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  • My wife loves sorting through the tubs,
    commenting on the children's art and reading their school papers,
    and I love that she does this out loud.

    Larissa calls out my name, "Hey Honey!" and walking into the dining room, hands me a piece of notebook paper.

    Written in black pen I read the following;

    ODE to ALTHEA

    Does the birch remain dignified while the bark peels.

    Do the years have to stain and finally draw blood.

    From behind the gate,

    through the rhythm of time,

    along the path we journey,

    a generation looking back upon their ancestors labors

    leaving messages etched in stone,

    appearing as shadows,

    running aimlessly around and around.

    I composed then read this Ode at my mother's burial.

    She requested that I take her ashes and bury them upon a hill top

    from which the horizon stretch out as far as one could see.

    Jeff Bailey © 2017
    Photo by Jeff Bailey
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