Forklift, Ohio


Cover of INTO TERRIBLE LIGHT by David Rutschman
Praise for INTO TERRIBLE LIGHT by David Rutschman




224 pages, soft cover, perfect-bound, 5.5" x 7.5"

$16.95 print



I was teaching my son to throw stones into the water when he became a stone and I threw him in the water.

“My boy, my darling boy,” I called and I hurled myself after him and I became a stone and we tumbled down to the silent muddy bottom.

We were together then, two smooth stones.

“Terrorists?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“And cancer?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“And the decline of turtle populations, and the skies filled with bombs?” he asked and I said, “Yeah, I know, I know, of course, but—”

“What will become of us?” he cried and I said, “We’ll be all right, I think,” and tried to explain something about courage and tenderness and human dignity, but he was not reassured. A fish flashed above us in the murky water, its belly a streak of silver.

“Can you keep me safe?” he asked quietly, and I hesitated just a beat before I said “Yes,” and by then he was already onto me—my sharp kid—and though I tried and tried, I could not reach out to him, being a stone.




DAVID RUTSCHMAN author photo

David Rutschman is a Soto Zen priest and hospice grief counselor. His work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio; Kenyon Review Online; The Massachusetts Review; The Sun; Waxwing; Witness; and elsewhere. He lives in California with his wife and two young children. This is his first book.