Topics | Childhood | The Sun Magazine #2

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Childhood

Poetry

Lumps of Coal

He was ten and drove a team of mules / through the shadows in mine shafts, / pulling a wagonload of coal / that glinted in the carbide light / anchored to his cotton cap.

By Robert P. Cooke December 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Macho Baby

I know that what we call hate is sometimes love that was pushed under a rock, love deprived of light and water. “Tell me to what you pay attention,” writes the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset in his book Man and Crisis, “and I will tell you who you are.” How much love is putrefying inside boys this very moment, starved for nourishment?

By Nicole Graev Lipson December 2023
Readers Write

Dirt

Shining shoes, spreading gossip, growing plants in prison

By Our Readers December 2023
Poetry

Elegy With Adding Machine And Milk

One cold November day / after the lambs were sold / and the wheat brought in, / my grandfather settled / himself at his desk / and punched the numbers / into an electromechanical / adding machine, the gears / whirring and cachunking, / a long white ribbon pooling / on the dusty linoleum

By Joe Wilkins October 2023
Poetry

Smoke Memories

My mother and I were alone the night / our house burned down. I was nine that summer, / and the smell of smoke clung to my clothes. / And after the fire a tree in the yard / grew crooked with scoliosis, its back bending / away from the remains of the house.

By Doug Ramspeck October 2023
Readers Write

Television

Sneaking cartoons, escaping into a sitcom, watching the election results

By Our Readers September 2023
Readers Write

Privacy

A coded diary, a box of letters, a closed bedroom door

By Our Readers August 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Psychic Is In

Being exposed to psychics at such a young age was like being raised Catholic or vegetarian: you continue living out these belief systems even after they no longer serve you.

By Mishele Maron July 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Coach’s Kid

Coach Walls started calling me “Tank.” Coach O’Brien said, “J.P. is out to kill.” Dad said nothing, but every time I looked at him — shin-high socks, gray shorts, V-neck tee with chest hair spilling out, whistle dangling around his neck — he was unable to hide his grin.

By John Paul Scotto July 2023
Poetry

The Only Ones

Poems About Parents

I failed at wisdom, nurture, / nature, separation, and calm. / I excelled at role model, if what / you wanted was wretched.

from “Old Mom,” by Jessica Barksdale

 

What my father didn’t know when he drove / ten-year-old me in the bed of his pickup truck / to gun shows & shooting ranges, initiating me / into the art of the hunt, was that he was actually / teaching me how to write poems

from “Portrait Of The Poet As A Child,” by Elizabeth Knapp

 

In my memories my godfather towers / over me, his deep baritone thundering / above us as we sing hymns during Sunday / service.

from “Small,” by Courtney LeBlanc

 

My brother calls to say he’ll meet us / for lunch in a few hours, not to wait for him / if he’s late. He’s got to pick up Mom. / And though the crematorium / is near our hotel, he’ll take her ashes home / first.

from “Waiting In Cars,” by Jackleen Holton

By Jessica Barksdale , Jackleen Holton , Elizabeth Knapp & Courtney LeBlanc July 2023