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first appeared in War, Literature and the Arts

DOUBLEMINT
by Bruce Guernsey

          "Chew Doublemint: it cleans your teeth and breath," Gene Autry used to tell us at the end of his show on Sunday nights. He'd just emptied his six-shooter into some scruffy bad guy and had rid the town of evil, but my favorite cowboy's dental advice had little effect on my mother. "No," was all she had to say, which meant in no uncertain terms, no gum for me, despite my pleading at the grocery store.   continue


from the Virginia Quarterly Review

AT THE GRAVE OF THOMAS LINCOLN
by Bruce Guernsey

           Not far from where I live in east central Illinois, the father of Abraham Lincoln lies buried. Though I've lived out here in this open land for over two decades, I had not visited Thomas Lincoln's grave until last spring, two years after my own father had disappeared. Pop suffered from acute Parkinson's disease but was able, on occasion, to dress himself and shuffle about. He did so that fateful May morning and wandered away from the VA hospital into the forests of rural Pennsylvania. continue


first published in Chronicles

BUSING TO BYZANTIUM
by Bruce Guernsey

           "A couple of springs ago, my daughter and I took a bus from Thessaloniki in northern Greece over the mountains to Istanbul. The trip was ghastly. In an effort to save some money, I'd found us seats on a local—a big mistake.   continue


first published in War, Literature and the Arts

NOBODY'S HOME
by Bruce Guernsey

"So, you ask me the name I'm known by, Cyclops?
I will tell you. . . .
Nobody —that's my name. Nobody —"
                                      — The Odyssey

           "Guernsey —that's an odd name to have," said the bespectacled teller, squinting at my passport. And so it is, back in the United States where there are not many of us, but it shouldn't be too strange a name here, I thought —not here on Guernsey Island.   continue


first published in the journal Flyway

THE RAVEN'S GIFT
by Bruce Guernsey

          I am sitting in a one bedroom cabin made of spruce logs and heated by small chunks of birch I split in the brief light of yesterday afternoon. It is mid-December and light is diminishing everywhere in the northern hemisphere, but here, sixteen miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska, light is like the grapefruit I bought a few days ago: rare and precious and something you crave no matter the cost.   continue




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