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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 3, September 2013

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Donna Buck
Beaumont, California, USA


Juke Box

In his eighties, he is still ruggedly handsome. I try to visit twice a week. I ask the caregiver to wheel him into the garden, his favorite spot. He is always happy to see me, especially if I come early; late afternoon is never a good time. Today he takes my hand. This will be a good visit, I think. Sometimes we just sit silently together; sometimes he recalls old times. I've learned to enjoy both and take our visits as they come. As I gather my things, he asks why I'm not staying for lunch. I point to the schedule and show him that we've eaten.

"Bye, Joanie," he says, waving.

I don't mind, though I'm not Joanie. I don't mind because today we hiked all the way from Pacific Beach to Encinitas. Breaks for blueberry doughnuts; the ocean breeze in my hair; the pelicans; playing our song on the table-top jukebox in Solana Beach. When we're there, I am always 22.

"Goodbye, sweetheart," I cup his face with my hands

hillside meadowlark
beak open
lull between songs
when I am with you
I know who I am

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