Creative Nonfiction

Keystone

My teeth are asleep and kind. They bleach like limestone, crumble like slate. The old plates are merely lungs, long dormant, having breathed once, twice, long ago. My chest had lifted, my shoulder blades cracking together, pulled up and back. Volcanoes fell down my throat, swallowed into peace, their rumblings…

Dark Spirits

A Tennessean would tell you this: the state’s Whiskey Trail is a big reason why the South is home to more craft whiskey distilleries than any other region. Volunteer State sippers savor Corsair, George Dickel, Pritchard’s, Nashville Craft, Nelson’s Green Brier, Short Mountain, Sugarlands, Tennessee Hills. I learned this lore from…

Attics

Tuesday’s midmorning creative writing class, and the fifteen students are clock-watching or note-taking or simply staring out the windows at the bright spring day. We’re talking about writing personal narratives and I am looking for words to describe a place inside from which such stories come. Heart. Belly. I can’t seem to think of a corporeal description that doesn’t make…

Yoke

“And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment…And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was…

Trains

Up the steep wooded hill behind my house in northeastern Tennessee lies an open field that has always reminded me of Bambi’s meadow. I often wonder, as I watch them pass through, if the deer that traverse our woods stop at its edge and counsel their fawns on the danger lurking…

The Letters

Let’s go in here and talk,” she said, guiding my shoulder toward her bedroom. Granny Bill closed the door and sat on the small stool that fronted her oversized maple dresser. She fidgeted with her hand mirror and comb while I looked around, not knowing whether to sit or stand. I…