“You can’t go back there. There’s nothing there for you and nothing solid that you can hold on to there.” Pink twilight slips off four tall blue spruce trees. Yellow and tan houses blanch highlit and then fade to cool cream as the sun dips lower. Neighborhood noises are quiet but my mind is…

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“Siri, text Mom…” and I rattle off a stream of sentences. The phone blinks yellow green at me and beeps, before reading aloud my words. A mix of garbled and legitimate phrases echo up to me from where the phone sits, untouched, in the car cup holder. I laugh at one translation of my thoughts…

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Sitting at the kitchen table, sipping fresh hot coffee, I watched them. Small silver snowflakes flew in from the south, flying right to left across my windows. My family and I cheered and immediately started humming Christmas music. Naked December lawns morphed white, and the wind blew harder. “It’s snowing!” we exclaimed to each new…

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“Can I join you?” Her eyes are skeptical, wondering, as she stares at the kitchen table. I don’t blame her. Yellow highlighters, six sharpened pencils, and slips of paper sticking out of stacks of graduate-level books mix with sixth grade grammar pages, obliterating the world map below. “Yes,” I assure her, sliding papers and school books…

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Salted caramel cream coffee sits sweet on my lips on a quiet Saturday. Snow rests on the drooping pumpkin family out front, and blue jays creep cautious to the seeds in the snow. Two families come to mind, three, actually. The first family’s farm is forty-five minutes away. Winding through tiny towns and wind-swept corn…

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In the dark of night, I hear him. Jumping thuds of a one-legged boy hopping across the hall to the bathroom. Just three days in from my 12 year old breaking his foot, this is all still new to us. A Wednesday night game of Capture the Flag across a golden twilight-splashed church yard, and…

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Crashing and roaring, the wave has picked him up and somersaulted him. Reaching underwater, I grab my wet, wide-eyed son and hug him close. His heart beats madly against his chest, and I can feel it smashing against my arm. “Are you okay, buddy?” I ask, still hugging him tightly to me, my heart pounding…

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Running through the neighborhood, they waved guns and promised vengeance for the death of their 17 year old brother and friend. Small rival gangs had clashed in north Minneapolis, and these young men ached for action. My mom and her neighbors ducked down then but came together to help. Mom called Ann* who knew the…

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