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In the Wee Hours

When I asked, he didn’t remember.

Didn’t remember the two hours I tossed with him on his bottom bunk, his left arm flung over my shoulders, his little boy breath landing on my forehead.

He didn’t remember the water I brought him. Or the sock I’d shoved in his hand. “Here,” I’d said. “Don’t keep getting up. Just blow your nose in this.” And he had. Blown his nose a lot.

When he wanted ice to cool his neck, I’d tip-toed down to the fridge and returned with a zip-loc and four cubes. When he lost his ice bag, I combed the bed with my arms until they clanked on metal. Cold metal.  Three pieces of cold, metal vacuum cleaner pipes wrapped like dolls in a towel. And I’d asked, “what’s this?” And he’d smiled, “I just like having it there.”

He didn’t remember my fingernails softly scratching his back or the words, “if you need mommy again, you come get me,” that I whispered as I left.

But I remembered.

Remembered it all.

And am remembering it again with dark moons beneath my eyes and a tired, smiling heart.


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