The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Our favorite uncle, Stanley, the youngest of five brothers and the most handsome, used to play a game with my sister and me, hiding a nickel and making us choose which hand, clenched behind his back, held the prize. The two of us danced from one foot to the other, giddy with wanting— the nickel,... Read more »
The high-tension spires spike the sky beneath which boys bend to pick from prickly vines the deep-sopped fruit, the rind’s green a green sunk in green. They part the plants’ leaves, reach into the nest, and pull out mother, father, fat Uncle Phil. The smaller yellow-green children stay, for now. The fruit goes in baskets... Read more »
It’s what she does and what her mother did. It’s what I’d do if I were anything like her mother’s mother—or if the times demanded that I work in my garden, planting rows of beans and carrots, weeding the pickles and potatoes, picking worms off the cabbages. Today she’s canning tomatoes, which means there are... Read more »
the higher you climb the greater the pressure. those who manage to endure learn that the distance between the top and the bottom is obscenely great. and those who succeed know this secret: there isn’t one.
Mr Daley could whistle between his teeth but just the one phrase over and over it was in the good old summertime and it made my mother sniff and shake her head as he pushed the big wooden spoon around and around the pot of flour paste he was mixing on the old coal range... Read more »
I didn’t stay for the closing hymns and prayers. I felt out of sorts, so I left. Someone was before me at the door: a child, gazing at a spot on her wrist. She said, “Can you help me?” “What is it?” “A ladybug,” she said. So I opened the door, and she said, “It... Read more »