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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014


Pat Tompkins
San Mateo, California, USA


Lucille rotated the basket searching for flaws, but didn’t find any. Olive green and pale straw-colored strands of fiber from yucca plants were tightly woven in a spiral of diamonds. The basket was only five inches in diameter. She turned it over again to check the white sticker on the bottom, as though it might have changed in the past minute. Forty-five dollars.

A lot of money for something too small to be useful. She put it back on the shelf, but her eyes returned to the pattern, one she’d never seen before. Was $45 a good price? She didn’t consider something a decent buy unless it was at least 50 percent off.

The tour guide said the van would be leaving in five minutes. Lucille took down the basket again and read the square tag attached by string: “Handmade by Alice Running Bear June 2009.” She shook her head. According to the guide, most reservation homes lacked running water and electricity. Lucille felt her face warm; $45 was nothing even if the weaver’s fingers raced.

desert dawn
in the agave’s web
a few dewdrops



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