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Damn Fine Sentence #21

Dawn Downey
2 min readMar 17, 2023


Frequently while I’m reading, a sentence grabs me and forces me to stop. I pay tribute to other authors by sharing their Damn Fine Sentences. Then I recount a memory the words bring up for me. It’s about how books connect with your life.

“Christ, it’s bright when you’ve been in the dark so long.”
— — — Morgan Talty
— — — Night of the Living Rez

During a week of silent retreat, I hike a trail through the Ozark forest. I shuffle-crunch through dried maple leaves that carpet the path. Whenever I stop, I can hear a creek gurgling just around the bend. Occasionally an acorn thuds to the ground.

Retreat over, we take a slow route home. As soon as we pull onto the two-lane road, an eighteen wheeler blasts a warning. A string of motorcycles roars past. We spend the night in a little motel and doze off to the beep-beep-beep of a delivery van reversing into a driveway just before a siren wails, which must be why the people in the next room crank up Top Gun on their television, or maybe it got louder because they opened their door to stomp past our room to the ice machine. They got a lot of ice.

My ears need sunglasses.