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April 2019 Vol. 15 No. 1

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Marilyn Fleming

The Boy of Him

I had seen him briefly overly the years at various class reunions. We acknowledged each other but never had a conversation. The most recent reunion was our 50th. He came up to me, took me aside and asked if I remembered the time when we were in a car together with friends and the driver had to stop the car so that he could vomit. He had wanted to tell me how embarrassed he was. I looked at him and laughed a little and told him I didn’t remember that. I asked was he drinking? He responded, “Do you think?” And then I told him that I did remember being in the car with him. He seemed surprised and pleased and said, “You do remember then.” Suddenly both of us were lost in thought. Mostly it’s that pause I recall. Sometimes a pause can heal a wound or close a circle, start a fire or douse one. This pause was like that, brief and eternal. There are certain moments of a life that won’t let go. Sometimes it’s as long as a dash or the width of a smile, or a pigeon feather drifting.

Venus and Mars
turning retrograde
look at us
when we were young
and love was enough