Stretch Out Your Hand

A Story

by Nathan Poole
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This story is a welcome revelation to an old woman. I was beginning to think we wouldn't be able to read of deep emotions and layered implications from young writers any more. Thank you, Nathan, for not shrinking from what makes us human. A terrific story!

At first I regarded Nathan's phrasing as contrived; as though trying to impress the reader more than telling the story. But as I continued, I fell into the rhythm of Benjamin's narrative and eventually into Benjamin himself. I very much enjoyed it. Thank you.

I read "Stretch Out Your Hand," then immediately returned to the beginning and read it again. The story is compelling on so many levels. I particularly admire Nathan's ability to imbue a seemingly insignificant moment or action with enormous implication. This one will definitely follow me around for awhile. Thank you.


Oh my gosh! Stunning.

Simply beautiful.

This is one of those beautifully-rendered tales that haunts you afterward. I was especially moved by the portrayal of the father.

Stunning! Wow!

My mother tells stories like this, stories of the 1920s. I had to keep checking back to look at Nathan's photo. For such a young man he has captured the sense and the reality of that era perfectly. It's very easy to see why this story was the winner!

Powerfully moving. I was so captured by the imagery. I felt the sorrow and the anguish that held that family. The characters were fully developed in just a few movements. The era and landscape was beautiful written. I can't wait to read more of Nathan's work.

I was immediately engulfed in this story and this world, and the two families felt like neighbors to me--even in my 21st Century world. There is a timelessness about this piece. I loved reading it and will imagine Ruth playing in the garden looking over at Sam's house wishing she could come play, too. Thank you for writing this story!

A piece of art. Exquisite.

Reading this brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.

I wish I would write like this. This is an amazing story. It's a true work of art. I am a Nathan Poole fan from this day forward. Anyone have a link to his blog or author facebook page? I can't wait to read more! Thank you for writing this, and sharing it with us.

Really wonderful story--poetic, lyrical, deep, full of tension, and utterly beautiful.

Beautifully written. Thank you for writing this, Mr. Poole. And thank you to Narrative for recognizing its poetic beauty. Brilliant.

Wow. Such talent. Congratulations, Nathan, on your well deserved prize--the story is stunning.

I--like everyone who has read this story--loved it. Kudos to Mr. Poole.

You have worn me out with your gripping and marvelous writing. I was spellbound, and now I am exhausted but relieved. Thank you.

I hung onto every word. When we finally reached "And then one evening in late August, my mother awoke to feel a new and different breeze in the room. It was the soft movement of the fever—invisible to my mother—drifting up toward the ceiling," I felt as though a weight had lifted from my shoulders.

Powerful. Thank you!

Powerful prose with great structure and a superb closure. Thank you Narrative for making this possible!! Made me remember my own hometown (Goa, India) of the 1960's where there was a well, cows which gave milk for family use, no telephone, and herbs to treat our routine sicknesses.

Congratulations, Mr. Poole. Such a moving story, beautifully conceived and written.