The Ways of Water

by Laura Parker Roerden As a child, we had a hand pump over an artesian well by a white, double-decker chicken barn. It was the only water for hundreds of birds growing on that land. The pump required several hard thrusts of the handle to raise the water like spirit, to the surface. Then eachContinue reading “The Ways of Water”

In a Mean World

by Laura Parker Roerden When life crowds you with the call of too many mean words, words that line the very highway you are walking, words that tumble along ghost town prairies as dangerous tumbleweeds gathering seeds, spreading like wildfire and threatening to crowd out truth, try to find the center of the pendulum, though it swingsContinue reading “In a Mean World”

A Small Poem

by Laura Parker Roerden Small things sometimes call us home, like the two birds I saw circling the hay field this morning on my way back from farm chores. Their shrill vibrating whistle, a half warning, half invitation stunned me awake from a deep dream—even though I should have been sufficiently awake from an hourContinue reading “A Small Poem”

The Garden Spider

by Laura Parker Roerden Every single evening in her short life the garden spider spins a web of concentric circles. Each anchored to five or so holdfasts, simple spokes on a wheel, against which everything hinges. Around and around she goes, adding to her work, bridging the distance from one holdfast to another, length byContinue reading “The Garden Spider”

Stitch by Loving Stitch

by Laura Parker Roerden My grandmother darned socks. A good farm wife, she knew any tear could be mended, the original wound transformed into a caesura, a brief pause held by the conductor to grab our attention, to show us meaning that hovers uncomfortably in a void. Or into a sharp, an intentional accident inContinue reading “Stitch by Loving Stitch”

Wild, Wild Horses

by Laura Parker Roerden “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.” —the Rolling Stones When I was growing up, our farm (then a dairy) was one of three farms on our hill. The other two were horse farms. The confines of these farms held a large gang of kids, who roamed the combined 200 acres ofContinue reading “Wild, Wild Horses”

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