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Growing Up

I dreamt my grandfather died

in his brown leather chair

and my own father, suddenly

found to be there.

I held him, I held up

his back with my hand.

It was rigid, dense and

compact as the land.

He was aged, and storied,

unable to hear me;

he asked in a small voice

“Why is nobody near me?”

I awoke, I awoke, I awoke —

and grief was deep in my throat.

Growing up is not what we have been told:

it begins, in the end, with the end of the old.

It is reckoning: things begin and things end.

All at once, all again, things begin and things end.