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Old Pony

When it’s windy, I can’t hear. It doesn’t bother me. It’s like going home again. Being in my own head, seeing what I see, being with other people but like strangers on a train. No one expects you to talk to strangers on a train. They expect you to be in your own head, to…

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Gift to a Little Girl

People think I’m kidding when I tell them my dad taught me to swim by throwing me off the end of the dock. They think it’s hyperbole. It’s not. But it’s a half-truth. He did throw me off the dock but he didn’t teach me to swim. He taught me to scramble. He taught me…

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When She Had Endless New Years

Originally posted on Red's Wrap: She had dozens of New Years before she knew the end was near. Eighty six of them. The young woman in this picture, with one hand in her pocket and the other on the arm of her husband, is my grandmother. She’s not looking at the camera. She is looking off to the side. And as many times as I’ve seen this photograph, I’ve not figured out where her gaze was aimed. All I know about my grandmother is what she told me. It wasn’t much. She was born in rural Michigan. She finished school and then became a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.…

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Today’s Yearning

I wish I could ask my mother to dinner I wish she would stand in my kitchen I wish she would fold her arms and lean on the counter I wish she would watch me cook I wish she would set the table and butter the bread I wish she would put a dish towel…

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Wisdom Walk

It’s a hard deal these people dying Which ones, which ones do you mean All of them that time stopped in a bad way That’s all but the old man died sleeping If we’re born we should live full out, all not some Things happen we can’t control, disease, each other We quit too fast, bury things that aren’t…

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“He thinks you did it on purpose.” “That’s crazy. Like I’d purposely bump him so he spills coffee on his shirt.” Ramon laughed and lit another cigarette. He smoked so much, sometimes there was one going in the ashtray at the same time he reached for a new one. He needed to wear his twenty…

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Originally posted on Red's Wrap: I fell in love with a little boy in Nicaragua 18 years ago.  Tonight he’s recovering from surgery in a hospital in North Carolina.  There’s a story here. I met him when I went to Managua to bring back our newly adopted 6-year old daughter.  That’s her.  The one in the red shirt with bangs and a little pageboy haircut. Every day for a week, I would go to the orphanage and we would hang out, she and I.  Each of us being monolingual in our own way, we spent a lot of time drawing pictures and practicing writing her name.  Generally, we would sit…

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