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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Marilyn Fleming

The Life You Leave Behind

It was up to dad to bring home the Christmas tree. He had 80 acres of woods to choose from, many of them pines. But he always…always dragged home the stunted one, the scraggly one. This was a joke among us and we’d roll our eyes and look at each other, ‘another ugly one’.

When we pestered him about it, he would look at us and grin.

At the time, I thought he considered it to be one more tedious chore. But, I am older now. Simplicity is key. Today our tree is a twisted pinyon pine, decorated with one small song sparrow.

the tiny places
where joy lives
seeping from rock fac
the crook in his smile