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April 2016, vol 12 no 1

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Sharon Kay Wilson

Between the Pages

Near the end of his life, he had a nearly childlike delight in homemade pie. Began weekly rounds of what he called "family visiting." As regular as a traveling salesman, he made his visits, dressed to the nines, though his body was whittled to the point that he seemed to free-float inside his Sunday suit. Quick to laugh, but slow to anger, he had a stubborn streak that kept him crisscrossing the back roads, long past the age he should have been behind the wheel.

What my uncle kept to the very end: a lingering, miner's cough, from his West Virginia days, and, by his bed, an old Bible, pages thin as onion skin, the corners of the binding frayed and bent. Pressed into the depths of the Psalms, a picture of Dessa, his wife who had passed years before. The astonishment that never quite left him, that he had not been the one to go first.

the space between one soft note
and the next:
goldfinch is courting spring