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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015

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Larry Kimmel
Colrain, Massachusetts, USA


After the Long Exile

At first I didn't recognize him. It took a tick of time to see the face I knew in the face I didn't know. As for the voice, that sure giveaway, not there. There, only a clip board and a pencil. As in an optical illusion, I kept seeing and not seeing the face I knew in the face of a man I'd never seen. Like the town itself, after the long exile, familiar and unfamiliar at once, as in a dream. The same with him. His face both strange and familiar by turn.

He didn't admit to dying but spelled out ONE MORE HURDLE and pointed to the plastic esophagus and force pump gavaging what looked like dog food into his stomach.

I wonder, did it cross his mind the day he left for the surgery that he might never see home again?

moonlight and peepers,
I sit on the porch, an arm
around my dog—
somewhere far from here
someone I love is dying

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