(Illustration: Justin Strom/

It hadn’t occurred to me until someone at work brought it to my attention that this winter has been going on for eleven years. I said, “That can’t be. Surely not.” But then I got thinking about it. It was eleven years ago November we moved into this house. You remember, snow was just beginning and we had so much trouble getting the refrigerator down the driveway and through the door.

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Mary Dear

(Photo courtesy St. Catherine University/

It snowed that afternoon. Heavy, wet flakes pelted my coat on my walk down the sloping drive toward Cleveland Avenue. By the time I got to the iron gate it was soaked through and smelled of wet lamb’s wool. I looked back. I was an English major at St. Catherine’s that snowy day in February […]

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The Drive

(Illustration: Leann E. Johnson/

Not wanting to alarm my husband and infant son, in case they’ve fallen back asleep, I don’t call. I don’t even text. But I do take a picture with my camera-phone, because I need proof that I’ve done it, that I’m actually here: sitting in a 2005 Toyota Matrix, outside the Saint Anthony Park Library. This is incredible.

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A winter marriage proposal in Rice Park. (Photo: Chris Emeott/

It was my mom’s first marriage proposal. At eight, she was the ­older woman. George was only six. After hasty consideration, Mom turned him down. As she explained to her mother, she couldn’t marry George. He liked carrots. She didn’t.

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(Photo: Philip Kaiyalethe)

The midnight sky is bright

with the light of new snow.

Rooftops have gone missing...

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Not Afraid of the Dark


My father has “old age of the eyes.”
That means he’s going blind
slowly from the inside out.

He says I look like a model
with my hair swooped back.
He points out a covenant of blackbirds....

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Winter Coming

Sam Brown. (Photo courtesy Wendy Brown-Báez)

It’s autumn. Leaves have taken over

the back porch and I sit at the

window, hungry for soup.

You have been gone for

years now...

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Springtime in Minnesota

(Photo: Macalester College)

In the spring of 1994, I was a writer in residence for Consortium of Associated Colleges in the Twin Cities. This meant that participating campuses would house me for seven days, and during this time I would do individual and group writing critiques, a workshop, and a formal reading for the entire campuses at St. Thomas University, Macalester College, Augsburg College, Hamline University, and College of St. Catherine.

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Photo: Dawn Huczek

it is impossible to miss the red bird
the only ember alive
this snowy March...

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