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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Mark Forrester


From the beginning of first grade through the beginning of tenth, my family lived in the suburbs outside Reading, Pennsylvania. After my father changed jobs and we moved north, we did not return. We had no family in the area. In the days before social media, my relationships with close friends petered out quickly.

Some thirty years later, my wife and I spent a weekend in Reading. We stayed in the same hotel where my father had stayed when he started working there, before the family could follow him. We visited the museum I had seen on field trips as a child. We drove up the mountain to the strange pagoda that overlooks the city.

And we drove down the street I grew up on. The once quiet street seemed crowded with new homes. Side streets sprouted off into areas once covered with trees. I tried to identify the house I had grown up in, but nothing in my memory matched the scene displayed before me.

last leaf
at the end of the branch
winter winds