The first time she saw Jag Silvertree she was watering the garden, and her clematis got soaked as she dreamt of melting into his face. The second time she saw Jag she knew she would never feel his angular jaw against her thighs. For Jag Silvertree carried around with him a hurt that she figured would stand out in a field of wounded soldiers.
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The first time she saw Jag Silvertree she was watering the garden, and her clematis got soaked as she dreamt of melting into his face. The second time she saw Jag she knew she would never feel his angular jaw against her thighs. For Jag Silvertree carried around with him a hurt that she figured would stand out in a field of wounded soldiers.

-Marie Wilson

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The death of her father and mother and the rich acres of and that had come down to her had set a train of suitors on her heels. For two years she saw suitors almost every evening. Except two they were all alike. They talked to her of passion and there was a strained eager quality in their voices and in their eyes when they looked at her. The two who were different were much unlike each other. One of them, a slender young man with white hands, the son of a jeweler in Winesburg, talked continually of virginity. When he was with her he was never off the subject. The other, a black-haired boy with large ears, said nothing at all but always managed to get her into the darkness, where he began to kiss her.For a time the tall dark girl thought she would marry the jeweler's son. For hours she sat in silence listening as he talked to her and then she began to be afraid of something. Beneath his talk of virginity she began to think there was a lust greater than in all the others. At times it seemed to her that as he talked he was holding her body in his hands. She imagined him turning it slowly about in the white hands and staring at it. At night she dreamed that he had bitten into her body and that his jaws were dripping. She had the dream three times, then she became in the family way to the one who said nothing at all but who in the moment of his passion actually did bite her shoulder so that for days the marks of his teeth showed.

-Sherwood Anderson

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Did you have any yourself?" she said."Just one."Harold thought of David, but it was too much to explain. He saw the boy as a toddler and how his face darkened in sunshine like a ripe nut. He wanted to describe the soft dimples of flesh at his knees, and the way he walked in his first pair of shoes, staring down, as if unable to credit they were still attached to his feet. He thought of him lying in hit cot, his fingers so appallingly small and perfect over his wool blanket. You could look at them and fear they might dissolve beneath your touch.Mothering had come so naturally to Maureen. It was as if another woman had been waiting inside her all along, ready to slip out. She knew how to swing her body so that a baby slept; how to soften her voice; how to curl her hand to support his head. She knew what temperature the water should be in his bath, and when he needed to nap, and how to knit him blue wool socks. He had no idea she knew these things and he had watched with awe, like a spectator from the shadows. It both deepened his love for her and lifted her apart, so that just at the moment when he thought their marriage would intensify, it seemed to lose its way, or at least set them in different places. He peered at his baby son, with his solemn eyes, and felt consumed with fear. What if he was hungry? What if he was unhappy? What if other boys hit him when he went to school? There was so much to protect him from, Harold was overwhelmed. He wondered if other men had found the new responsibility of parenting as terrifying, or whether it had been a fault that was only in himself. It was different these days. You saw men pushing buggies and feeding babies with no worries at all.

-Rachel Joyce

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