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Nonfiction The Upper New Review

Inheritance

by Taylor Roseweeds

A glass-topped tray in a carved wooden frame affixed with two brass handles hangs on the wall by my bed, five blue swallows hand-painted on its surface. It’s the type of tray you might bring to a sick person in bed, but I’ve chosen to hang it on the wall exactly as it hung in my grandparents’ bedroom until I inherited it in 2016. I spent portions of each summer and many Christmases with them on their apple orchard—a welcome break from a less idyllic daily life. Despite the availability of a spare bedroom, my sister and I almost always slept in the living room on two matching couches.

When we were small, we’d wake up before anyone else and get in our grandparents’ tall, soft bed. I would choose my grandpa’s side and he would check that my feet were tucked in, muttering something about Jack Frost coming to get my feet. In a dream—or a waking imagining seeded by this idea of Jack Frost—I sometimes saw a creepy man at the foot of the bed, emerging from the closet. So, while my grandparents tried to get a few more minutes rest, I would turn my gaze away from the closet and focus instead on the wall where the bird tray hung underneath an extremely 1970’s print featuring sunflowers in a vase. In calligraphy, it read “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” I’d watch the birds fly and take in the pleasant philosophical depth of that simple statement, drifting back to sleep.


When my grandma—Dee Loris—died in 2016, preceded by her husband seven years earlier, she left a houseful of stuff. An individual binder-style scrapbook album of snapshots for each year from 1958 to 2015 as well as additional themed books for vacations, older photos, or individual people. Kitchen cupboards crammed with sets of dishes, papered inside with recipes and diet tips cut out from Woman’s Day and Redbook. Basement rooms with closets still bearing treasure—Gunne Sax dresses, washed-soft vintage tees, and bell bottom jeans so wide my aunts said they’d have to stop walking on windy days when their pants transformed into sails.

Categories
Nonfiction The Upper New Review

My Flag

by Vanessa Wright

The Union Jack. Three colours. Three stories. The same national symbol unites and divides us.

RED: “to paint the town red: meaning to party or celebrate, usually in a public place”.1Red – en.wiktionary.org/wiki/paint_the_town_red

We walked a couple of streets to Howberry Road, where we would spend every Saturday morning visiting the butchers and greengrocers with Mum. But on this occasion, it was transformed. Trestle tables instead of parked cars now lined this street in Thornton Heath; red, white and blue bunting draped between lamp posts; Union Jack flags arranged as centrepieces on tables. And crowds lined the street in readiness for the races. The Queen’s Silver Jubilee, 1977. My earliest memory of the British flag.

Categories
Nonfiction Research Narratives The Upper New Review

Connect-the-Dots

Connect-the-Dots: Following the Unnatural Path of Water from the South San Juan Mountains to Albuquerque

By Stacy Boone

Growing up meant worm farms, roly-polies in a jar with dirt mined from the garden and smashed lightning bugs on my t-shirt as day wrestled with evening. I turned over rocks to find hidden crawdads in water drainages and hopped after toads accidentally kicked out of a molt of leaves. I was raised in an era when a child’s mode of travel was a bike and shoes were of the “tennis shoe” variety. I was left to wander in an Arkansas subdivision with no sidewalks but wood lots and forest that neighbored in safe proximity to lawns. I rarely strayed far from an oversized circle radius of seven or eight blocks. Well, maybe more if I thought I might not be caught. My friends and I made a point to check-in at whoever’s house was closest at lunch where we were fed and promptly pushed back outside with a gesture to, “Go Play.”

In the wild, I waded in creeks, scaled trees, rushed into high grasses and drank with scooped hands most any clear water source when thirsty. I scraped my knees. My legs bumped and itched with chigger bites. Bruised was an unworried part of play. Outside was education laid bare. Unwittingly, day-to-day outdoor activities were experiments of how the natural world worked. I researched before I understood the concepts that involved a created hypothesis or abidance to a system of methods. I examined without formality through a hands-on studied approach. Without the scientific methodology, I knew that tadpoles became frogs, water moved downstream and branch buds turned to leaves. Intuitively, I expected a repetition of nature’s routines.

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Challenges Nonfiction The Upper New Review

Silence is Golden, But Music is a Girl’s Best Friend

by Lillian Beach

I find myself constantly listening to one thing or another. The only time, it seems, when I am not listening to something is when I am in the shower and forced to be alone with my thoughts. Even then I sometimes turn on a podcast or music, distracting myself from the quiet that feels so claustrophobic. There is a need to listen to something. My thinking is done for me. I don’t need to consider what is going on outside, or what I am stressed out about on a particular day.

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Reviews The Upper New Review

When the Appalachian Trail Went Through Galax

by Tom Dillon

“Virginia’s Lost Appalachian Trail,” by Mills Kelly. History Press, Charleston, S.C. 2023. 157 pages, $23.99 paperback

“The Old Appalachian Trail in Southwest Virginia,” by Susan Gail Arey. Independently published, 2023. 116 pages, $27 paperback

Talk about early relocations of the Appalachian Trail, and PATH members who’ve been around for a while will conjure up the removal of the trail in the 1980s from the dry summit ridge of Walker Mountain to Garden Mountain and Chestnut Knob.

But that’s far from the longest relo southwest Virginia has ever seen, even if the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has never bothered to tell much of the story. That’s why it’s fortunate we have a couple of other people on the job. They are Mills Kelly, a professor at George Mason University and volunteer archivist for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), on the job, and Susan Gail Arey, an author of several hiking books.

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The Upper New Review Visual Arts

Five Paintings

by Judith Skillman

We’ve accepted five paintings by Judith Skillman to share with our readers.

Blue Seas, by Judith Skillman
Categories
Fiction The Upper New Review

The Feeder And The Fed

by Eamon McGrath

“A little bit higher,” she called down from the balcony to her husband.

The garden was still wet from the storm the previous night. Caroline hadn’t slept well, waking up to the crash of thunder and the rattle of the old double windows in the wind. When she was a child, the sound of thunder excited her, and she couldn’t imagine how anyone could be afraid of it. Even Toby, the chocolate Labrador she had grown up with, hadn’t been afraid, and weren’t all dogs supposed to instinctively fear such loud noises? She had a memory of lying on the floor of her sister’s bedroom with Toby during a summer thunderstorm, gazing up at the rain streaming down onto the room’s small skylight, her hands pressed firmly into the carpet as if to steady herself.

But as she had gotten older, it wasn’t exactly that she had come to be afraid of thunder. Instead, it brought on a feeling of disquiet, of creeping anxiety. She wasn’t sure exactly when this change had begun.

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Calls For Submissions Research Narratives

Research Narrative Submissions Open

We are currently open for research narrative submissions at The Upper New Review.  We’re seeking out research narratives from people pursuing knowledge in any field, all over Earth.

What can you tell us about your research endeavors, using at least 3000 words?  We don’t have a maximum word count, so long as you’re concise, tell us as much as you’d like to tell us. 

Research Narrative Submissions Deadline: November 30, 2023

The closing deadline for this round of research narrative submissions is November 30.  Don’t wait!  Ready to submit?  You can submit your research narrative on our Submittable page.  (More information on formatting specifics is available there!)

Not sure what to submit?  Keep reading!

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Calls For Submissions News

Short Story Submissions Open

The Upper New Review is accepting your short story submissions from Sept 30 until October 14, 2023.  We are seeking short stories from all across the globe.

That’s right – send us your short stories from anywhere in the world!

Whenever you’re ready, visit our submittable page to submit your short story before the deadline.  Don’t wait! 

Categories
Fiction The Upper New Review

Redemption by Margaret Marangione

The autumn morning held promise. Susan sat in her rocking chair facing the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Massanutten ridge behind her and looked out past her shimmering green fields, the cold morning dew on that grass like lights on Broadway. The sky was robin-egg blue and held no clouds. Today was one of her work days teaching remedial composition at a community college. She debated about taking the farm truck so she could do a trash run and get feed, and, of course, stop at Walmart. 

Motivating herself, she took the wash and carried it to the clothes line, hanging it half-assed but it was at least hanging on and would dry in the midday sun. Walking to her back-kitchen door, her bare foot came down on something soft and squishy. Under her foot she saw a freshly dead female squirrel with half of its head chewed off. The dogs. She picked it up by its tail and flung it over the fence as her mongrel terrier, Dinky, eyeing her, followed the arc of the squirrel as it sailed through the air. As she drove down the driveway ten minutes later, she saw her son’s butchering hog eating it.