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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Denise Bennett

The Blue Night Dress

I should have seen you happy clutching a gold paper star with your name on it, or read β€œTo dear Grandma - love Emily,” or watched your parchment hands slipping red silk ribbons, fingering the brushed warmth of a new blue nightdress, laughing at the black lace bed-socks I'd bought, both secretly knowing you'd never wear them. This should have been a private family time, a quiet unwrapping of love on your hundredth Christmas. But my joy was stolen by a thoughtless caregiver, who, because I couldn't wake you after two hours of waiting on Christmas afternoon, opened your gifts when I wasn't there.

winter afternoon
light fades –
leaving my heart in darkness