Gettysburg Review
Gettysburg College | 300 N. Washington Street | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Essays

The Mountain

by Barret Baumgart

People kept materializing out of the mist—college students, spandex moms, and couples with dogs—everyone satisfied, exercised, a restful, celebratory mood dominating the parking lot; folks shaking hands, heading home to watch soaps operas and eat ham sandwiches, saying, “Bye, Trish!” “See you Monday, Tom!” Within minutes, they were gone.

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Rooted in the Sun

by Don Lago

As I looked up at one huge cottonwood tree, I saw the power of trees to lift tons of matter high into the air and give it shapes and skills. I looked at the ground and imagined the root system, two or three times the size of the canopy, tunneling in search of water and nutrients.

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The Matter of Translation: Wislawa Szymborska’s ‘Conversation with a Rock

by Kim Adrian

When I was a child, I had a beautiful book that fit perfectly in my hands. Its covers were squarish and addictively smooth, its binding a wide ribbon of coarse blue fabric, its pages thick and waxy. In simplified prose this book told child- length versions of various biblical tales.

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“Questionnaire for My Grandfather”

by Kim Adrian

Please answer all questions as simply as possible; do not use digression as a means of evasion. Feel free, however, to elaborate on the point at hand to a reasonable degree so as to provide the clearest and most informative answer you can. You may want to use your hands—or other body parts—to express yourself, . . .

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“Zeit und Raum”

by Mary Alice Hostetter

I never intended to become a cheese maker. Of all the futures I might have imagined for myself as a young adult, certainly none involved raw milk. So it was an unlikely path that brought me in my late twenties to the place where I was considering a job that could include making cheese.

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“A Ring of Bells”

by Catherine Jagoe

Church bells punctuated our lives, doling out information and instructions, for the church clock tolled every hour. Eight bells meant it was time to jump out of bed and get ready for school. One bell meant it was lunchtime. Six bells, and it was time for Dad to switch on the evening news. Bells at 7:30 PM on a Friday meant the ringers were holding their weekly practice. In the evening, ten bells meant it was time to switch out the light.

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“A Duck with One Leg”

by Aviya Kushner

I once lived in half a dorm room in the middle of Paris, right across from the École des Mines. Every afternoon, from the speaker of a rickety, cheap tape recorder, the music of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto stretched its immense arms past the chipped, hundred-year-old bathroom sink that doubled as a kitchen sink, over the cold communal showers, the ancient grease-thickened hot plates, and the toilet in the hallway, operated by a string.

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“Body Worlds”

by Kerry Reilly

You met a guy online. You have had four or five dates, and you haven’t so much as held hands. He is artistic. His expensive button-down shirts are decorated with bold, colorful patterns. He has two tickets to the Body Worlds Exhibition in Denver. A traveling display of human bodies and body parts that have been preserved using a process called plastination.

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“Night Watch”

by Jeffrey Hammond

When I was a child in the late 1950s, the streetlights ended two blocks before our neighborhood on the edge of our small Ohio town. Given the midwestern custom of early dinners, my friends and I often played outside afterward. On dark, moonless nights in late fall and winter, familiar yards were transformed into mysterious black voids relieved only by trash burning here and there in an oil drum.

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“The Final Day in Rome”

by John H. Culver

The waiting room in the ER at Rome’s Policlinico was a vast rectangle with four banks of chairs set facing each other in a much smaller rectangle. One group of chairs was missing a front stabilizer, which meant that any time someone sat down or stood up, the rest of the chairs moved in unison.

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