Weedpatch

For a moment, suppose migrancy decriminalised and all the border apparatus, the walls, the arrests, the holding pens, the clogged courts, the caged children, the separation of families, all dismantled. [Read more]

Ambush

You don’t see praying mantises much any more. They’ve disappeared, along with grasshoppers and crickets. I remember them from my childhood in Brooklyn. On hot summer days occupying a place on the sidewalk, indifferent to everything, waiting and still, a little frightening in their composure. [Read more]

Squareheads

The impeccable balance between elegant design and fitness for use. Responsiveness and refinement. He calls her “dainty.” “That flower of a barque,” he says. The ship itself a living thing, the main character in a thumping good tale of seas and men and seamanship. [Read more]

Mildred

It was a common name for girls among Norwegian immigrants. Rutgersen, Börresen, Dahl, Aarstad. And others. All produced Mildreds. The vogue lasted across at least two generations. No one names girls that any more, not since the War. [Read more]

Uncle Knud

In 1920 the police think Knud is still visiting his parents. In Vasby Kro, one imagines, the police were sometimes lied to. In 1921 they have given up and stamped his card “withdrawn.” As well they might, since he had been in New York since 1911. [Read more]

Emigrants

Olav kept much to himself, and who can say whom he might have visited, living or dead, on his frequent, lone peripatetic jaunts around the city. Maybe he knew perfectly well where Josefine was buried, and what had happened to her husband. [Read more]