The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
The wasps outside the kitchen window are making that thick, unraveling sound again, floating in and out of the bald head of their nest, seeming not to move while moving, and it has just occurred to me, standing, washing the coffeepot, watching them hang loosely in the air—thin wings; thick, elongated abdomens; sad, down- pointing... Read more »
This is the moment when you see again the red berries of the mountain ash and in the dark sky the birds’ night migrations. It grieves me to think the dead won’t see them— these things we depend on, they disappear. What will the soul do for solace then? I tell myself maybe it won’t... Read more »
The year my parents died one that summer one that fall three months and three days apart I moved into the house where they had lived their last years it had never been theirs and was still theirs in that way for a while echoes in every room without a sound all the things that... Read more »
My father could hear a little animal step, or a moth in the dark against the screen, and every far sound pulled the listening out into places the rest of us had never been. More spoke to him from the soft wild night than came to our porch for the family on the wind; we... Read more »
Another October. The maples have done their slick trick of turning yellow almost overnight; summer’s hazy skies are cobalt blue. My friend has come in from the West, where it’s been a year of no mercy: chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, more chemotherapy, and her hair came out in fistfuls, twice. Bald as a pumpkin. And... Read more »
At almost four in the afternoon, the wind picks up and sifts through the golden woods. The tree trunks bronze and redden, branches on fire in the heavy sky that flickers with the disappearing sun. I wonder what I owe the fading day, why I keep my place at this dark desk by the window... Read more »