A decade of Halfway Down the Stairs

editor's note

Celebration by the editorial staff
In the last ten years, a lot has happened in the lives of our editors. Our personal celebrations have included university graduations, marriages, the births of children and grandchildren, and retirements. We have survived moves, career changes, and natural disasters. Likewise, a great deal has happened in the lives of our readers and authors. We have formed relationships with many of you, and we get excited when we see your names in our submissions inbox because we have learned to expect quality writing from you.


Bless this Kiss by Michelle McMillan-Holifield
Did you see that bug kiss me? – My husband

He leans into a quick-spotted
kiss. Wispy dip of wing swims by.
Tastes, dust and smoke by Vidya Panicker
That year,
Onam came in the month of August

The mangoes in the ceramic pot were still raw
Drum Circle, Woodstock NY by Joy Gaines-Friedler
Bongos, tombas, chimes; rhythm, not rhythm,
but agreement. The circle is a threshold,
the circle is a wish, the circle is a beloved
A Moment of Sanitization by A.J. Huffman
Rush of relief, released from fire
hydrant. Children cluster to the spray.
100 degrees of daredevil dancing,


MBE by Rebecca Burns
“Nearly there, girls,” Dad said. He held up a map, balancing it on the steering wheel. “We should get to the hotel by eleven. Plenty of time to change and take the tube to the Palace.”
He said this so casually, but Claudia knew he’d practiced it.
Uncle Joe's Attic by Robert Markovich
It had been almost two years since JFK was shot dead on a warm and sunny morning in Dallas. Away down south in Dixie, an uppity black reverend and 49 other marchers had hell beaten out of them by the cops as they tried to cross a bridge. And even farther away, northwest of Saigon, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was mixing things up in War Zone D. But nothing particularly awful happened in New Jersey, at least not at my great uncle’s house in Englewood Cliffs as the summer of 1965 drew to a close.
Everything We Need by Beth McCabe
Their cozy Craftsman bungalow perched low and dark in shadowed mist like a vision out of the Brothers Grimm. The solar lights flickered in and out and the sharp scent of eucalyptus lay over the neighborhood like a shroud. Inside, all was silent. Leslie pushed open the door of Barry’s study and waited a moment, but he didn’t turn or greet her.


It’s Coming Down by Rachel Lewis
My older sister was pregnant with twins and I insisted on throwing a baby shower.  Sarah wasn’t sure she wanted one, but it was important to me for a number of reasons.  Most of them were good reasons, but not all. I was in a bad relationship and still recovering from my divorce.  My sisters had been there for me through it all and I leaned on that friendship.  I wanted to give back something to show my excitement for Sarah’s shift into motherhood and my own excitement about becoming an aunt.  Still, giving can be its own kind of selfishness.
Raising Robins by Beverly Offen
One warm spring evening, I opened a living room window.  On the windowsill was a bird’s nest, cradling four small blue eggs. I’m no bird expert, but those little blue eggs were clear evidence that this was a robins’ nest.