Roblyn Avenue, 1953

By Marianne McNamara ● 2014

The first thing I saw when Dad turned our car down Grandma’s street in Merriam Park was the sky-high catalpa tree in her front yard. It was the only “cigar tree” on the block, and when I spied it, I knew we were almost there. It was a beautiful tree, with frilly white flowers in the spring that magically became long, brown seedpods in late summer.



Fool that I was with my scissors...



It’s spring! DerFrühling! Printemps! Ring bells! Play the sackbut and shawm! Excel. Rise and shine...

A Song Apart

By Patricia Kirkpatrick ● 2012

Ceres, Goddess of Corn, grieved and raged for her stolen daughter. They say she withheld the harvest. But corn was already here...

Springtime in Minnesota


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.



nature abhors taxation as does the populace...

Avian Celebrities on Como Lake


We were halfway around Como Lake when I heard it—the long mournful three-tone whistle-cry that grew in volume. I stopped. What is that? What is that? I know that sound. But it was utterly out of context, and I had to think to place it. The bird called again. I stopped Doug and made him take out his earbuds. (He was listening to American Music Club on his iPod.) Doug, I hear a loon!

Rachel’s Trees


One of my favorite places in Saint Paul is Rachel’s Trees. Rachel’s Trees is a memorial to my sister who passed away a few days after birth. The trees are a small part of Como Park, but they are beautiful. They bloom white buds in the spring. They are only about five feet tall, but they are very important to me. Usually my mom, dad, and I go down to see the trees on my birthday.



The sweet smell of lilacs drifts over the city like a blessing. Yesterday was winter, today blooms radiant spring. Cafe tables unfurl up and down Selby Avenue, an old man shares a croissant with his dog, joggers and tubs of pansies claim the sidewalk...

Early Spring


Pale vision on an early day: two gray wings gliding flat balance on the body’s straight line. A trill rises from the meadow....



The forty-fifth parallel runs through Saint Paul, Minnesota. This parallel is generally considered the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole. This is irrelevant to our everyday lives with the exception of one truth: it is the cause of our extremely unpredictable weather, a concept that consumes us. We talk about it with co-workers, we talk about it on dates, we analyze it on the TV, we use it as an excuse for being late, we complain about it, we use it to avoid awkward gaps in uncomfortable conversation, and most importantly, we live in it.

Big Hair

By Margaret Hasse ● 2010

This fall, our son’s chosen to grow his hair out long. He keeps his tresses clean, Otherwise lets the fields lie fallow, Doesn’t cultivate with comb and brush. One woman on Grand stares so long at his hair, she trips over the curb...