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Cedars -for father

John Muro

The first time I lost sight of you,

you were newly orphaned and lying

in front of me tethered to a bed soon

after the cock-sure surgeons had stopped

your heart. Free of reprimands, your eyes

were fixed upon the futile beauty of day-old

flowers and the phantom shadows that fell

across pursed curtains, extinguishing all light,

followed by days that felt like the whole world

had fallen into darkness and ended. Years later,

after you passed, I went to visit a psychic near

Cambridge who claimed to speak on your behalf,

asking that I try to remember you as you were

before the pain of separation and the fatal fall

from self, and then, on my way home, recounting

those times I had failed you and certain that I would

grow old alone, I heard you, breathless still, pointing

out the improbable miracle of ancient, white cedars

rising towards heaven like wind-blown arrows scattered

across the ridgeline’s bright anarchy of stone.

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