A man with the right scruffed-up beard and breadth of chest swaggered into the S and M dungeon that was my place of business, and twenty minutes and one grand later had my chin — still soft with the downy fluff of teen-girl skin — held steady in one paw while the other one flew at my face so hard and fast that I ceased to exist as the same collection of matter I had been the previous instant.
When Sarah’s mother, Penny, got sick four years into our marriage, we decided to move back to Mississippi, considering it penance for the sins of our youth. We signed a lease on a house, a white one-story on the historical register with a wraparound porch and angels, stars, and the moon painted on the transom above the front door.
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Thanks for printing Jim Harrison’s poem “Easter Morning” on the Dog-Eared Page [August 2020]. I found out about Harrison’s death the day after he died: on Easter morning, 2016.
Just a couple of months earlier singer David Bowie had died, and I’d argued with some friends who were overcome with emotion at his passing. “How could you care so much for someone you never met?” I asked. They assured me I simply didn’t understand. And I didn’t — until Harrison died. When I read the news, I pushed back my chair and wept. He was a teacher for many of us right up to the end — and still is.