Stonework is published by Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college located in New York’s rural Genesee Valley. Stonework seeks a diverse mix of mature and emerging voices in fellowship with the evangelical tradition. Published twice a year, the journal reflects the arts community at Houghton College where excellence in music, writing, and the visual arts has long been a distinctive.

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  • Issue 6
    Poetry by Paul Willis and Thom Satterlee. Fiction and interview with Lori Huth. Essay by James Wardwell, and student poets from Christian campuses.
  • Issue 5
    Poetry by Susanna Childress and Debra Rienstra. Fiction excerpt by Emilie Griffin. Art from Houghton's 2007 presidential inauguration and a forum on women writing.
  • Issue 4
    Matthew Roth--new poems. Diane Glancy--from One of Us and an interview. John Tatter-on gardens and poetry. The Landscapes of John Rhett. Stephen Woolsey--on the poetry of Jack Clemo. James Wardwell--on Herrick.
  • Issue 3
    Poetry by Julia Kasdorf, Robert Siegel and Sandra Duguid. Fiction by Tom Noyes. The portraits of Alieen Ortlip Shea. An anthology of Australian Poets
  • Issue 2
    Thom Satterlee - Poems from Burning Wycliff with an appreciation by David Perkins. Alison Gresik - new fiction and an interview. James Zoller - Poems from Living on the Floodplain.
  • Issue 1
    Luci Shaw — new poems with an appreciation by Eugene H. Peterson & Hugh Cook — new fiction and an interview

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dreams of My Father

~Thom Satterlee

Most notable of all, his weight is back.
A good, rounded beer gut stretches his sports shirt
like a bull half-hidden under a cape.
He is all and all energy,
standing tall on the summer grass.
I know: we are at my grandmother’s house,
the home he grew up in.
And I know: I am looking up at him.
I am a boy and he is my father
telling me some bullshit story
to make both of us break out laughing.

On the sidewalk on Main Street in Batavia, NY,
I walk several steps with him before realizing,
my God, he’s walking, he’s walking
as if he’d never had those operations!
I turn to him and tell him
how amazed I am.
I ask him how.
He says he just decided to walk.
It’s easy once you make up your mind.
I believe every word he says.
I believe my own damned dream.

I must carry my father up this flight of stairs.
They lead to a bedroom, but there’s no bed.
I have to carry that up, too.
The mattress buckles, gets stuck between walls,
but I yank it free; I wrestle it into the room.
Then the bed’s on the floor and my father’s on the bed.
I sit in a chair, pull the lever to recline.
That instant, I hear my father scream.
Somehow his leg had gotten stuck in the chair.
When I leaned back, I broke his leg.
Now I’m kneeling in front of him.
He looks at me with a look to calm me.
But the cast on his leg has split open
and through the plaster I see what he doesn’t:
a gash in his leg clean to the shinbone.
When I look up at him again his face is sweaty.
Others have arrived. They will take him
to the hospital, quickly. I want to help
but am told, no, I can carry the bed.
I follow after them, shoving the mattress
down the stairs and through a doorway
that opens onto a lawn with one tree.
My father, changed into a boy, crouches on the grass.
He holds out his hand. On his fingertips
a green insect perches, its wings folded.
My father, this boy, takes a few steps
and as the insect begins to fly away
he jumps, he throws back his head and laughs.
When I wake I will tell myself
this is a beautiful dream,
but while I’m inside of it I feel only
a sadness that passes understanding.