Writing In Public celebrates the art and intelligence of essays, online and in print.

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In this small, messy place

Lily White remembers a childhood mystery of the upholsterer's wife @ Brevity.
I only met her once. It was summertime, and I was riding with my dad out to the airport. As an amateur pilot, he was required to log a certain number of hours of flight time per year in order to keep his pilot’s license, and we would often take little trips to neighboring Wisconsin just for the afternoon. The car sped over the long straight roads, and I looked out over the endless fields of corn that lined both sides of the road. Heading up route 38 towards the Dekalb airport, the car made an unexpected turn, and we pulled up to a small yellow house in the middle of nowhere. “This’ll just take a minute,” he said, and I obediently got out of the car and followed. The woman who answered the door was clearly surprised by our visit, but appeared to know my dad pretty well. Her eyes darted about as she showed us inside, and I wondered if she was a patient of his who owed him money. At the age of nine, I had no idea of how doctors got paid for their doctoring, and looking back on it, the tension I sensed between them may have been interpreted by me as debt.read more 

The builder sometimes needs the services of the poet

My mother had an entire room full of hidden things

My mother had an entire room full of hidden things