Bitterswee­t Lane

On Jan. 1, 2008, I sat in my apartment in Kenilworth with friends, throwing cards and eating black-eyed peas and collard greens for luck in the New Year. I wasn’t thinking about how the Wheel of Fortune sometimes spins wildly, turning tides and yielding unexpected outcomes. Two weeks later, I traveled to southwest Virginia with […]

Rhapsody in midnight MacLeod

I sometimes pen pages while my baby sleeps, but during my entire pregnancy I did not write at all, save for one short poem. It was October, and I was working as a hostess at The Market Place almost every night. It was grueling in the belly of the kitchen. The pace was hectic; we […]

On birth and becoming

It’s spring again in the mountains, and my daughter, Karoline Lucinda Johnson, is almost 1 year old. It’s hard to believe. She came in the month of May, when the mountain laurel was blooming. People tried to tell me how profoundly giving birth would change my life, but I could never have fathomed the incredible […]

Dead fountain

Kenilworth residents know they live in the city: It’s just five minutes to downtown, and a convenient bus route runs right down Kenilworth Road. On holidays, you can hear the fireworks at McCormick Field. On a sadder note, I once saw a discarded crack pipe among the leaves at Kenilworth Park. An urban neighborhood with […]