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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Al Ortolani
Lenexa, Kansas, USA


Spring Snow

Several months ago Aunt Dee gave me a letter that she found in grandma’s things. A letter from mom to grandma, dated March 18, 1952. She was writing from New York while dad was at Ft. Dix. Mom was 22 and pregnant for the first time. She wrote like a girl in love, missing her soldier husband. She had two names picked out for the baby—Deborah Lee and Alfred Jr.—I guess I know how that turned out. I realized while reading that this was the first I’d ever heard my mother speak with the voice of a woman who wasn’t yet a mother. She wrote like a girl, used the word “swell,” described New York snow as “glistening into spring”—with perfect penmanship. She was just getting to know my father . . . he was a "great guy,” and they hadn’t had a fight in an entire year.

public library steps
a veteran cradles Tolstoy
against a steel hook

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