEUPthe soul) to emerge. Art,
BOECZUVSOTJOUFMMFDUVBMJORVJSZ JTQFSIBQTPOFPGUIPTFQMBDFT"T
Peterson expresses it, it is intellectuals who can help humanize the
tradition. He writes that his Sunstone speech expressing this sentiment is the single most important document he has written.
5PNF UIBUJTTBZJOHBMPU1FUFSTPOTPVUQVUTJODF XIFOIF
started writing both fiction as well as non-fiction seriously, has ranged
GSPNUXPWPMVNFTPGTIPSUmDUJPO The Canyons of Grace and Night
Soil) to two novels (Aspen Marooney and The Backslideri*G*NBEF
BOZUIJOH CFBVUJGVM JU JT UIJT CPPLw <>
 BOE GSPN B CJPHSBQIZ PG
BVUIPS+VBOJUB#SPPLT
UPNBOZGSFFTUBOEJOHFTTBZT NPTUMZPO
.PSNPOJTN CVU BMTP PO XJMEFSOFTT  B DPMMFDUJPO PG XIJDI XBT TVQQPTFEUPCFBWPMVNFCVUXBTOFWFSGVMMZBTTFNCMFEOPSQVCMJTIFE
FSIFUPSJDBMWFDUPSGPS1FUFSTPOJT BTXJUI*TTBD#BTIFWJT4JOHFS UP
DPOUJOVFUIF+FXJTIDPNQBSJTPO
BMXBZTJOPVUPGUIFDVMUVSFSBUIFS
UIBOPVUJO BTXJUI4BVM#FMMPXJTIBTMJNJUFE1FUFSTPOTBVEJFODF
to almost exclusively Mormonsand admittedly to a certain subset


Pace: Coffee with Levi Peterson

PGUIBUHSPVQ i8IFOFWFS*XBOUBnJOH *KVTUSFBEPOFPG-FWJTTUPSJFT wIFSFDPSETBGFMMPXXBSENFNCFSPGIJTBTSFNBSLJOHBCPVUBT


MBVEBUPSZPG1FUFSTPOBTNPTUEFWPVU-BUUFSEBZ4BJOUTXJMMHFU JONZ
estimation.) Coffee-swilling and cantankerous or not, Peterson, who
JTKVTUDPNQMFUJOHBTUJOUBTFEJUPSPGDialogue: A Journal of Mormon
Thought JEFOUJmFTIJNTFMGBOEIJTBVEJFODFBT.PSNPO*UJTNPTUMZ
.PSNPOTBOE.PSNPOXBUDIFST PGDPVSTF XIPXJMMXBOUUPSFBE
this substantive tome.
"OBVUPCJPHSBQIZUIJTMFOHUI QBHFT OPUDPVOUJOHOPUFTBOE
JOEFY
JTNBOZUIJOHT*UJTBSBSFWBMFOUJOFUPMJGFJOUIFSVSBMXFTU
XIFSFXFOFWFSUIFMFTTMFBSOUIBUGBSNJOHXBTNPSFPGBOFWBTJWFJEFBM
UPUVSOPGUIFDFOUVSZ8FTUFSOFSTUIBOJUXBTMVDSBUJWFPSFWFOSFBMJTUJD*UJTBTUBSLMZIPOFTU BUUJNFTUFEJPVTDPOGFTTJPOPGUIFTFYVBMBOE
UIFTDBUPMPHJDBMBOEPGUIFBVUIPSTFYQSFTTJWFQBUIPMPHJFT"OEJUJTB
meditation on Christian grace and Mormon pragmatism. At the cenUFS PGDPVSTF JT-FWJ CFXJMEFSFEBOEIZQFSTFOTJUJWF CVNQJOHBMPOH
through his boyhood in Snowflake, Arizona. Here he is hesitantly
going on an mission to Belgium. And there he is attending graduBUFTDIPPMBU#FSLFMFZ XIJDISFKFDUFEIJNBOETFOUIJNMVDLJMZGPS
Mormon literatureback into the Mormon Corridor, a wilderness in
its own unarticulated right.
"GUFSHFUUJOHIJT1I%BUUIF6OJWFSTJUZPG6UBI 1FUFSTPOTFUUMFT
JOBU8FCFS4UBUF$PMMFHF OPXBVOJWFSTJUZ
)PNFJTJO0HEFOXJUI
IJT XJGF"MUIFB BOE IJT EBVHIUFS ,BSSJO PO UI 4USFFU #VU FTUBCMJTIFEQSPGFTTPSPSOPUEFQBSUNFOUDIBJSPSOPU1FUFSTPOBMXBZT
EFTDSJCFTIJNTFMG SFHBSEMFTTPGUIFTFUUJOHTJOXIJDIIFmOETIJNTFMG 
BTEFmBOUCVUQTZDIPMPHJDBMMZGSBHJMF SVSBMCVUmFSDFMZMJUFSBSZ -BUUFS
EBZ 4BJOU CVU OPU &BSMZ JO UIF CPPL IF UBMLT BCPVUiB GSFFnPBUJOH
HSJFG XIJDI IBT BMXBZT BDDPNQBOJFE NZ XPSTU QBUIPMPHJDBM NPPET
<MJOLFE UP BODFTUPST> XIP TVFSFE BOE TBDSJmDFE GPS B RVBJOU  DPOUSPWFSTJBM SFMJHJPOw
 F MFHBDZ UP 1FUFSTPO GSPN UIPTF TVFSJOH
QJPOFFSTTFFNTUPCFNPSFTVFSJOH CVUUIJTUJNFJUJTTVFSJOHGPS
UIFQBHFSBUIFSUIBOUIFQSJODJQMFTPGBSFMJHJPO
"UUJNFT JOGBDU IJTTUPSZJTBUPSUVSFEPOF)FJTDBOEJEBCPVUIJT
TUBUFEJOUFOUJPOUPHJWFVQIJTPOMZDIJMEGPSBEPQUJPOUIFEBZTIFXBT


CPSO
 )F EFUBJMT CFJOH ESJWFO  CZ TPNF LJOE PG JODPNQSFIFOTJCMFBOYJFUZ UPCPMUGSPNUIFDMBTTFTIFXBTUFBDIJOH)FDPOGFTTFTUP
CFJOHUFSSJmFEPGBMBUFOUIPNPTFYVBMJUZBOEBGFBSPGDBTUSBUJPO)FJT
IBVOUFECZXJMEFSOFTT UIFDPODFQUPGXIJDISFNBJOFETUVCCPSOMZIBMG
CBLFE JOBSUJDVMBUFGPSIJN OPUVOMJLFIJTSFMBUJPOTIJQUPIJTGBJUIUSBEJUJPOBHBJOTUXIJDI BTBXSJUFS IFXBTNPSFTVDDFTTGVMJOBSUJDVMBUJOH
Admittedly, the book is sometimes a torture to read as well. While his
USBEFNBSLBOUJRVFEJDUJPOJSPOJ[FTIJTmDUJPO JUTPNFUJNFTKBSTIFSF
i*FTUFFNFE*IBEBDIJFWFEw
"OEZFUJUJTBMTPTFMGEFQSFDBUJOHMZ
GVOOZ2VPUJOHIJTKPVSOBM IFSFDBMMTCFJOHJNQSFTTFEXJUIUIFNPCJMJUZPGBUISFFMFHHFEEPHIPQQJOHBCPVUBUUIF6UBI4IBLFTQFBSFBO
Festival in Cedar City where Peterson sat watching the Green Show.
+VTUUIFOIFQBVTFEPOUIFPUIFSTJEFPGUIFUSFFGSPNNFBOEXJUI
horror I suddenly realized what he intended to do. He elevated what
XBTMFGUPGIJTMFHBOENBSLFEPIJTUFSSJUPSZ UISPXJOHBmOFUSBKFDUPSZ
PGVSJOFEJSFDUMZUPXBSENF*NBEFBEFTQFSBUFMVOHFCBDLXBSEBOE
TQJMMFETPNFPGNZDPFF8PSTUPGBMM *XBTOPUBCTPMVUFMZTVSFUIBU
ESPQTIBEOPUGBMMFOPONZUBSU4VDIJTUIFTFOTFPGEFQSJWBUJPOXIJDI
BOZPOFIBTXIPHSPXTVQJO4OPXnBLFUIBU*BUFJUBOZXBZ

*OBTFOTFUIFiNFTBSJNNFEwUPXOJOUIFNJEEMFPG/BWBKP$PVOtry never leaves Peterson, whether hes proselytizing in Europe on


B NJTTJPO  XPSLJOH JO 0HEFO BT B QSPGFTTPS PG &OHMJTI  PS TMFFQJOH
UISPVHITBDSBNFOUNFFUJOHJOUIF/PSUIXFTUXIFSFIFBOEIJTXJGF
retire to be closer to Karrin who becomes active in the ward and whose
husband converts. And always in Petersons world there is a persistent
JOGFSJPSJUZDPNQMFYXPSLJOH CPUIHFPHSBQIJDBMMZBOEDVMUVSBMMZ UIBU*
think in our most honest moments as a people in the Mountain West
BOJNBUFTVT BMPOHXJUIUIFTFMGSJHIUFPVTKVEHNFOUPGUIFXPSMEXF
BSFBMMUPPRVJDLUPEJTQFOTFUPNBLFPVSTFMWFTGFFMCFUUFS
#VUJUJTBGBTDJOBUJPOUPTFF1FUFSTPOUSBOTDFOEOPUPOMZIJTDIJMEhood home but to a large extent his relationship with an ideology and
FWFOBDPNNVOJUZUIBUIBTCPUIOVSUVSFEBOEOBHHFEBUIJTMJGFF
imFSDFHSJFWJOHUIJOHwUIBUIFSFGFSTUPBTCFJOHBUUIFDPSFPGUIF.PSNPOXPNFOJOIJTOPWFMPGEFmBOUBEVMUFSZ Aspen Marooney, could


Pace: Coffee with Levi Peterson

CF TBJE UP DIBSBDUFSJ[F UIF BVUIPST PXO JOBCJMJUZ UP IFBM GSPN UIBU
which haunts him. For Peterson those hauntings are linked to the
DVMUVSF JGOPUUIFSFMJHJPO IFDPOUJOVBMMZNJOFEUPDSFBUFIJTXPSLT
Additionally, Peterson was ever propelled by the hysterical anxiety
PWFSCFDPNJOHJOEFQFOEFOUMZDPNQFUFOUUIBU*VOEFSTUPPE<XBT>
BUUIFDFOUFSPGNZQBUIPMPHZw
BUQBUIPMPHZ FTQFDJBMMZBTJUSFMBUFEUPUIFHVJMUIFGFMUBUBCBOdoning his mother by his simply maturing into adulthood, was to
CFDPNFUIFFOHJOFGPSIJTXSJUJOH.BOZEFUBJMTJO1FUFSTPOTTUPSJFT
BOEOPWFMTIBWFDPSPMMBSJFTJOIJTMJGFXIJDIIFEFGUMZXFBWFTJOUPIJT
narrativethe angst-ridden missionaries in the Louvre, the character
PG +FSFNZ XIP DBTUSBUFT IJNTFMG UIFO DBMMT IJNTFMGi"MJDF w UIF OPO
OFHPUJBCMFCFBVUZPGBTVOTXFQUXJMEFSOFTT B(PEMPPLJOHEPXOUIF
CBSSFMPGBTIPUHVOBUIJTDIBSHFT UIF$PXCPZ+FTVTBUUIFVSJOBMBU
UIFFOEPG1FUFSTPOTThe Backslider, his magnum opus.
At other times, Petersons report can seem ponderous, particularly
BTIFJOTJTUTPOQBSTJOHIJTFYQFSJFODFUISPVHIUIFMFOTPGUJSFEPME
psychological rubrics. But his impulse to look under every stone, even
UIFEJTQBSBHJOHPOFT JTUPVDIJOHJUTBTUIPVHIUIFBVUIPSJTSFBDUJOH
JOPWFSESJWFUPIJTPXOQFPQMF XIPTFSFnFYJWFEFGFSFODFUPPCFEJFODF
over personal conscience has resulted in a pernicious whitewash that
IBT EFSBJMFE PVS MJUFSBUVSFPVS TFOTF PG XIP XF DBO CF 4UJMM  UIF
NPTUCFBVUJGVMTFDUJPOJOUIJTCPPLJTBSFWJTJUPGIJTFTTBZJODialogue
POUIFUXJMJHIUPGIJTNPUIFSTMJGFBOEIFSUFOEFSSFDPVOUJOHPGUIF
PCTDVSF IPNF QPSUJPO PG UIFiTFDPOE UFNQMF CMFTTJOHw UIBU TIF BOE
1FUFSTPOT GBUIFS QBSUJDJQBUFE JO TIPSUMZ BGUFS BUUFOEJOH UIF UFNQMF
EVSJOHHFOFSBMDPOGFSFODFJO
*UGFFMTMJLFBMPUPGXBUFSIBTHPOFVOEFSUIFCSJEHFTJODF*mSTU
FODPVOUFSFEUIFmDUJPOPG-FWJ1FUFSTPOFSFIBWFCFFOTDPSFTPG
excommunications, and even more resignations (including my own)
GSPNUIF$IVSDIUIFSFDPOUJOVFUPCFEVQMJDJUPVTBOEKVEHNFOUBMBDUJPOTGSPNCPUIUIFMPZBMBOEUIFBQPTUBUFBOEUIFSFBSFnBSJOH
GVOEBNFOUBMJTNTFWFSZXIFSF
F BSSJWBM PG 1FUFSTPOT BVUPCJPHSBQIZ JO  JT BO BOUJEPUF UP
PVSBHFPGJEFPMPHVFT#VUNPTUJNQPSUBOUMZGPSUIPTFXIPDBSFBCPVU


Mormon culture in general and Mormon literature in particular, the


CPPLJTBSFNJOEFSUIBUUIJTDVMUVSFXJUIXIJDIXFJEFOUJGZBTBDPNNVOJUZJTCJHHFSUIBOBMMPGVT"OEXIFSFB.PSNPOMJUFSBUVSFXJMM
emerge is anyones guess. My own opinion is that it isnt likely to
IBQQFO QSPHSBNNBUJDBMMZCFDBVTF 0STPO8IJUOFZ DBMMFE GPS JU PS
because Elder Boyd K. Packer commanded it. Its more likely to hapQFOPVUPGUIFNJTDPOOFDUTPG-FWJ1FUFSTPOTNJTmUT PVUPGUIFEFWPVU
IPVTFXJGFXIPIBTBWJTJPOUIBUUFMMTIFSUPUIJOLPVUTJEFUIFQSJFTUIPPECVUOPUPVUPGIBUSFEGPSIFSQSJFTUIPPECFBSJOHIVTCBOEF
MJUFSBUVSFPGPVSQFPQMFJTNPSFMJLFMZUPFNFSHFPVUPGiTJUUJOHJOPVS
BTIFTwXJUI1FUFSTPO UPDJUFQPFU3PCFSU#MZ SBUIFSUIBOGSPNUSVNQFUJOHQMBUJUVEFTBOEQPMJDJFTGSPNUIFQPEJVN



A Balance of the Large and Small


L P
"3FWJFXPG-BODF-BSTFOTIn All Their Animal Brilliance 6OJWFSTJUZPG
5BNQB1SFTT 

T Lance Larsens In All Their Animal Brilliance


DPWFSBXJEFSBOHFPGFYQFSJFODFBOEFNPUJPOBMUFSSJUPSZ*OUIJT IJT
second collection (his first, Erasable Walls, was published by New
*TTVFT1SFTTJO
XIBUNBLFT-BSTFOTQPFNTFOHBHJOHJTUIFXBZ
JOXIJDIIFCBMBODFTUIFEFUBJMTPGEBJMZMJGFXJUIBMBSHFSBXBSFOFTTPG
the world, whether he is writing about a truck stop, a drainage pipe, or
BGBUIFSXBSNJOHBCBCZTCPUUMFJOBLJUDIFO5XPPGIJTQPFNTJOQBSUJDVMBS i8JOUFS5BLFPVUwBOEi%SBJOBHF1JQF6OEFS* wJMMVTUSBUF
Larsens skill as an observer. In each poem, the readers attention is
maintained through surprises in diction, imagery, tone, content, and
humor.
i8JOUFS5BLFPVUwDPOUBJOTBOVNCFSPGTVSQSJTFT BOEBU no point
in this narrative poem did this reader anticipate where the poem was
IFBEJOH*OUIFmSTUMJOFT UIFTQFBLFSSFMBUFTUIFEBOHFSTPGESJWJOH
JOXIJUFPVUDPOEJUJPOT BOEUIFOMFBQTUPBOBDDFQUBODFPGEFBUIPO
icy roads:
In the pass, fishtailing around corners, in the whiteout
PGNBZCFBOEUXPXBZUSBD *TBJEyes
to everything. Yes to snow heavy as Ecclesiastes.
Yes to vertigo and the wheels locking up
JGJUDBNFUPUIBU:FTUPUIFQIZTJDTPGGPSFIFBE
LJTTJOHHMBTTBOEUIFIVTIPGNPSFTOPX

F SFQFUJUJPO PG TZOUBY BOEiZFTw FNQIBTJ[FT UIF TQFBLFST TVSSFOEFSUP(PEPSGBUF*OUIFmSTUMJOFT UIFSFJTBTFOTFPGMPOFMJOFTT

and a longing that is carried through to a truck stop, and the longing
CFDPNFTOPUKVTUTQJSJUVBMIVOHFSCVUMJUFSBMIVOHFSUIFIVNPSPG
UIFiDBUDIFSTNJUUPGBDJOOBNPOSPMMwUIBUUIFTQFBLFSPSEFST
FQPFNEFWFMPQTNPSFUFOTJPOUISPVHIBCSJFGCVUQJWPUBMFODPVOter with a waitress:
BUTXIFOTIFTJEFTUFQQFEQBTU IFSIBOET
on my waist her only excuse me. A waitress in stripes
BOEUIFIFBWZCMVFPG%FDFNCFSNBTDBSB
#VUSFMFBTJOHDBSFGVMMZ MJLFBTLBUFS4JMMZUPDBMM
UIBUJODJEFOUIPMZ)FSIBOETEJEOUMJOHFS

FSFJTHSBDFJOUIFTQFBLFSTSFDPHOJUJPOPGIPXUIJTPOFOJNCMF
UPVDI PG UIF XBJUSFTT NPWFT IJN BOE GFFET IJT IVOHFS 0OF HPPE
FYBNQMFJTUIFDPOUSBEJDUJPOPGIJTXJTIUPCFDIJWBMSPVTKVYUBQPTFE
XJUIIJTBDDFQUBODFPGIPXMJUUMFIJTQSFTFODFNFBOTUPUIFXBJUSFTT 
i)PXDIJWBMSJDBOECFTJEFUIFQPJOU*XBTw
)FJNBHJOFTBOBNFGPS
herCasualeneand that the poem ends with the speakers leaving
UIFUSVDLTUPQ OP)PMMZXPPEFOEJOHXIFSFIFBTLTGPSIFSQIPOF
OVNCFSBOEBEBUFBOEHFUTJU
FQPFNIBTDPNFGVMMDJSDMF BOEUIF
TQFBLFSJTESJWJOHJOUIFTOPXBMPOFFTOPXCFDPNFTBNFUBQIPS
GPSUIFMPOFMJOFTTPGUIFIVNBODPOEJUJPO
FJNBHFTJOi8JOUFS5BLFPVUwBSFUBLFOGSPNFWFSZEBZMJGFUIF
Bible, figure skating, baseballbut they are used here in unusual ways:
BDJOOBNPOSPMMUIFTJ[FPGBDBUDIFSTNJUU TOPXiIFBWZBT&DDMFTJBTtes, the waitress who touches the speakers waist and releases like
B TLBUFSw F TLBUJOH TJNJMF XPSLT QBSUJDVMBSMZ XFMM IFSF CFDBVTF JU
evokes ice dancing or pairs figure skating, reflecting the speakers wish
UP IBWF TPNF SPMF JO UIF XBJUSFTTT MJGFi)PX * BDIFE UP HVBSBOUFF
IFSBDIBSNFEMJGFw
FQPFNJTXSJUUFOJODPVQMFUT XIJDIHJWFT
BTUSVDUVSFBOEGPSNBMJUZUPUIFGSFFWFSTFFUXPMJOFTUBO[BTBMTP
result in white space, emptiness on the page that suggests both loneliOFTTBOETOPXBNFSHJOHPGDPOUFOUBOEGPSN
Diction is one way that Larsen maintains tension in his poems and
introduces the relationship between the individual and the spiritual.


Pedersen: Balance of the Large and Small

In some cases, Larsen asks spiritual questions directly, as in the poem


i5BSBOUVMBPOUIF#BDLPG.Z8SJTUwi8IFSF TXFFU+FTVT JTNFSDZ
JOUIJTBOBMPHZ w
*OUIFNBKPSJUZPGUIFQPFNT UIFTQJSJUVBMJTBO
VOEFSDVSSFOUFEJDUJPOJOi 8JOUFS5BLFPVUwJT#JCMJDBMUIFJODJEFOU
with the waitress is labeled holy, and the snow is compared to EccleTJBTUFTw BCPPLPGUIF#JCMFUIBUEFCBUFTUIFVMUJNBUFQVSQPTFPGMJGF

"UPOFQPJOUJOUIFQPFN UIFTQFBLFSDMBJNTUIBUiBMMOJHIU*IBEGFMU
NZSBOTPNFECPEZTMJEJOHBMPOHJDFBOECBSCFEXJSF BOEGFMUJUIFSF
OFFEMFE CZ B TDSBUDIZ KVLFCPYw o
i#BSCFE XJSF wiOFFEMFE w BOE
scratchy are not specifically religious words, but they suggest thorns
BOETVFSJOH-BSTFOTDIPJDFPGXPSETSFJOGPSDFTUIFDPOUFOUPGUIF
QPFNUIF TQJSJUVBM OFFEJOFTT PG UIF TQFBLFS 0UIFS QPFNT JO UIF
book weave religion into the content in a similar way, through diction.
0OFPGUIFNPSFJOUFSFTUJOHMJOFTJOi5P.Z0ME$MPUIFTwEFTDSJCFT
CPXMJOHTIPFTiDISJTUFOFE-B[BSVT*BOE**w
FTFOTFPGNZTUFSZ
JOUIFQPFNTJTOPUBMXBZTSFMBUFEUPUIF#JCMF-BSTFOBMTPJOWPLFT
Greek Mythology (Narcissus) in the poem Short Allegory, with MirSPST wBOEUIFNZTUJDBMQPXFSPGBOJNBMTJOi1MBUPOJDw*OTQJUFPGUIF
NBOZEFUBJMTJO-BSTFOTQPFNT UIFSFBEFSOFWFSGFFMTCPHHFEEPXO
UIFTQFDJmDTPGEBJMZMJGFBSFOFWFSTVQFSnVPVT CVUJODMVEFEJOBMBSHFS
GSBNFXPSLUIFTFBSDIGPSUIFTQJSJUVBMJTTFBSDIGPSUIFTQJSJUVBM
is both an individual and a collective, human one.
i%SBJOBHF1JQF6OEFS*wJTTJNJMBSUPi8JOUFS5BLFPVUwJOUIF
TQFBLFSTTQJSJUVBMMPOHJOHFWPJDFPGUIFTQFBLFSJOUIFQPFNJT
honest, and it is clear the speaker is an adult who is remembering
IJTDIJMEIPPEPSFBSMZUFFOZFBSTFQPFNPQFOTXJUIBOBMBSNJOH
DPOGFTTJPO
When it was too hot to hunt scorpions or skinks
*QSBDUJDFEEFBUI

FNFUBQIPSTGPSEFBUIBSFPSJHJOBM%FBUIJTFRVBUFEXJUIBESBJOBHFQJQFUIBUJTDPNQBSFEUPBiNBVTPMFVNw"OPUIFSNFUBQIPSGPS
EFBUIJTUIFTQFBLFSTNFNPSZPGCFJOHMPDLFEJOBDBSUSVOL
FO*XBTDSBXMJOHUISPVHIBNJEOJHIU
FYBDUMZMJLFUIFDMPTFEUSVOLPGNZDPVTJOT


I
DIFSSJFEPVU(50*DMJNCFEJOUPPODF BUBESJWFJO
on a dare, wondering when will the world click
PQFO XIFOXJMM*HBUIFSCBDLJOUPGPSN  o

FVTFPGUIFUSVOLBTBOJNBHFXPSLTXFMMBTBNFUBQIPSGPSBTVGGPDBUJOHTPVMUIBUTFFLTBJSBOEBOTXFST
FSFBSFOPTUBO[BCSFBLTJOi%SBJOBHF1JQF6OEFS* wCVUJU
has a logical progression that moves the reader along. It begins with
BDPOGFTTJPO UIFONPWFTUPBTFSJFTPGJOTUSVDUJPOTBTUPIPXUPFOUFS
the pipe:
. . . Insert my head
and cancel the sky. Ease my shoulders
UISPVHIBOEFSBTFBTVCEJWJTJPOPGUBOOJOH
mothers doing crossword puzzles with God.
3JUVBMPGDPCXFCBOESBUUVSE TDSBQF
PGIBOEBOEPQQPTJUFLOFF

FSF JT B QIZTJDBM JNNFEJBDZ DPOWFZFE CZ UIF JOTUSVDUJPOT F


SFBEFS DBOU IFMQ CVU CF JO UIF QJQF  UPP F TQFBLFS NPWFT PO UP
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Extra hovers over girls at the city pool
*IBEOFWFSUPVDIFE XIJDIXBTBMMPGUIFN

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NZmOHFSGPSBUPPUICSVTIw
BOEFOETXJUIBOPUIFSDPOGFTTJPO
UIFDMPTFEUSVOL UIFEBSFFUPOFPGUIFQPFNJTDPOUFNQMBUJWF BOE
JUDPOUSBTUTXFMMXJUIUIFHSJUUZQIZTJDBMEFUBJMTFSFJTBOJOUFSFTUJOHEFWFMPQNFOUPGFBDIMJOFUIBUDSFBUFTUFOTJPO-BSTFOEPFTOUTUPQ
BGUFSi&BTFNZTIPVMEFSTUISPVHIwIFIBTUIFTQFBLFSiFSBTFBTVCEJWJTJPOPGUBOOJOHNPUIFST wBOEUIFOIBTUIFNPUIFSTiEPJOHDSPTTXPSEQV[[MFTXJUI(PEw
JTJNBHJOBUJWFFYUFOTJPOPGUIFJEFBJO
BMJOFJTSFNJOJTDFOUPGUIFJOTUSVDUJPOEBODFSTSFDFJWFUPFYUFOEBOE
elongate the body with each move.
0OF QPFN JO QBSUJDVMBS JT OPUOFBSMZBTSFWFSFOU JOUPOFBTUIF
PUIFS QPFNT JO UIF CPPL  i-BOETDBQF  XJUI )VOHSZ (VMMTw F


Pedersen: Balance of the Large and Small

speaker watches two sisters bury their brother in the sand at the
CFBDIFSFJTCMBDLIVNPSJOUIFmSTUMJOFTPGUIFQPFN
*G*TBJEburial,JG*TBJEa lovely morning
to prepare the body,XIPXPVME*TUBSUMF 

FCPZCFDPNFTQSFZGPSIJTTJTUFSTBOEBMTPUIFHVMMTiFHVMMTESBX
DMPTFS UPQFDLBUIJTIFBSUw
FJEFBPGBCFBDIQJDOJDJTUXJTUFE
JOUIFEFTDSJQUJPOPGUIFCPZBTiMBJEPVUMJLFBDBEBWFSPOSZFw

FQFSTQFDUJWFPGUIFQPFN UIFWJFXPGOBUVSFBTOPUCFOFWPMFOU JT
intriguing, and it is an idea that is explored throughout the book. In
addition to introducing spiritual ideas through religion, there is also
BNPSFNZTUJDBMJODMVTJPOPGBOJNBMTUBSBOUVMBT HVMMT BOEUIFUBMPOT
PGBIBXLPSBOFBHMFFSFJTBTVHHFTUJPOPGNZUIPMPHZJOUIFQPXFS 
UIFGFBSMFTTOFTTPGUIFBOJNBMTUIBUBQQFBSJOUIFQPFNTBTJOBESFBN
or a meditation.
Each poem in Lance Larsens In All Their Animal Brilliance holds
NVMUJQMFTVSQSJTFTFSFJTBOJOUSJHVJOHCBMBODFPGUIFMBSHFBOEUIF
TNBMM UIFTQJSJUVBMnPXJOHUISPVHIBOEKVTUCFOFBUIUIFTVSGBDFPG
UIFQPFNTBOEUIFNJOVUJBFPGEBJMZMJGF'FXEFUBJMTFTDBQF-BSTFOT
BUUFOUJPOBOETDSVUJOZ BOEUIFSFBEFSJTSJDIFSGPSUIFTFNFEJUBUJPOT



About the Artist

M P lives in Vienna, Austria where she works as


BmOFBSUBOEGSFFMBODFQIPUPHSBQIFS4IFHSBEVBUFEGSPN#SJHIBN
:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZJOIVNBOJUJFTBOEIJTUPSZ8IJMFBDDPNQBOZJOHIFS
husband in his international career, she has applied to three graduate
QSPHSBNT IBEUIFUJNFUPBUUFOEPOFPGUIFN XFMDPNFEUXPTPOT
JOUPIFSIPNF BOEMFBSOFEIPXUPUBLFIFSTFMGBMPUMFTTTFSJPVTMZ4IF
has displayed her artwork at the AmerikaHaus in Vienna, Austria,
BOEJOUIF8PNFOPG'BJUIFYIJCJUJO8BTIJOHUPO . She also serves
BTUIF"SU%JSFDUPSGPSUIFMJUFSBSZKPVSOBMSegullah and blogs as the
Reluctant Nomad at www.mlphotodesign.com/blog..PSFFYBNQMFTPG
IFSXPSLDBOCFGPVOEBUwww.yessy.com/maralisepetersen.

T A S
i#FDBVTF*CFMJFWFUIBUCFBVUZEPFTOUFYJTUXJUIPVUDPNQMFYJUZ *PGUFO
layer seemingly mismatched images and use texture to blend the
JNBHFTUPHFUIFS*OTUFBEPGCFJOHVQTFUCZNFTTZFEHFTBOEJODPOHSVJUJFT *SFMJTIJOUIFBMNPTUSBOEPNGFFMJOHPGNPTUPGNZXPSL*mOE
UIBUJOUSZJOHUPTIPXDBTFUIFCFBVUZPGMJGFJOUXPEJNFOTJPOTUIFSF
JTBMPUUIBUEPFTOUmUJOUIFGSBNF*MJLFJUUIBUXBZw



Contributors

For the past eight years M B has taught writing and literBUVSFDPVSTFTBU#SJHIBN:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZo*EBIP%VSJOHUIJTUJNF 
IJTQPFNTIBWFBQQFBSFEJOTVDIKPVSOBMTBT, caesura, Dialogue:
a Journal of Mormon Thought, and The Comstock Review. He and his
XJGF ,SJTUJOF BSFUIFQBSFOUTPGUISFFEBVHIUFST
M BXBTCPSOJO1PDBUFMMP *EBIPJO)FFBSOFEBO
JOQPFUSZGSPN#PJTF4UBUF6OJWFSTJUZ)FOPXUFBDIFT&OHMJTIJO
Detroit, , where he is pursuing a PhD in film studies. He is married
UPUIFGPSNFS4V[BOOF%BZBOEUIFZIBWFUXPEBVHIUFSTi$BVTFwJT
IJTmSTUQVCMJTIFEQJFDFPGmDUJPO
E K. M. BHSBEVBUFEGSPN#SJHIBN:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZ
JO"VHVTUXJUIB in English and a minor in chemistry. She
and her husband, George, live in Springville, , and are currently
XBJUJOHGPSUIFJSmSTUDIJMEUPCFCPSOJO0DUPCFS-J[FOKPZTTUVEZing religious literature and writing creative non-fiction about her own
spiritual experiences.
K CSFDFOUMZNPWFEGSPN#FUIMFIFN , to Indianapolis. Her work has appeared in Indianapolis Monthly, Fourth Genre,
The Gettysburg Review, and Dialogue BOEJTGPSUIDPNJOHJOSegullah.
T CJTBIVTCBOE BGBUIFSPGUISFFMJUUMFHJSMT BOE BT
IJT XJGF PGUFO SFNJOET IJN
 BO PCTFTTJWF CMPHHFS BOE FUFSOBM TUVEFOU8JUI EFHSFFT GSPN8FCFS 4UBUF 6OJWFSTJUZ 0HEFO  ) and
/BUJPOBM6OJWFSTJUZ 4BO%JFHP 
IFJTDVSSFOUMZJOUIFNJETUPG
doctoral studies in English at Idaho State (Pocatello). He also claims


Irreantum

UPCFBQPFU BOFTTBZJTU BOEBSVOOFSBOEDBOCFGPVOEPOMJOFBUwww


.chasingthelongwhitecloud.blogspot.com.
A CJTUIFBVUIPSPGThe Coming of Elijah XJOOFSPGUIF
.BSJMZO#SPXO/PWFM"XBSE)FSXPSLIBTCFFOQVCMJTIFEJO
regional and national publications including Publishers Auxiliary, Literary Mama, Imperfect Parent, the Ensign, the New Era, the Friend, and
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. She is a Communications
HSBEVBUFPG#SJHIBN:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZBOEBSFQPSUFSGPSUIFCedar
City Daily NewsBTXFMMBTGPSNFSNBOBHJOHFEJUPSPGUIFTremonton
Leader.4IFDISPOJDMFTIFSMJGFBOEBEWFOUVSFTBTBNPUIFSPGUISFFBU
stillparenting.blogspot.com.
D CHSFXVQPOBGBSNPVUTJEF3BMTUPO . He teaches
at Surry Community College in Dobson, .
D M. E JT B HSBEVBUF JOTUSVDUPS BU 6UBI 4UBUF 6OJWFSTJUZBOEBOFEJUPSJBMGFMMPXBUIsotope: A Journal of Literary Nature
and Science Writing. His work has appeared in Shemom, Edgz, Cache
Magazine, and Urban Climber.
N L S. FHSBEVBUFEGSPN4PVUIFSO6UBI6OJWFSTJUZXJUI
a JO&OHMJTIBOEJTDVSSFOUMZXSJUJOHIFSmSTUOPWFMFQBSFOUTPG
five children, she and her husband, Todd, live in Hurricane, .
D G is the editorial page editor at The Standard-Examiner
0HEFO 
BOEBOBEKVODUQSPGFTTPSPGDPNNVOJDBUJPOTBUUIF6OJWFSTJUZPG6UBI)FJTBHSBEVBUFPG#SJHIBN:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZ)F
MJWFTJO0HEFOXJUIIJTXJGF ,BUJ BOEUISFFDIJMESFO
J H teaches English and creative writing at Brigham
:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZo*EBIP)JTOPWFMVernal Promises won the Marilyn
Brown Novel Award in . Calling and Election will be included
JOIJTOFYUCPPL BTIPSUTUPSZDPMMFDUJPOGPSUIDPNJOHGSPN4JHOBUVSF
#PPLT+BDLBOEIJTXJGF $JOEZ MJWFJO3FYCVSH .


Contributors

W J UIFVOBDDPVOUBCMFUXJOPG#SVDF+PSHFOTFO JTB
college dropout and itinerant lawn-mower, hedge-trimmer, hay-hauler,
snow-shoveler, and highway construction flagperson (he likes the hazard pay), who was last reported staying at Ferns Place in Hanksville,
)FBCKVSFTBOEFTDIFXTFNBJMBOEDFMMQIPOFTBOEQSFGFSTUPDPNNVOJDBUFPOMZUISPVHIIJTDSJUJDBMCVUNPSFSFTQFDUBCMFCSPUIFSiJT
"GUFSOPPOwJTBDPNQBOJPO PSQFSIBQTTFRVFM UPi.FBTVSFTPG.VTJDw
in Dialogue 'BMM
XIJDI CFDBVTF8BZOFUIFOIBEOPLOPXO
address, the editors insisted on publishing under his brothers name.
J LMJWFTXJUIIJTXJGFBOEUXPZPVOHEBVHIUFSTJOFBTUFSO8BTIington. He has an JODSFBUJWFXSJUJOHGSPN&BTUFSO8BTIJOHUPO
6OJWFSTJUZBOEDVSSFOUMZUFBDIFTXSJUJOH mMNTUVEJFT BOEMJUFSBUVSF
BUUIF1VMMNBODBNQVTPGUIF$PNNVOJUZ$PMMFHFTPG4QPLBOF)JT
writings have been published in Puerto del Sol, Willow Springs, Inside
Outside Southwest BOEBGFXPUIFSQVCMJDBUJPOT
E MMJWFTJO-JOEPO 6UBI4IFXSJUFTBOEFEJUTGPSSegullah: Writings by Latter-day Saint Women and is a contributing author
to The Mother in Me: Real World Reflections on Growing Into Motherhood4IFFOKPZTUBFLXPOEP TJOHJOH BOESFBEJOHBMPVEUPIFSLJET
W MMJWFTJO.JOOFTPUBXJUIIJTXJGFBOEEBVHIUFS)F
JTUIFGPVOEFSPGUIF.PSNPOBSUTBOEDVMUVSFHSPVQCMPH".PUMFZ
Vision, which won an "XBSEGPS$SJUJDJTNJO"MFOHUIJFS 
SBUIFSTFMGJOEVMHFOUCJPBOEMJOFSOPUFTGPSi4QFDVMBUJPOT5SFFTwDBO
CFGPVOEBUwww.motleyvision.org/contributors/william/.
%(1JT%JSFDUPSPG%FWFMPQNFOU$PNNVOJUZ"BJST
GPS3JSJF8PPECVSZ%BODF$PNQBOZJO4BMU-BLF$JUZ)JTDSFBUJWF
work has been published in Quarterly West. He has been a sections
FEJUPS 3FBEFST8SJUFBOE#PPL3FWJFXT
GPSIrreantum TJODF
L Ps poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in New
England Review, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, and The Palo Alto


Irreantum

Review.4IFJTUIFBVUIPSPGTheories of Rain GPSUIDPNJOHGSPN.BJO


Street Rag. She lives in Atlanta, .
B R. SJTUIFBVUIPSPGThe Enders Hotel: A Memoir,
the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize winner and a summer
 #BSOFT  /PCMF %JTDPWFS (SFBU /FX 8SJUFST TFMFDUJPO )JT
XPSL IBT BQQFBSFE PS JT GPSUIDPNJOH JO The Dallas Morning News,
The Utne Reader, Tin House, Shenandoah, The Missouri Review, Colorado Review, River Teeth, Green Mountains Review, Columbia, Ecotone,
BOEOVNFSPVTPUIFSQVCMJDBUJPOT)FIBTXPOUIF8JMMBSE3
Espy Award, a Pushcart Prize, two Pushcart Prize Special Mentions,
BOEIJTFTTBZ iF&OEFST)PUFM wUIFUJUMFQJFDFGSPNIJTNFNPJS XBT
a Notable Essay in the Best American Essays . He lives in Moscow, XJUIIJTXJGFBOEUXPDIJMESFOXIFSFIFUFBDIFTBOEEJSFDUT
the QSPHSBNJODSFBUJWFXSJUJOHBUUIF6OJWFSTJUZPG*EBIP
K N THSBEVBUFEGSPN#SJHIBN:PVOH6OJWFSTJUZ
with her (political science) and (American studies). She has
taught Honors Writing at TJODF"GPSNFSCPBSENFNCFS
PG UIF"TTPDJBUJPO GPS .PSNPO -FUUFST  TIF IBT BMTP XPSLFE BT BO
BTTJTUBOUDVSBUPSGPSB Library Special Collections exhibit, as a
SFTFBSDIIJTUPSJBOGPSUIF-BUUFSEBZ4BJOU4NJUI*OTUJUVUF BTBOFEJUPS GPS Segullah  BOE BT UIF FEJUPS GPS Insight Magazine 4IF FOKPZT
XSJUJOHBCPVUXPNFOT 6UBI BOE.PSNPOIJTUPSZ BTXFMMBTFBSMZ
literature. She and her husband have five children.
H WXBTCPSOJO(FSNBOZBOEFEVDBUFEBUUIF6OJWFSTJUZ
PG7JFOOB 6OJWFSTJUZPG6UBI BOE)BSWBSE6OJWFSTJUZ 1I%
)FJT
B QSPGFTTPS PG (FSNBO  DPNQBSBUJWF MJUFSBUVSF  BOE mMN BU UIF 6OJWFSTJUZPG/FWBEBo-BT7FHBT)JTXPSLJONVMUJQMFHFOSFTIBTCFFO
QVCMJTIFE XJEFMZ  JODMVEJOH UXP DPMMFDUJPOT PG TIPSU TUPSJFT  Houses
of Ivory (New York: Soho Press) and Off Paradise 6OJWFSTJUZ PG
Nevada Press). He currently teaches gospel doctrine in the Las Vegas
First Ward.



Contributors

D Y lives in South Jordan, , with her husband and


GPVSTPOT4IFTFSWFTBTUIFQPFUSZFEJUPSPGSegullah and as secretary
GPSUIF"TTPDJBUJPOGPS.PSNPO-FUUFST)FSQPFUSZ mDUJPOBOEDSFB
tive nonfiction have appeared in Dialogue, Irreantum, Segullah, Exponent II, and The Friend.



BOLTUP0VS%POPST
T A M LHSBUFGVMMZBDLOPXMFEHFT
UIFGPMMPXJOHNFNCFSTXIPIBWFNBEFBOFYUSBDPOUSJCVUJPOCZQBZing EVFTBUUIF-JGFUJNF 4VTUBJOJOH PS$POUSJCVUJOHMFWFMT*O
BEEJUJPO XFIBWFMJTUFEUIPTFXIPIBWFSFDFJWFEBOIPOPSBSZMJGFUJNF
NFNCFSTIJQ JO SFDPHOJUJPO PG UIFJS JOnVFODF BOE BDIJFWFNFOUT JO
Mormon literature.
L M (

Anonymous
Marilyn Brown
LaVerna Bringhurst Johnson
S M (

Merilyn Alexander
Elouise Bell
Signature Books
C M (

3%PO0TDBSTPO
Cherry & Barnard Silver
Bruce Smith
Farrell M. Smith

H
L M
Lavina Fielding Anderson
Elouise Bell
Wayne Booth*
.BSZ-#SBEGPSE
3JDIBSE$SBDSPGU
John S. Harris
Edward Hart
Bruce Jorgensen
Gerald Lund
William Mulder
Hugh Nibley*
Levi Peterson
PNBT'3PHFST
Steven P. Sondrup
%PVHMBTBZFS
&NNB-PVBZOF
-BVSFM56MSJDI
Terry Tempest Williams
William A. Wilson
*deceased



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