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Here's a little sample of our Editor's Choice in Creative Nonfiction, Lisa Ohlen Harris's "Keening":
A student was raped last night. My coffee brews in the kitchen, hissing and dripping, and the sky is just beginning to lighten as I read the email to faculty, sent at 3:15 a.m.
Around dusk she heard a knock, opened her door, and a man in a ski mask and gloves shouldered his way inside. An hour and a half later, her roommates came home and found her, alive and afraid. The roommates called campus security. Campus security called the Newberg police. The chaplain came. There were midnight phone calls to her parents and fiancé.
I feel at once shocked, angry, vulnerable, and protective. This happened on my campus? In my town? I quietly open the bedroom doors to check on my four daughters, one by one, each of them sleeping peacefully. I pour my mug of coffee and step out onto our deck to watch the sun rise.
* * * * *
Our home backs to an acre or so of fir trees and blackberry brambles sloping down to a greenway along Hess Creek. Early dawn is when the birds sing loudest. Barn swallows swoop close as if to land on my shoulder. Our deck is level with the trees, and when I stand there I get the feeling I’m in a cartoon movie with birds singing happy harmony in the background.
One early morning standing on the deck, I watched the outline of a large bird of prey flapping strangely against a top limb of the tallest fir. The hawk looked as if he were holding something in his talons, and I wondered, does he have to finish the kill from the treetop? Then the hawk rose and with a slight flap moved outward along the branch, until I saw what had been underneath him: his mate.