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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Terri L. French

A Hole in the Dome

My dad has a sitter. She doesn't do her nails, smack her gum, or talk on the phone to her boyfriend, like my sitters did. She does give sponge baths, change diapers, and coax him into eating unpalatable mush. She also keeps an eye on his vital signs and makes sure he doesn't pull out his IV. She doesn't read bedtime stories. Neither did mine. My sitter made Jiffy Pop popcorn. I remember the time she yelled at me when I poked a hole into the expanding aluminum dome. Dad's sitter never yells. Dad always drove my sitter home after he and mom returned from a night at the movies or a card game at the neighbor's house. I'm sure they made small talk. She probably felt awkward. His sitter glances at the clock. Soon her shift will end and her replacement will come. Before leaving she pulls the sheet up higher on his bony chest and wishes him a goodnight. Suddenly, he looks so small.

an hour past bedtime

the Big Dipper 

flipped upside down