The Fear Underneath It All

 To listen to the spoken-word version of this post by Ashley, click below.   “But the tigers come at night. With their voices soft as thunder. As they tear your world apart. As they turn your dreams to shame . . .”  ~”I Dreamed a Dream,” Les Miserables   “You’ll never do it again. Your words are […]

When Good Girls Get Angry

I never know what to do with my anger. I am sitting here, looking at the dining table, staring at a bunch of tulips haloed by the Spring sun, but all I can see is black. My hands are trembling, and my jaw is set. The offence that’s causing this rage is a relatively small infraction, […]

Confessions of a Recovering Storm Chaser

There is a poem in the ninth grade text book that I love to teach. It is about a tornado that goes through Houston, and a man that sits on his front porch and narrates the whole thing while his wife washes dishes in the sink. I love this poem, mostly because I love the […]

When the Rain Does Not Come

  I used to watch the summer monsoons as if they were a picture show. Our house was perched at the top of a hill overlooking Tucson. Every August, thunderheads would roll over the bluish hills and send their pencil-sketch lightning bolts down over the glittering city. I’d turn off all the lights, spin the […]

What I Want Them to Remember

Their nightstand and bookshelves tell you all you’d need to know. Anne of Green Gables, Ramona, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have Girls Think of Everything, Rosie Revere Engineer, Not One Damsel in Distress. Harriet Tubman. Helen Keller. Sojourner Truth. Marie Curie. These are their heroes. We go through our Bible with care and find all […]

Meet the Princess of the Press: Ida B. Wells

Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, the first integrated nightclub in New York, another icon of history, sat nightly, frantically documenting every lynching […]

That’s What She Said: The Story of Marcia Melissa Bassett-Goodwin

I’m in a class right called Restoration History, and before the semester began it was the course I was looking forward to the least. An entire semester of learning about old, dead white men who were racist, sexist, and worst of all: privileged and unaware? No thank you. Needless to say it was an experience […]

Dorothy Day: Saint with Thorns

  “Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.” ~Dorothy Day I heard about Dorothy Day years ago, when I was a young radical. She was an advocate for women’s rights before American women had the vote. She was arrested and went on a hunger strike. She advocated for the […]

Why I’ll Never Put A Lily At My Mother’s Grave

When I was married, I gifted with great ceremony white lilies to three older women that I loved. My blood mother. My stepmother. My mother-in-law. I carried the long and elegant stems across the pebbles toward their wooden folding chairs. All three of them died young. Cancer, cancer, and a freakish surprise sort of thing […]