Posted by: alegra22 | November 14, 2010

Under the cover…

 …of Milk & Ink this is what you will find (a glimpse at the stories, essays, and poems that make up our collection):

Nina Perez


I used to be embarrassed by my mother. She had a way of stopping all activity on Nostrand Avenue by simply sticking her head out of our third-story apartment window and calling my name.

 Dear Kali

I am writing this for you because there are things I want you to know. Things I want you to remember.

Margery Bloom

Evan’s Poem

The developmental psychologist did her assessment with the parents present.  At one point, she picked up a plastic hot dog and pretended that the hot dog was talking.  Child and parents looked at her as if she were insane.  “Ah,” she said, “Lack of imaginary play capability.”  The three of them regarded her in astonishment.  Hotdogs don’t talk, damn it. 


Eros – Alegra Clarke

Dust and Light

Over the last five years I have watched people arrive in this community with their demons packed away in the cool shade of suitcases and boxes, only to find that come summer the demons bust out and prowl through this beautiful and stark hell, chest bared, thighs flexed, grinning with their dares.

Falling to Earth

The summer my mother fell through the sky, she appeared deceptively earthbound. She had always floated just slightly above the surface of things, so that sometimes I wanted to wrap my arms around her waist and hold on, to be her anchor.

Vigil of Clouds

Today at the burial Carlos tripped on a gravestone, sliding across it with his hands outstretched, smiling like he could hear applause. But there was only the murmuring of adults who didn’t know where to stand, where to look, what to say.


 Tinesha Davis

Having Amaru

I made a friend. A popular, comedian of a boy who’d hold long conversations with me when we weren’t in school. On rusty-chained swings we sat and I blurted out these words: “My father smokes crack. Now he’s locked up.”


Tanya Egan Gibson


My belly button is of infinite interest to my children.  Dylan, my five-year-old daughter, discovers a speck of clothing fuzz in it, and soon she and her two-year-old brother, Cole, are both exploring it with their index fingers, as if there might be dinosaur fossils in there.  Or Pez. 


Marilyn Kallet:


If a tree falls in the forest, and no one’s around

To hear it, children on Blue Ridge weep.


The Dream

After nights of Lamaze and days

of layette sets,

I dream the dam breaks



Rebecca Lawton

The Bed

Before dark, if you’re lucky,

you strip sheets off the bed—

the one where she slept

countless hours. 



In a moment a string of men shuffled into True’s view, hands to shoulders chain-gang style. She counted: twelve dancers, teen aged to perhaps seventy. Their cotton shirts and pants looked soft and home sewn; their turquoise headbands seemed torn from the same cloth as the drummer’s.


Caroline Leavitt

The Company of Strangers

Three days after the birth of my son Max, I contracted a rare, deadly blood disease, a form of postpartum hemophilia. I grew so sick I was in a coma. Two weeks, five emergency operations and hundreds of transfusions later, I woke up, surrounded by a circle of doctors and Jeff, my husband.


Ellen Meister

Finding Cooper

 Cooper was three when I lost him. And I don’t mean in the euphemistic, I-just-don’t-want-to-say-dead sense. I mean lost him, as in, God oh God, where’s my kids? Has anybody seen my kid?


Justine Musk

Tiger Medicine

 “Look Mom,” he says, and he walks the tiger along the edge of the kitchen table.  The sunlight slashes through the window blinds, lays stripes of shadow along Jacob’s tanned arm. “He’s wild,” Jacob says “a wild thing, and no one can tame him, and no one should try.”  The tiger reaches the end of the table and Jacob makes him jump down onto a chair.


Jordan E. Rosenfeld


I knew it was dangerous, but I thought of her thin body pressed against mine, sobbing, how frail she felt in my arms. I thought of her mother, who had never done right by her and I knew that I would break policy as sure as I knew her mother was a kidnapper.

One is for Amateurs

Without the “off” button, the mind rebels against itself. For three weeks after Ben’s birth I was so sluggish I stuttered, words skittering through my mind like pelted marbles, and I worried that some neural pathway in my brain had been permanently damaged.


Christina Rosalie Sbarro

How You Will Pray

Today you will feel like a stranger in your newly deflated body. You will lie very still among the covers and think of this: how this new love makes you feel like you have swallowed helium; how your heart feels like it is filled with a thousand tiny bubbles pressing at your ribcage, threatening to burst.

The life

Certain things are never done. The wash for one; the spoons in the sink are always there again, and the bowls; the small hands that need scrubbing; the ripe things waiting for harvest in the garden, some silent and round under the dirt, or fat and humming with wasps, sides split open in the late summer sun.



Tracey Slaughter


 The teacher in autobiography class says you choose what you remember, you make up your life like a story & select the details to set in your mind. When he says this I think: if this were true my mind would just be wheat now. My mind would be as clear as a window, but something with feelings … a bowl of skin … & through it there would only be the lightest drift of fibres. I’d see nothing, feel nothing but my baby’s hair as he let me cut it … the first cuts dropping in stems of moisture, the lighter, drier pieces floating, glittering over the damp towel like grains. Like seeds.


Tomi L. Wiley

Last of the Dogsitters

Momma was waiting in the rocking chair with the canister in her lap when Fat Daddy got home. I was in the kitchen peeling potatoes when I heard his shuffling on the front steps, the heavy drop of his boots outside the front door, the screen door’s squeal and slam.

“And just what,” I heard Momma say, “were you going to do with that?”

 En Media Res

“We’ve got to do something about Grayson,” my mother says to Rachel on the third night she is home. They are sitting at the table in the breakfast nook. I am crouched around the corner in the darkness of the dining room, listening.

“What do you mean, do something?” Rachel asks. I hear the clink of her spoon in her coffee mug. I scratch at my ankle, where chiggers got me this afternoon.


 Michael Lee West

One Pot Meals

The speed of family life can wear down the most energetic home cook. Your heart may cry out for leg of lamb or chateaubriand, but there is simply no time for such frills. In a house with children, meals are not planned in solitude, with the quiet wisping around you like organdy curtains.

To read more:



  1. Oh, boy, what a feast! I will order my copy as soon as I know my new address. Love to all the ladies. 🙂

    • Thank you! Good luck with the move!

  2. Ordered my copy last week. I can’t wait to get it. 🙂

    • Thank you!

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