Published by Lake Superior State University, Border Crossing shows just how vibrant a small journal can be. Many of the poems stand out, but it’s the first two lines of George Bishop’s “Watching Dolphins In the Harbor With the Homeless” that really stand out in my mind: “I found myself / carving silence into a shelter.”
Another striking poem is Ron Hutchin’s “Five, Before Dawn”:
In daylong night, I dream the dreams
Of evolution, from sheep fading
To thunder changing gears.
Rajia Hassib’s short story “Aerodynamics, Wingspan, and How Planes Fly” is a well-written short story about a grandfather who becomes agitated while trying to make a paper airplane fly. The plane is made from a folded Egyptian dollar bill, and can’t seem to fly as well as another plane made of an American dollar. The grandfather, suffering from dementia, becomes obsessed with the flight of the Egyptian dollar. The suffering in this particular scene is heart-wrenching.
Much of the issue is reserved for various contest winners, who show strong promise in their future writing endeavors. Jacob Riley’s essay on the sustainability of aquaculture is interesting. Aaron Fader’s poetry winner “Fickle Songs” is beautiful. The runners-up are all creative in both substance and style.
Fiction contest winners, M.D. Nelson, Sarah Becks, and Jade Patton display talent both in their writing ability and their creativity. All three stories are worthy of praise, and as a subjective judge who’s always impressed by a well-written first-person narrative that doesn’t sound like 19th-century drawl, I especially enjoyed Nelson’s “Let’s Say It Was a Tuesday.”
Last, but not least, is Lynn Pruett’s “Chicken,” a short story about a mother who isn’t all that she seems and about a family struggling to maintain itself within the city. There’s more to it, more not worth giving away. Suffice it to say Pruett is a fantastic writer capable of capturing the tension of a family get-together with perfection. It is a fine way to cap off this issue of Border Crossing.