Don’t Die Needlessly

During the years I volunteered at the Door of Hope, I knew several guests who had been kicked out of the house after being diagnosed with AIDS. All too often the family members did this—kicked out their loved ones—because their pastor told them the loved one had committed a sin. They were sinful. Someone to be shamed. Disowned. Kicked out. The...

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I Love You

I see you looking at my mask with disdain. You think I’m a coward, afraid of getting a virus that is no worse than the flu. One that probably doesn’t even exist, anyway. And if it does, masks sure don’t work. I’m just being a sucker.  I envy you the freedom to believe that way. I’m jealous of your luxury of theory because you’ve known no...

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The Attack

When I was in elementary school, I lived next door to the county sheriff. The sheriff’s family was best friends with my family. One of the daughters in the family was our favorite babysitter and second mom. We loved that family. The sheriff’s family had a dog. A German Shepherd. His name was Shane. Shane protected our house the same...

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Time is and was: 2020 into 2021

Do you believe in what might have been? How about what was and is again? Do you believe in that? Multiple strands of time, I’m talking about, so that, in what might have been, the twin boys I longed for in my first life—King and John Powell—are nearing thirty years old. Brown-headed handsome young men. It could have happened, if I hadn’t...

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How are You?

Hi, y’all. How are you doing? Is it going okay? Tell me the truth. I’ll start. If you’re Christian like me, it’s the Advent season leading into Christmas but all the churches are closed. If you’re American like me, it’s the transition period between presidents, which is going swimmingly. If you’re female...

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The Glow

I got a new daybed in my house. The bed is minimalist for a small but important room: the room has the sacred palm in it. I’ve reupholstered the furniture to fit in this new house. I’ve had pillows made. Lamps are set out. Pictures hung. Bedding added. Charging stations rigged up, carts assembled, rugs cleaned and laid on their mats....

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My Best Reader has Left Me

Mother at her 90th birthday party Marguerite Virginia Price Van Hecke died on May 29, 2020, following emergency surgery. Virginia was born on June 9, 1929, on the Road of Remembrance in Jackson, Mississippi, as the second child of Maggie Mae and James Murray Price, a little girl who was to have been named George William. From the start, she never...

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That Which Soothes When All Begins to Crumble

Though I welcomed—after our terror subsided—the stillness of our shelter-in-place life, we who had been circling and circling for years, the last few days I have felt as if I might crumble, my “dust to dust” having become friable, my feet of clay exposed, a descending that was not helped when the priest who understood me and yet encouraged...

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A Virus is Not Godzilla

A virus is not Godzilla. Its takeover of the world is not inevitable. Nor is a virus an act of God or a hurricane or tornado or anything else we have to passively accept as bigger than ourselves. A virus can be stopped. How? Quit giving it hosts. You can quit giving a virus hosts in two ways. First, you can let the tipping point of your population...

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