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December 25, 2022 / barton smock

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I can hear Timmy talking and singing himself to sleep. Just an ongoing noise from the gentle machine of his awakened communiques. So, not to sleep, then. What a year, I guess. A blur of sudden absences, a proximity of quarantines each with their own acutely distant devastations. All the new death, to go with the old. The loss of traditions and the inability to go at it anew. Ah kids. I'm older, slower, up at night. I miss the age I was when I was with my brothers when, well, you know when. Small towns and enough space to keep a sound. Coffee and the cold and the sockless footfalls of the first awake. Losing the thread, but. I think of my mother and how her parents are gone, her sister too, and. I think of my father and how his parents are gone, a brother too, and. And how I haven't gone anywhere, really, for a few years. And how if I wanted to go, now, my arrival would be its own departure. The houses of my childhood, all three, gone or changed. Less is the paint of loss. Loss, up late, trying to remember its early work. Of which there is none. Anyway. Gen, Mary Ann, Noah, Aidan, Timmy - we have today. And the late work of love.

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