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Milena Diviani

Odd Socks

Why is it that I can never bring myself to throw away the odd sock? Chances are its partner will never again be seen in our household or in the laundry room downstairs. Experience tells me it’s useless to keep sticking the lonesome sock into the drawer where it will meet its distant relative and occasional acquaintances but never its soul mate.

Yet, throwing out the one remaining sock is beyond me – I simply can’t do it. It would feel as if I gave up hope – not only of finding the missing sock but also of putting straight many other issues I’m struggling with. It would feel like betraying the faithful sock which stayed. How terrible it would be if the prodigal sock miraculously came back and I had just chucked its twin!

So the simple habit of saving odd socks is probably a profound way of dealing with my fears, my insecurity, my life – and that is scary!


At 12 death is unknown
Or, at most, it happens to grandparents
Never to 18-year-olds, never by choice

‘He lost his head’,  they said
‘He went mad’, they told me
Nobody spoke of fear, nobody spoke of shame

They told me why
  accused of stealing a bike
  disappeared after that one night in jail

They told me how
  a jump into the river
  body found three days later

They told me about grief
  his aging mother, imagine
  his little sister, poor thing


Even then and to this day
I can’t bear to imagine
What he must have gone through
Nobody at the prison door
Early in the morning
To put an arm around his shoulders.


If you were a clone, one of us too
You’d know what it is that we usually do

Every morning we drive, content, to our school
There’s four of us in every car pool

We all look the same, we all talk genteel
The best of friends, that’s how we feel

We get into class, we try not to frown
The students are sitting, just sitting down

We teach our lesson, as fast as we can
The face never moving, always deadpan

Then we leave for our frugal lunch
Never alone, no, always in a bunch

The marks that we give go from 4 to 5
No genius, no failure, no hassle, no strive

The headmasters are happy; the parents: no clue
The students are silent, they are now clones too.

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The Showcase section features writings by several workshop participants. The following authors all have their separate pages:

Anne Buerki

Alan Greiner

Lucy Hay

Matt Kimmich

Sara Probst

Matthias Rüegger

Sripriya Sitaraman

Hans-Jürg Suter

Brigit Zogg