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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 1, March 2013

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Terri L. French
Huntsville, Alabama, USA


The Heart's Place

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.

—Maya Angelou

My father only has a short time left. The years of hard living have taken their toll. He's worn out, both mentally and physically. From his hospital bed he tells us he wants to go home. His mind jumps from the past to the present and from fantasy to reality. We are not sure where "home" is. Is it his childhood home, or the home he currently lives in with my mother? Or maybe one of the many houses he has lived in throughout his life. Not being a particularly religious or even spiritual man, we're pretty sure he's not talking about heaven, nirvana, or an abode that awaits him in any kind of hereafter. I bring him his favorite afghan, the one he covers up with when he watches Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. This seems to settle him for awhile. But always it comes back to "When can I go home?" "Soon, dad," I tell him, "very soon."

winter rain
a ring full
of rusted keys

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