by Michael McFee

[audio:http://shenandoahliterary.org/612/files/2011/08/Breaks.mp3.mp3|titles=Breaks] Work was something we did between breaks, those fifteen-minute vacations twice a shift when we stopped stomping the wide foot pedals that sent our massive machines into their cycles of bending or pressing or welding or trimming the steel … Continue reading


by Ben Howard

Call it if you must an instrument, this meter that has served me through the decades, its pulse an echo of my temperament, its low-relief a match for my reserve. But who is playing whom, I’d like to know, feeling … Continue reading


by Stephen Gibson

After their ER visit, there’s really nothing to say. Now, they no longer need the mattress or the crib. Nebraska’s 1958 teen killers questioned by police; still to be discovered, another dress in a corn crib. Analogy used at the … Continue reading

if you are Chagall

by Keith Flynn

[audio:http://shenandoahliterary.org/612/files/2011/08/If-You-are-Chagall.mp3|titles=If You are Chagall]                                                                  Vitebsk, Belarus  If you are Chagall then you believe that fish can thresh wheat. If you are Rodin, the gods are your playthings and their hands are perfect.   The total work of art is … Continue reading


by Ellen Dudis

There is at the translucent bottom of the cup another swallow, red-throated, spread-winged, in a fork-tailed swoop of blue the brushwork can’t hang on to any more than you escape it—one last swallow’s parting gift, the play on flight as … Continue reading


by George Bilgere

My father once sold a Chevy, to Stan Musial, the story goes, back in the fifties, when the most coveted object in the universe of third grade was a Stan the Man baseball card. No St. Louis honkytonk or riverfront … Continue reading


by C. J. Sage

This was not the first time a figure faded back into the aisle of pines, sundial spinning. He was tall. His wrist wore a bell he stilled with the other hand. Hot like a red helmet, the sun came down … Continue reading

Robert Lowell

by Joseph Bathanti

I was a fire-breathing Catholic C.O, and made my manic statement, telling off the state and president, and then sat waiting sentence in the bull pen beside a Negro boy with curlicues of marijuana in his hair. — Robert Lowell, … Continue reading