Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time.

My daughter wouldn’t tell me what she was scared of when I crawled into her bed in the middle of the night.

I’m scared, Mommy.

Why, honey?

I don’t want to tell you.

Maybe I can help?

Stay with me in case it happens again.

What, sweetie? What happened?

I don’t want to tell you.

OK, sweetie. Try to go back to sleep, OK? I said as I curled myself around her warm body. I wanted to sleep, too…


We planted rye in the late winter when the rain pummeled the cold ground. The tiny seeds germinated as the track of the sun slowly crept further north with each passing day, my belly shadow growing larger on warming earth. Little seeds sent roots into the ground and tender shoots towards the gray sky while you practiced breathing fluid into lungs and opening ocean gray eyes. You were born in the spring of a pandemic, but neither you nor the rye seemed to notice.

Now you, Fiona Rye, and I brush our bodies through the tall grass together, your small…


I am 37 weeks pregnant in the middle of a pandemic. Ebbing and flowing fears about COVID19 are often nestled in the pit of my stomach next to the growing baby these strange days, but on this cold and frosty March morning, another sort of new life is disrupting the panic.

The mama ewe circles and contracts, lies down and raises her mouth in a noiseless howl. She stands again as two feet emerge from her swollen vulva, then a head emerges. She pushes again and the body of a tiny lamb slips out and lands softly in the hay…


The man at the garden store looks down at the crumpling brown leaf I hold in my palm. “Sunburn,” he says.

I sigh with relief.

“It’s going to get ugly as the summer goes on,” he says, “but it’ll probably live. I’d leave it where it is this year. Next winter, move it to a shadier spot.”

My heart drops. Move it? I can’t just move the tree. He wouldn’t understand. Maybe we could cover the tree with shadecloth or make sure to water it more, de-scorch the leaves with hydration or something?

“There’s nothing else to do?” I ask.


How the 2018 Hawaii missile scare changed my life

Baby no longer in my arms, I step closer to the hole. I cannot see the ground below. I hold the hem of my skirt and put a flip-flopped foot onto a cinder block jutting out of the concrete wall and start to descend. The smell of damp earth and rotting wood grows stronger with each step down.

One two three four five six.

I can hear my baby babbling in my cousin-in-law’s arms in the room I just lowered myself from. I whimper.

I do not want to bring her…


How objects bind us to memories

Gray filaments unravel off spools, tiny fingers pull and twist memories (not her own) into a nest on the couch. I pretend not to care. I pretend the tape is just a thing, that the two other cassettes that were in the side table drawer but are now being/have been eviscerated don’t matter either.

I say that I’m not really attached to Julio Iglesias so my baby can have that one to play with but I move the still-intact Gipsy Kings out of her reach. My daughter is enjoying the game. My mother-in-law uses…


For three years, I sailed the Atlantic with Walter Cronkite. His stories made me question the meaning of journalistic “truth.”

Walter Cronkite at the helm of s/v Wyntje

Lanky oranges and reds stretched out across the tree-fringed horizon of Casco Bay, Maine. The boat swayed with occasional swell as lobster boats returned from the deep gray beyond the islands. Walter Cronkite navigated the evening with his large hands, the glowing tip of his cigar a dim searchlight between two gnarly knuckles. A ghostly plume slipped from loosely pursed lips as he exhaled, head tilted back against the varnished teak of the cockpit. A glass of Maker’s Mark waited patiently on the table until Cronkite’s map-lined palm closed around his sundowner of choice, ice cubes barely melted on such…


The pile of diapers grows, the acrid smell of urine overwhelming the small room, windows shut against the changing tide of seasons, the cold creeping into our bones moment by moment.

The pile of diapers in a water resistant sail bag (never intended for this purpose) will create a little spot of damp black mold on the unfinished floorboards if I don’t get to them soon.

I get to them when the stench becomes unbearable or when the several reusable diaper covers become unusably moist or when the diapers start to spill out onto the floor creating a second damp…


The basement is cool and dark, the smoky light of day obscured by purple globe thistles, deep green sweet pea vines, and a rogue elderberry sapling I’ve been meaning to cut away from in front of the tiny basement windows.

I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things around the house lately but lately, well lately, only the most pressing matters are attended to: 1)Child. 2)Eating. …


Michael Weiss/Center for Whale Research via AP

I can feel her body against mine, smooth and cold, her body the lick of a tongue, the breath of a wave. Her fins span out from her body and I think I see her move, I think I see an eye flash open, I hope she will rise to the surface and push air from her lungs, spout to the world I AM ALIVE! I know she will rise to the surface and breathe in deep and swim through the murky black, spots of white on her alive and floating against the dark curves of her body.

She does…

Jenny Goff

Jenny Goff is a sailor, farmer, chef, and writer living on an island north of Seattle, WA.

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