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July 2015, vol 11 no 2

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Els van Leeuwen

Mercy


He has a gift for me. A small paper packet. I turn it over in my fingers. Paper folded over a tiny object and sealed with a strip of tape. One of his little mysteries, I muse, which deepens as I see our mother’s handwriting on one side. It says ‘lighter flint’. He smiles. She packaged this up, he says, put it in a drawer and forgot all about it. She was the last person ever to touch this, and so it must never be opened.

At first I am not as moved as he is by this.

Later I think again and again of the cold flint I cannot see.

spring cleaning
no space left
for grief


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