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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

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Mary Frederick Ahearn
Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA


Sagebrush

He was a man who seemed to need more than the usual share of freedom and adventure expected in his time. This led to his decision to leave wife and children to go West, to leave his little river town behind, to move on.

In the old photograph he stands, wearing a new Stetson and sporting a handle-bar moustache. He looks straight into the camera, without apology or regret. That photo, a smattering of letters, and some wages found their way back East.

Years went by before he came home to his now grown-up children and silent wife. He was gravely ill. The town doctor shook his hand, advising him to put his affairs in order.

Great-grandfather retreated upstairs where he studied his cholla walking stick, a prized possession from out West. He used it a last time to trigger the 22 caliber rifle. The obituary read "Despondent because he was afflicted with an incurable malady."

shadows cast
on the wall
a sunset the color of blood

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end

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