by Michael Neal Morris


I spent a lot of afternoons with my grandparents as small boy, especially in the years between my mother’s divorce and the beginning of her marriage to my step-father. They often took care of my brothers and me while my mother worked double-shifts at a nearby Kip’s. They even dropped us off and picked us up from catechism classes, where I was preparing for my first communion. At their house, I spent most of my time with my grandmother. She, of course, made and served the requisite cookies and helped us with homework. But she also kept us busy with things to draw and color on, or she took us outside to show us her marvelous backyard garden. I loved playing in that backyard, especially when play really meant sitting under the bushes with a book, smelling honeysuckle while watching a lizard’s throat change colors on the fence, or watching my grandmother in her big sun hat prune the flowers she had coaxed to grow in the odd mix of soil found at Dallas residences. It was here she showed me how to peel and eat a pomegranate from a tree she had taken care of. Continue reading


How to Raise an Autodidact

by Rufel Ramos


“Are all of your family like you?” a student asked me.

“What do you mean?”

“Do they all like reading and writing like you do?”

After much laughter I replied, “No. I’m the black sheep in the family – I turned out being a nerd.”

“How did that happen?”

“Well,” I said, “that’s sort of a long story.”

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Can a man be a feminist?

by Matt Hinckley

It was early morning on Christmas Eve. My wife filed for divorce nine days earlier. My kids were angry and confused. I had to euthanize my cat in November. My life was collapsing. Then the phone rang. My mom was calling. My dad’s mom, Mimi, had died just after midnight. She was 97. She had broken her hip six months earlier, and after a lifetime of stubborn independence in which she spent more years as a widow than a wife, she had willed herself to death once it became clear she would never leave the nursing home. She outlived all of her siblings and all but one of her friends.

Some say a man cannot be a feminist. I understand that point of view but ultimately still proudly wear the label. My commitment to social justice comes from study of history but perhaps more importantly from the influence of two strong women: my mother and Mimi.

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Left Unsaid, Part 2

by Lauren Young 

Dr. Bidiwala held Kyle’s enormous hand in the air, as close as possible to the ceiling, by the yellow fluorescent light box. He rotated the hand slowly as he inspected it. A baseball mitt. A bear claw. A cartoon hand. The damn thing cast a shadow on our faces.

“Wow,” the neurosurgeon mumbled, deep in concentration. “You’re a real, live acromegaly patient, Kyle. I’ve seen one before, in medical school, but I never got to look at him up close. He wasn’t my patient. But you . . . look at your hands.” Continue reading

3737 5-7-5 x 8: poetry by numbers

Haiku are so friendly, aren’t they? Three lines, a handful of syllables: they’re not intimidating and they don’t wear out their welcome. They’re like poems that live next door and will pick up your newspaper when you’re out of town, but they never make too much noise when you’re trying to sleep late on Saturday.

In the spirit of community, Eastfield employees from several neighborhoods of campus submitted haiku. We received submissions from A&C, AEL, STEM, and the Library. Faculty and staff contributed; part-timers and full-timers syllabized and submitted.

The thirtyseventhirtyseven editorial panel selected several haiku through a blind voting process for your reading pleasure. Can you match the author with the poem? Good luck, neighbor.

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