Featured Writing

An ambulance driving through a city at dusk.

The Sacrifice

By Kristal Peace (This poem contains domestic abuse.) My mother holdsMy hand as we navigateThe city’s streets during rush hour,The song of sirens escorting us home.She holds the grocery bagThat yanks her toward dinner. She holdsThe sharp words my fatherFlings at her when she thinksThe day is going well. She…

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Posts Tagged The Penman Review

An Angel With Furry Wings: When Your Cat Is Your Child

By Hali Morell “Can I ask you one more thing?” It’s the last three minutes of my psychic reading, and I have been saving it for last…out of both fear and denial. My hands are clenched, and I’ve stopped inhaling the fresh summer air blowing through the coffee shop. A…

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A Telling Silence

By Tom Ipri Brian Featherstone walked down Spruce Street—smart phone in one hand with its ear buds snuggling in his ears, its microphone dangling just below his chin, vape in his other hand—ignorant of the existence of other pedestrians in whose way he was getting. Some gave him an Evil…

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When I was in Charlottesville

By Gil Hoy When I was in Charlottesville studying the law. Where the vestiges of racism Were carefully hidden under a rug. Its stain absorbed by the wise, aging wood Or swept away by a black, hopeful janitor. He diligently cleaned Jefferson’s hallways and bathrooms So that one or more…

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The Ghost in the Coffee Shop

by Melissa Blank You never believed in ghosts. But if ghosts are not real, how do you explain what is right before your eyes? Are you losing your mind? You blink, hard. The man who could be your father sits in the corner of the coffee shop. You watch him…

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Legacy

by Charles Edward Brooks   The ultimate misery is to be ridiculous after one dies. (Agustina Bessa-Luís: Aforismos) Two downy-cheeked students afflicted with spring fever leaned out of a window at the seminary and peered down into the Rua Dom Pedro de Castro. “Blessed St. Eufémia!” cried one of them….

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Photo by Ian L

Jensen Barnaby is a Little Cross with You

by Cameron Burry Jensen Barnaby doesn’t like you. If there is one thing that he could say directly to you right now, it would be just that; he doesn’t like you, so stop acting like he will tolerate your incessant need for affirmation. Jensen Barnaby thinks that you’re vapid, odorous…

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Photo by Kevin Casper

Into the Wild Blue

by Carrie Repking Mina walked through a grove of towering California redwoods. She stopped for a moment to look upward at the long trunks stretching to the sky. They seemed to join in a circle at the top, a patch of blue in the center. She wondered what it felt…

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Photo by Vera Kratochvil

Stretching

by Mollie McNeil My mother died of cancer in 1973 when I was eleven years old, leaving five kids with a man who barely knew us. It’s not that our father didn’t love us. It was the tail end of the era of breadwinner and homemaker and knowing us well…

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photo by Bobby Mikul

Eyes of the Beholders

All love at first, like generous wine, Ferments and frets until ‘tis fine; But when ‘tis settled on the lee, And from th’ impurer matter free, Becomes the richer still the older, And proves the pleasanter the colder.                                                           –– Samuel Butler   Why are my daughters not beautiful, lamented ancient…

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Some rights reserved by Will Clayton

Rusty Nails

By Donnarkevic I recognize the black balloons, the same kind used at the office party for my fiftieth birthday. Now sixty, I expected something more creative: black homburgs, melanistic leopards, caviar. I would have settled for farfalla schwarz (black bowtie pasta). Instead, I got first pick from a six-foot sub, Black…

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