Pittsburgh Love Stories
For a Time We Wanted Something New
Fireflies light the way
To the grumbling waves.
The silhouette of Haystack Rock
Looms ahead, a shard of moon behind it.
Covered in seagull dung, it glistens
In the dawn. We run, hearts pounding,
Losing weight, getting in shape,
Trying to stay young.
When we get home,
We'll take our vitamins.

The Will of the Patriarch
From the mass of planets, the path of orbits,
astronomers can tell what lies beyond.

It was Neptune’s dragging feet
that led far-seeing eyes to Pluto’s realm.

My oblong orbit had almost lost its shape
because of perturbations in my will.

Imagine years lost at crossroads, decades of circling back.
Love always lost, true vocation never found.

False friends, accidents, ill health.
A vagueness in the mind, a fog around events.

The hidden force was my father’s will,
which had become my own.

When I rake my fingers through the darkened dirt on my parents' farm and grab a palmful, I feel life steeped in dampness. I was told that my Grandpa Dan had wondered about modest miracles — how with time, a body can heal cut layers of skin or how with time, a planted seed can grow. Half of the kernel knows to delve into the dark and increasingly cooler ground and the other longs to be seen, to reach out with freshly minted leaves, to breathe. I marvel at the seed. But it is the dirt I praise. •

Raud Kennedy is a dog trainer and very happy because he recently finished teaching one of his dogs to fetch beers. Next, is to teach the other dog to put the empties in the recycle bin. Very little clean up after a party.

Susan Landon's work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, anthologies, newspapers and online literary sites. She also won Cambridge Poetry Awards in 2003 and 2004.

Sarah Shey has written for the New York Times, Time Out New York, the Philadelphia Inquirer, This Old House Magazine, the New York Sun, Bridal Guide, the Des Moines Register, The Iowan, and the Christian Science Monitor. A graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in writing, she is at work on a nonfiction narrative.


From the Editors:
April 13, 2005

Salinas, a city in Northern California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck...