The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
1932 In a time of national crisis we learned to curtsy to point a patent leather toe bend a knee over our Mary Janes with satin hairbows slipping down our cheeks In the Knights of Columbus Hall the floor fresh-shined gleamed through auras of stale cigar taint of Lysol numbing the glamour of sweetpea wrist-corsages... Read more »
Up and down the small streets, in which no two houses are exactly alike, widows of all ages sit alone playing solitaire, or knitting, or sometimes baking, left in the big, empty houses. Here are Mrs. Montgomery, Mrs. Pilching, Mrs. Wolf, and Mrs. Pelletier, all at once— in a section of nine houses, four widows.... Read more »
Daybreak until nightfall, he sat by his wife at the hospital while chemotherapy dripped through the catheter into her heart. He drank coffee and read the Globe. He paced; he worked on poems; he rubbed her back and read aloud. Overcome with dread, they wept and affirmed their love for each other, witlessly, over and... Read more »
The green shell of his backpack makes him lean into wave after wave of responsibility, and he swings his stiff arms and cupped hands, paddling ahead. He has extended his neck to its full length, and his chin, hard as a beak, breaks the surf. He’s got his baseball cap on backward as up he... Read more »
Along with his two surviving sisters, the five of us divided up the week, so that one of us would call my father every night at dinnertime. My night was Wednesday, and after we discussed the weather, and he expressed amazement that New Hampshire could have record-breaking rains while Maryland clung stubbornly to drought, he’d... Read more »
The dock is done, pulled out in the lake. How I love Putting my wet foot On the boards I sawed myself! It is a ladder stretching back to land… So many secrets are still hidden. A walker digs up a tin box with secrets And then joyfully buries it again So that the night... Read more »