The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
My grandparents owned the land, worked the land, bound to the earth by seasons of planting and harvest. They watched the sky, the habits of birds, hues of sunset, the moods of moon and clouds, the disposition of air. They inhaled the coming season, let it brighten their blood for the work ahead. Soil sifted... Read more »
The road crew hired temps between semesters to stand beside the hopper shoveling. The foreman disliked college students. He never learned our names, referenced us by the tools we carried—Skip and I were Shovels, scraping the hot mix into the conveyor. Ronnie the college drop-out advanced to Rake. He followed the paver, flicking the screed... Read more »
When the doors of the express opened at 72 Street, the local was waiting. She entered with me, tall and angular as a crane, her expression alert, violin poised against her clavicle like a wing. The train was half-empty, the passengers dozing or absorbed in their smartphones. She stood at one end of the car,... Read more »
You’ve come to the oncologist’s office to talk about your options. You view the scans, forgetting to breathe. “It’s metastasized.” He frowns, pointing to where and where. He ticks off the preferred treatment, the side effects, low rates of success. “It’s your choice,” he says, closing your folder, “but we need to start tomorrow.” You... Read more »
The daylight is huge. Five a.m. and the sky already blushing gray. Mornings so full of blue the clouds almost sheepish as they wisp over hills. High noon only happens in June, mid-day a tipping point, the scale weighed down on both sides with blazed hours. And the evenings— so drawn out the land lies... Read more »
When I was younger it was plain to me I must make something of myself. Older now I walk back streets admiring the houses of the very poor: roof out of line with sides the yards cluttered with old chicken wire, ashes, furniture gone wrong; the fences and outhouses built of barrel staves and parts... Read more »