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Outside the Window of Our Bedroom

by Joseph Milosch Sleeping with sedated pain, Patsy rests her arm on top of her blue- checkered blanket. Outside the window of our bedroom grows an orange tree. Behind the fruit tree stands a poplar, fresh with buds. Behind it a conifer. Behind the pine a hawk, a plane, and the edge of the horizon. […]

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I Always Wake (Grandfather’s story about 1933)

by Joseph Milosch I always wake before my wife. In the morning I reignite the coals in our wood burning range. Galoshes stored beneath the sink. I slide them over my Buster Browns. From pegs behind the kitchen door, I remove my red, plaid, hunting cap and winter coat. Taking the broom, I sweep the […]

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Calling the Family to Prayer

by Joseph D. Milosch How She Called the Family. It is eight in the morning, and the nuns filed from Sunday services into the dining room. My great grandmother brought in breakfast, consisting of gruel, sugar, and milk. It was the depression. Someday she’d cook eggs and bacon, but in the thirties, there was toast […]

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Summer Solstice

By Joseph Milosch I believe I have come back unfamiliar with the language of my trade. I try to remember where a handful of sand rolled down slope and water darkened earth until it sparkled gem-like. I try to recall the mornings when men focused their imagination on cut slopes, verticals, trenches and willed their […]

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In the Temple of Whispers

by Joseph Milosch The pine window frames shrunk in the cold. Snow, the poor man’s insulation, drifted between the storm and our permanent windows. Dad left the house at 6:30 am. He’d return fifteen hours later with frozen pastures smooth in his face lines, a bull’s butt to the wind in his right eye. Fifteen […]

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Workday before Christmas

by Joseph Milosch Torrey pines, buckwheat, black sage, and beside a granite boulder deer tracks, rabbit droppings, a coyote’s nose sniffing, rubbed on dirt, licked. A wind blown cloud descends slopes, coats windows, exhaust stacks, and vinyl seats of dozers. I remove the ripper’s pin with hammer – punch. Feel sweat, fog, steel, dirt, later […]

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Peace on Earth

By Joseph Milosch The loneliest place is the bottom of the hill where an old man begins to curse. Leaning on his cane, he breaks his climb to church. His swears, and his curses don’t fulfill an ambiguous need but drive his will through his knees. Therefore, his curses become prayers for his pain to […]

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Dreams and Prayers

By Joseph Milosch One could see his burning hunger in his shirts, pressed once after washing and once more before wearing to class or on the bandstand. Joseph said, “Books and music are special. They shouldn’t be treated like greeting cards.” The hardest part of college was working at the shipyards, unloading sacks of cement, […]

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The Music of a Well Oiled Machine

By Joseph Milosch In late summer when the rain came from the North, Joseph would pull out his ballroom record player, pour a couple of high balls and dance in the screened in porch with his wife, whose legs flickered below her skirt’s hem. They would sit on their porch and watch the aurora borealis […]

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Waking in a Cabin

by Joseph Milosch Waking in a cabin built for a John Wayne western, I listen to the wind blowing through the westerly window. I think of the beauty nature has passed from century to century. Walking past the movie cabins, I buy coffee and hike the Lake Shore trail. Nothing appears in the westerly sky. […]

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Blaze of Red

by Joseph Milosch One spring my dad found his hammer in the mud by our fence. He had me clean it with steel wool and light oil. I remembered the day he taught me to miter bridging for floor joists. We spoke of his days as a musician. One Thanksgiving it was so cold the […]

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Old Western Town/Museum

by Joseph Milosch It was mid morning – sparse clouds above mountains. In the old western town, it was approaching noon. One heard whispers as they entered the cabin, used by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. One heard their voices echo. In legend the door faced the entrance to the Hole in the Wall. […]

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A Brief History

by Joseph D. Milosch We weren’t childhood buddies with a history of playing Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull. We were two strangers pulling guard duty on Skunk Hill. Under a Y-cloud shadow slivers of water stream down blades of grass. They drop on dirt mounds, foot prints, a gray stone, soon the season will change. […]

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The Red, White, and Blue

By Joseph Milosch I drove heroin hooked soldiers to the infirmary. These men openly cried, or moaned rocking on the back bench of my pick up. One, with his blond hair parted down the middle, wore glasses with circular blue lenses. The MP’s made him sing “TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME.” His voice split, […]

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Places of the Hand

by Joseph Milosch I found the pain that’s been bothering me like threads of light divide the room into atoms of day and night. You are remembered in death, you, who whipped me for not obtaining a B average in the third grade, for opening your clarinet case and touching the woodwind that shimmered there […]

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