The prose poems of Helen Alderfer showcased in Grist for the Mill are vignettes from her life as one of the earliest Mennonite women writers. She shows us the inside story of earlier times, tells the tales of a modern maturity, celebrates the natural world, and exalts the quest for the eternal. From birth through death as well as in between and beyond, Alderfer grieves, celebrates, articulates, and honors without simplistically resolving the mysteries of existence. Julia Kasdorf says that "At any age, poets write to retain and redeem memory, but perhaps even more so in what Helen calls 'the winter years.' From that vantage point, she writes with wisdom and generosity, in love with life yet mindful of loss." And Wilbur J. Birky observes that "Out of a lifetime of tough wisdom born of deeply felt beauty, grief, humor, and grace, Helen Alderfer writes of ordinary things with eternal import: food for a tramp, the indelible glory of a flamboyant tree, a sermon gone stale, Simon running into town naked for lack of rain, the tender shock of a child s eye-view, a father s brand new suit seen only in a casket.