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After The Wake
April, pastels of late afternoon surround a modest Cumberland cabin. You have grown old here in your place among the trees, with their elusive fruit and effulgent shadows. But you do not look it. Neither do I, at least not here. And you are not alive. We buried you days ago. We were all there. Liz said mom was there too, as young as she was when cancer took her, leaving you to raise the three of us. Liz knows about such things. She told me you would be waiting for me here. I am twelve again, wrestling with you. The iron hardness of your weight lifter's chest is beneath mine. Your stubble scratches my nude cheek as I pin you to the ground. Your feigned protestations fill me with a child's absolute happiness. Strange that I remember the rain and the soil more than the tree. That, and the smoldering scent of fresh cavendish. But then, you never really spoke of the tree like you did the things which gave it nourishment. I wish you had. The moon has dawned now. There is little remaining in the cabin. This old kitchen table which once held our family upon its stained boards is worn raw in the fickle light. You are gone and there is nothing left to serve here but settled dust and small tumblers of whispers. This hand which you once held when it was tiny, which you taught to reach for silver fruit, opens to release only crumpled leaves moistened by the season's tears.
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