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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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Peter Jastermsky

Nineteen Days

After my mother's burial, my family and I are left to carry out the New Year’s Eve ritual on our own. Pots and pans now crash together, heightening our focus. My father, normally a louder than life figure, is glazed with grief. Outside, he bends down, speech having failed him.

The doctors had given my mother three months to live. She lasted nineteen days. My father shared this bitter mantra, “Nineteen days, nineteen days,” with all who had come to her one-day wake.

A blurry form runs from the coffee can that covers a cherry bomb, already lit.

winter gust
a dusting of snow