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  • Towards sunset we walked down the hill and stopped at the ATM machine.
    The machine is attached to a bank that is empty and for lease.
    Homeless men take shifts, standing at the intersection holding small signs.
    They seem to have formed a union of sorts.
    I think of Dickens.

    I stood by the red brick wall, trimmed with granite and the fading light hit a patinated copper downspout.
    How beautiful the cross strap was rendered when mere utility would have sufficed.
    I am grateful.
    The bricks radiate heat that I felt from 3 feet away, and mixed with the cooling night air.

    Yesterday my younger brother and my husband drove away.
    “I’ll be home soon,” I told them with tears beginning.
    My Mother and I stayed at the hospital and took turns sitting and walking.

    Last night my Mother and I were roommates, a mix up with her room arrangements. Too many details to attend to, or so it seems, crowd out the ability to think.
    That is why I stayed, to provide a room on a busy Saturday night.

    We are thinking about Monday, looking for some word from, now, the kidney doctors.
    Are the numbers improving?

    “We can’t continue like this forever?” my Mother half asks, half states this morning.
    “No, we can’t,” I reply.

    This morning we watch the steps taken, from the chair to the bed with a sturdy nurse at one arm and a stable walker at the front.

    “That was monumental,” my Mother said.
    I nodded, in silent agreement.

    This is the pace right now.
    Like new parents who measure the steps of their young children, and who sing praise when their children can lift their sippy cup from table to mouth and back again.

    We watch the steps, the sips, the quiet words, and give, cautious, thanks.
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