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  • My father lies far from here.

    I’ve seen the stone my sister carved but only in a picture. I know it's in a corner of the meadow behind the house where my mother has grove of maple, elm and horse chestnut planted. The island is closer to alpine field and copse than the sea level woodlands on the mainland. The soil is thin over the granite bones of the land and the winds scour restlessly as seasons come and go. My mother’s trees are a meditation in patience and faith, a rare combination but an easy place to lay your head perhaps, in hope’s bosom.

    I saw him last when he left the hospital to come home. In the hospital, between his naps, we talked of the old days on the island. Days we both knew neither would see again, though he has returned to stay now. The trip I think he always dreamed of making, to go to the island without a return date already determined. An open ticket.

    My father lies far from here.

    The other day, by chance, I looked him up on Facebook. His page is there. As pristine and preserved as the last day he logged on. Birthday wishes. His cowbird stories. Get wells from near and far. All those moments as preserved as insects in amber. Light from another time caught and held in crystal matrices.

    Eternity. I want to pull my chair a little closer and say, “So, Dad, whaddyathink about that.” Cause in my mind I hear the song, … you know the one….
    “If I could save time in a bottle
    The first thing that I’d like to do
    Is to save every day till eternity passes away….”

    I can see his eyes close as he thinks and his lips purse and then the way he talked out of the corner of his mouth like there was still a cigarette there even though he quit long ago.

    My father lies far from here but what is near and far in a curved universe where infinity may be just an illusion of light coming around again.
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