The Fourth River

A journal of nature and place-based writing, published by Chatham University's MFA in Creative Writing Programs
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Tributaries: “The Smell of Rain”

By on February 22, 2017

By Diane Payne

 

The two babies, twin sisters, lie next to each other wearing matching pink satin robes and stocking caps. They were alive hours, maybe minutes, maybe not at all. The parents, my neighbors, dressed their daughters for this photo, this photo that is in the local newspapers, where the obituary reads: At least our girls never had to breathe polluted air. I walk past their house, piles of leaves burning throughout the neighborhood, and think of the babies lying next to each other in the hospital bassinet, never knowing the smell of rain.

 

 


 

Diane Payne’s most recent publications include: Map Literary Review, Watershed Review, Tishman Review, Whiskey Island, Kudzu House Quarterly, Superstition Review, Burrow Press, Dime Show Review, Lime Hawk, and Cheat River Review. She has work forthcoming in The Offing, Elke: A little Journal, Crab Fat, Souvenir Literary Journal, Outpost 19, and a chapbook with Blue Lyra Press.

 

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Fiction: “American Sweetgum” by Ken Mohnkern

By on February 10, 2017

  I’m too old for tree climbing, but it turns out being aloft is good for thinking and Kate wants me to think. The sun has disappeared behind the horizon, though there’s still a bit of warmth in the sky

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Tributaries: “River Road”

By on February 8, 2017

By Akua Lezli Hope   Long way is the highway short way follows river goes past farm field fringed with timothy Jerusalem artichoke, dames rockets stone steps to the landing shaded by old willow flat sweep below a twist of