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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

What Little She Had

It is one thing to be bad with money when you have it, and quite another to be bad with it when you don’t. My mother gave away what little she had, mostly because she had been taught that every poor person she met was the Lord in disguise, testing her love.

Tea Time

At 3 AM my eyes snap open. It’s been about fifteen hours since my last fix, and I’m already edging into withdrawal. With a sigh I get out of bed and head down to the basement to make a cup of tea from my store of opium poppies.

Maintenance Boy

I worked weekend nights and a couple of afternoon shifts during the week. Sometimes I requested more hours just to get away from home. Being away meant I didn’t have to deal with the sadness that lingered in our house.

The Cure For Racism Is Cancer

This strange country of cancer, it turns out, is the true democracy — one more real than the nation that lies outside these walls and more authentic than the lofty statements of politicians; a democracy more incontrovertible than platitudes or aspiration.

In the country of cancer everyone is simultaneously a have and a have-not. In this land no citizens are protected by property, job description, prestige, and pretensions; they are not even protected by their prejudices. Neither money nor education, greed nor ambition, can alter the facts. You are all simply cancer citizens, bargaining for more life.

A Secret Garden

Vegetable or plant dyeing is an art which belongs to the botanist and gardener as well as the spinner, weaver, and leather craftsman. A knowledge of field botany can help the dyer identify many useful dyeplants which grow in the countryside. Many dyeplants which are not native to the United States can be successfully cultivated in the garden.

Boy

When my brother was twelve, I found six mice nailed to the wall of the abandoned tree house in the woods near our apartment. He spent a lot of time there. It seemed to me the little mouse faces were frozen in agony. As though they’d been alive when he’d hammered the nails through them.

Shadow Dancing

The wood stove generates waves of warmth as early winter winds furiously squirm under doors, and wiggle through cracks in windows and walls. Gentle music plays on the late night radio. The blue fire of intensity burns within me. My mind is busy thinking, feeling, creating. My being reverberates with awareness. I take an idea, mold it into the shape that fits the keyhole of my consciousness, and I am changed in the transition of a new opening.