Mused Publishes FDU MFA Alum Kitta MacPherson’s Essay, “Son of Memory”
Mused: The BellaOnline Literary Review Magazine has published FDU MFA alum Kitta MacPherson’s literary nonfiction essay, “Son of Memory.” Here’s an excerpt:
Sister Vianney brushed the white banded frontpiece of her starched nun’s habit, as if it pained her. “Come up here,” she said.
The tall, skinny boy trudged up and returned the book. He faced his class and looked sideways at his teacher. “I can see it, Sister,” he whispered, his sky blue eyes looking innocent for once.
“Good,” she said, her brow crinkling because she didn’t understand what he meant. “Then say it.”
The boy looked out over a sea of crewcuts and ponytails. “Ay, tear her tattered ensign down, long has it waved on high,” he began. He mispronounced the fifth word as “en – SIGN.” He had never seen the word til that moment.
John spoke the 24 lines of Holmes’ poem as clearly and accurately as if he were reading it. When he finished, the room was still. Susan Wilson, in the front row to his left, was staring up at him, her lipgloss-stained mouth forming a lower case “o.”
The boy’s full name was John Kirkpatrick MacPherson. He was my big brother. We called him “Kirk.” He was energetic and edgy, a little wild, always in little scrapes. He climbed trees, hit home runs in baseball and wore scabs on his knees and elbows year-round. He didn’t cry when he fell. Nor did he yelp when Mom poured hydrogen peroxide on his cuts and dabbed them with cotton balls. We knew Kirk was smart, with a flair for subjects that involved memorization, like history and spelling. But this gift for poetry was something new.
Kitta MacPherson is a graduate of the FDU-MFA program and is an award-winning science writer, essayist and blogger (http://fathom.kittamac.com) who has worked in daily newspapers and at Princeton University. She teaches journalism, public relations and writing courses at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
During her career in daily newspaper journalism, most of it at The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., she reported on numerous breakthroughs in science, including the area of fusion energy, examined the research behind scientific controversies, and explored revolutionary advances in treatments for AIDS, cancer and addiction. MacPherson has won recognition for her work from the National Association of Science Writers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the New Jersey Press Association. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Copperfield Review, Down in the Dirt magazine, and Mused.
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