BellaOnline Literary Review
Grand Opening by Carol Dandrade

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When a Leaf Blowing in the Wind Seems Like a Hello

Deirdre Fagan

I smoke my cigarette in the cold
staring up at a sky littered with stars
and talk to you about the kids, your stocking
hanging on the mantle,
Another holiday come while you´ve been
gone, another year survived without you.
I know I should be breathing in your scent
instead of the soot and nicotine, I
apologize to you for being far less than
I hope to be, but remind you that I baked your
favorite cookies, that while my ass is bigger,
my heart is too, it expands and expands,
filled to near-bursting with longing, and
when I exhale the last puff of peace, these
ten minutes visiting you in my mind, alone, here, shivering,
a speck on the planet talking to what specks of you are left, but also to no
one since I know full well your ashes are ten feet away in the other direction,
through two layers of glass, holding forth in a China cabinet, a sudden rustle
of leaves blows my way and I peer down at the driveway and spontaneously blow
out, "hello," and the largest of the group raises its head, or seems to, and waves.
And again, I say hello. And I pretend you hear.

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