Fading Flame


A piece of Cynthia Reed’s short story, “Crosswords,” reads,

“It wears him out. He’s resolved to ignore the smell of her hair when she wakes him to rub her back in the night. Acquiescence makes life sadder, but quieter, he’s decided. Frances is not capable of managing her own medication but, in his perpetual state of near-exhaustion, he insists to their children that he’s only trying to allow their mother to be independent, to maintain her dignity. In reality, he’s grasping at respite without the ignominy of speaking its name.”

Reed’s story provides a window into the daily life of an aging man dealing with his wife’s dementia from a perspective poignant in its simplicity and sincerity. Find the full piece of fiction in Issue 2.

Photo Credit: Brian Aydemir

Cynthia Reed Sobotka

Ashen Land


One of the two poems of Peycho Kanev’s that we will be publishing titled “Darkness” reads,

“Relentless sun, crystal clear blue skies,
silence and foreshadowing.
Thousands of miles of wasted land,
thousands of sheep dying from hunger.

And the shepherd stands there,
without moving a muscle, like a scarecrow,
nodding his head and swaying slightly
in the gentle wind.”

In Peycho’s short yet vivid poem, he presents us a sharp juxtaposition of opposites. Contrasting a placid landscape with the barrenness it represents, Kanev alludes to the human race’s unwillingness to assume responsibility for or take action against the impending destruction of our world.

Check out this poem and a second one of Peycho’s titled “The Analyst” in our forthcoming issue!

Photo Credit: Nathan Timmel