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The Take

The Take: Margot Wizansky

Ode to Cidering  From trees unpicked, un-lovely, un-named fruitfallen in October’s bluster, not Winesap,not Northern Spy, but yellow-skinned, blemish more than flesh. Flung on the tarp.Everything sticky. Gathered into buckets,even the wasps. Fruit, worms and all, decanted into the wooden press that takesthe strength of two to work—you smashthe tubful with a wooden club. I […]

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The Take: Susannah Sheffer

Again It was amazing and amazing and again amazingthat it was morning again, the lovers turning overin their beds and finding each otheragain here again you again still goodmorning and even when they let themselves slipinto the ordinary shaking thecoffee grounds into the compost packingthe lunch finding the right shoes heading outinto the outside day […]

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The Take: Marilyn McCabe

Discard Last night I dreamt of messy tabletops which is what I woke to this morning: papers pile on every surface, statements, tax forms, receipts overflow a box in the corner near the tangle of computer wire, and Christmas cards I should have answered and an old bill for four bucks I’ve long ignored. Where […]

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The Take: Ana Maria Caballero

Bedtime Routine Our son scans a subtly inappropriate comic. I leaf through my copy of pre-divorce Sharon Olds for the millionth time. With one hand, my husband reads about hairdos to our daughter and, with the other, reaches inside my legs. A few hours earlier, he announced he had to traverse a landmass to go […]

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The Take: Cassandra Whitaker

Wolf Who Is Not A Wolf Plays Board Games and does not kill the other does gathered about the wide lightning forked trunk laid down by father air. The wolf looted the games from town, rooting through throwaways, thrifting from the free pile at the library bins, so the games are fair careworn and mixed […]

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The Take: Michelle Matz

Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things? Have you ever been caught in a sudden rainstorm where you’ve had to run from doorway to doorway to get home and you walk in the house with your shoulders soaked, feeling something close to joy? Am I supposed to answer these […]

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The Take: Ion Corcos

Still Life with a Lemon You wear a striped shirt,stare into the camera, lips straight,gaze hard. The room dark,filled with paintings.A cigarette hangs from your hand.You see a horse in a palm tree,a green parrot in a salad.Fire in a tulip.You soak a brush in turpentine,swirl it until red paint comes off. You don’t lie […]

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The Take: Elizabeth Crowell

Button Box On my mother’s round-rim wooden button box,is a painted scene – tan fields, a red barn,three faded, black-eared sheep bowingin a chipped green pasture. Dutch? I wonder. Inside, there are flat, four-eyed, two-eyed, back-eyed,black, blue, square, satin, toggle buttons,some in brass, silver, glass, some with the threadfrayed and hanging like an afterthought. Begot […]

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The Take: Clint Bowman

William This Friday afternoonaround 5:30,the postal clerkwill pick up his sonfrom baseball practiceand stop by the ABC storeon the way home. As his son waitsin the backseatof his Honda Civic,a homeless manwith a scraggly beard,and long hair beneathan unzipped sleeping bag,will walk towards himfrom the bus stop. As he approaches,with a brown bagclinched in his […]

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The Take: Yasmina Martin

To Mr. Paul Goodman, concerning his review of my novel Another Country, which he called mediocre: I’m writing here, slight negro-and don’t get any ideas about this- accent intact, a few words in response to your recent critique of my lack of world-building. Look, Paul. You said it yourself. There are two things I am […]

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The Take: Sarah Marquez

The Hatchling                  by Sarah Marquez At my feet. Blocking the way in and out. Blind-head twisted back. Skin-wings outstretched in a mockery of flight. Dead. I step over. I wonder why this doorstep, why today, and who pushed it from the nest, or if it sensed death […]

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The Take: Bill Glose

Road Trip to Duke                  by Bill Glose Not once on the long trip down do we mention our motive, the manila-enveloped passenger in back, the magnetically-resonanced images and sheaf of medical assessments. We play games instead, racing through alphabets, cataloguing state slogans, slug-bugging a shoulder now and then. A Virginia sign proclaims This county invented […]