Home

In a few days, it will be the winter solstice, and here we stand, some of us, with our eyes fixed upon a holy December sacrament and our ears, some of them, pricked toward Standing Rock and Washington D.C., waiting to hear something that might warm us as we hunker down for what seems will be a bone-cold January. In the following pages, we will read together, and in some cases hear, the words of fifteen of us. I cannot say they will be the words you want to hear. I cannot say they will be words of comfort. But I can tell you they bring to our minds moments of sight and sound and imagination and that together they make a singular moment of story. From the moon’s invitation in Pamela Hart’s “Transmigration” to a brief but perfect world that Lauren Kay Halloran unveils in “Inheritance of War,” we are told the story of what home means and has meant to those who have witnessed war in the eyes of their enemies, their friends, and their families. Between Hart and Halloran: George Kovach takes us into homes invaded by war; Randy Brown and H. Jean-Baptiste fire our awareness of steady and sudden friendships; and Susannah Hollister deals for us a hand where love is gripped young and released, undone. We are allowed to rummage through camouflaged innocence in the poetry of Susan Falcon, Melanie Graham, Angela Peacock, Hattie Daily, and Peter Vanderberg, just before Dewaine Farria takes us inside Mogadishu and the viability of dignity. David F. Eisler, Colin D. Halloran, and Jon Sebba deposit us back in familiar homes, buying fireworks, laying wreaths, and sitting in breakfast nooks. In all of these rememberings, we are asked to hold, if only for a moment, a fist of truths that sound a little like mortars. But if you prick your ears just so, if you listen just beyond the bang, you’ll hear the exchange of breath, soft and determined, keeping us all alive.

Deanna Benjamin
December 2016

Deanna Benjamin

Deanna Benjamin writes and teaches in St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri. Her writing has appeared in Brevity Magazine, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Carolina Quarterly, among other reviews. She is the assistant nonfiction editor for Drunken Boat and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri.