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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Renée Owen

Mourning Song

A golden-crowned sparrow fills the meadow with plaintive song. “Oh, dear me. Oh, dear me,” the notes wavering like he’s under water. On the opposite coast, five thousand miles from my dry and torched landscape, a hurricane swirls floodwaters into homes, where my father, partially paralyzed in his hospital bed, blinks his eyes to ask for more morphine. His pneumonia-filled lungs pump like gills to squeeze out one last breath.

the sound
the river makes…
day of his passing