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April 2016, vol 12 no 1

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Mary P. Myers

Measure Twice

Examining the pencil marks on the doorjamb of the spare room, I can't make out the exact dates of the top marks. Both names are still legible. The children exceeded the highest lines, but I don't know why we stopped keeping track. I can still clearly see that date at about the median indicator.

It's the night before my father's funeral. Three of my siblings and I wax philosophic. A born-again Christian, two agnostics, and an atheist, we discuss the finer points of raising our children morally. My brother, with a grin, says "Well, let's see how they turn out."

one punch
I push again
on the dough

The raising completed, I look around the room and wonder how to measure "turn out." By compassion, by philanthropy, the commission or omission of crimes, or by a happiness gradient? Or perhaps whether or not our progeny follow paths similar to what we have chosen. I look around the room one more time. Cut once. That's the rest of the Carpenter's Rule. I sweep the room.

in the closet
a box marked Goodwill