Solos | Ploughshares

In 2012, we established Ploughshares Solos, a digital-first series for longer stories and essays, which is edited by Ploughshares Editor-in-Chief Ladette Randolph. New Solos are published regularly and are available for download on your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo.

  • Córdoba Skies (Solo 4.7)

    Córdoba Skies (Solo 4.7)

    Chapter 1

    “Tino, come here,” his mom called him back to her bedside.

    Tino was on his way out, but stopped. The nurse had been searching for something among medicine bottles on the bedside table and also looked up.

    “Take care of your dad,” Tino’s mom said.

    “I will,” he told her and kissed her goodbye.

    The nurse watched him. “So young and yet so responsible,” she said. “How old is he?”

  • Men Be Either Or, But Not Enough (Solo 4.6)

    Men Be Either Or, But Never Enough (Solo 4.6)

    I hate them worse than anything is what was beating up her head.

  • The Detroit Frankfurt School Discussion Group (Solo 4.5)

    The Detroit Frankfurt School Discussion Group (Solo 4.5)

    After his divorce was finalized, Colin made a list of all theactivities he wanted to try during those days of the week, Thursdays through Saturdays, when he didn’t have his kids. The idea was to keep himself busy. That way, he wouldn’t mope around his house too much. But he also wanted to try tofind a girlfriend, and he wasn’t entirely sure how to go about doing this. Colin’s list had six items on it.

    1) Join a yoga class.

  • Confession (Solo 4.4)

    Confession (Solo 4.4)

    That morning a lamb was born. They’re born a lot and I’m used to it, but still, to hear that tiny bleating from the comfort of my bed. The mother was Cindy, a Katahdin hair sheep of some distinction, one of the older gals, not a nurture natural. I had to get up at three thirty in the morning and put the baby to the teat, and still Cindy wasn’t into it. In the end, I tied the new mom to the fence so she couldn’t get away from her charge.

  • Adopting Sarajevo (Solo 4.3)

    Adopting Sarajevo (Solo 4.3)

    “Let’s ask Dad to drive me. It’s not like he works full-time anymore. And he’s practically begging for our approval.”

    The fact that Frank had never taken Marina to the orthodontist made him no worse than any other man whose wife ran a corporation while never missing a kid’s appointment, and though the braces were due to come off altogether in a few months, why not give him the chance to say yes? He did.

  • Cover for Ploughshares Solo The Children's Kingdom

    The Children's Kingdom (Solo 4.2)

    One morning, there were footprints in the snow outside our house.

    Beausejour High School, where I worked in the office, had closed for Christmas break. I let the dogs have a good long run before breakfast and watched them from the porch. The Golden Retrievers I breed for hunting and field trials are beautiful creatures with compact heads, muscular shoulders, and coats like sundried hay. I love their expressive faces, which can show chagrin and regret.

  • Cover for Ploughshares Solo Biting the Moon

    Biting the Moon (Solo 4.1)

    They’re not true, you know. The platitudes.

    God, the itching. Tops of my hands. Base of my skull.

    Platitudes, Pleiades.

    He’s in a better place. Who says? Who knows?

    He lives on in people’s hearts. People forget. They get distracted. Then they die too.

    Scratch, scratch. Eyebrows. Clavicle. Need a ruler to get at my own back, between the shoulder blades.

  • Cover for Ploughshares Solo Dead Zone

    Dead Zone (Solo 3.9)

    The case is now closed on the reasons behind the decision by the United Nations to officially terminate the existence of Israel as a living entity, an event that occurred about a century after it had voted for the partition of the Holy Land leading to the establishment of the Jewish State in 1948.

  • Cover for Ploughshares Solo Heading for a Total Eclipse

    Heading for a Total Eclipse (Solo 3.8)

    At sunrise on the first Saturday in March, 1970, as the body count continued to rise in the war in Vietnam, less than two months before the Cambodian Incursion, when campus protests would close down universities across the country, including mine, I sat in a coffee shop on Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach.

  • The Brooks Brothers Guru (Solo 3.7)

    The Brooks Brothers Guru (Solo 3.7)

    John Lorimer wants to be friends on Facebook.

    Amanda isn’t sure whether to accept. It’s a long night like any other, her bedroom blue-lit by devices, laptop and phone and iPad scattered on the comforter, earbuds nestled as she listens to Songwriters/Folk on Pandora; this is how she goes to sleep. She has three or four windows open on the computer; she’s watching a movie and reading reviews of it at the same time.

    They have zero mutual friends.