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October 2016, vol 12 no 3

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Bob Haynes


Shoe size, a whole history of odd jobs – some things run in families; some dwindle end-stop by end-stop until the last one dies out. But in my family, we never looked to see where we'd been or who stood on what side of us. It made no sense to complete ourselves – less when Dad was diagnosed with dementia. I wanted to say how relieved I was, but something farther down than I'd felt before spiraled its tornadic path tossing me in an air of blood or earth, or both. I sank into private archaeologies on a therapist's couch – back to moments before I was born, in wave after wave beyond control. My doctor said I should peel away the plaques and tangles that lie in the blood of things.

a hot August night
Dad puts the television
on a windowsill