The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Whenever I hear their aged names— Lena, Cora Mae, Lydia, Bea— I think of prim, widowed ladies from the Baptist Church in West Highland Township; and imagine their ordered, born-again lives beyond the latter-day suburban sprawl of disenchantment and convenience stores. Lives lived out at the same pace as their mothers and their mothers’ people... Read more »
I work hard at managing, grateful and spare. I try to forgive all trespasses and give thanks for the desert. Rejoice in being alive here in my simple world. Each evening I walk for an hour, paying attention to real things. The plover sweeping at my face to get me away from its ground nest.... Read more »
Sometime after I turned forty the fathers from my childhood began disappearing; they had heart attacks during business dinners or while digging their shovels into a late April snow. Some fathers began forgetting things: their phone numbers, which neighborhoods belonged to them, which houses. They had a shortness of breath, the world’s air suddenly too... Read more »
It was 1945, and it was May. White crocus bloomed in St. Louis. The Germans gave in but the war shoved on, and my father came home from work that evening tired and washed his hands not picturing the black-goggled men with code names fashioning an atomic bomb. Maybe he loved his wife that evening.... Read more »
At the drive-in theater where they sell junk on Sundays we saw a man and his wife standing by a pick-up truck trying to sell his anvil. It sat up in the truck’s bed— it was black, heavy, and elegant like a mammoth’s tusk. And his name was written on it like a signature, in... Read more »
We’re not going to die. We’ll find a way. We’ll breathe deeply and eat carefully. We’ll think always on life. There’ll be no fading for you or for me. We’ll be the first and we’ll not laugh at ourselves ever and your children will be my grandchildren. Nothing will have changed except by addition. There’ll... Read more »