Aileen Cassinetto


The Short Season Between Two Silences

 At the convalescent home for winter plums, the sickest trees rarely survive the season. Too
wounded and misshapen with monstrous knots around dead limbs, they perish steadily. In some,
the girdled arms have grown sideways as though despairingly, and in perpetuity, reaching for
the sun.

I reached for his hand for such is the inclemency of regret. It is best to turn off your father's life
support, I hear the intensivist say. Perhaps he is being kind. Perhaps relentlessly so. Do I tell him
I love him, compress the years in a few short hours, in a few short beeps. Let me say more, in
cadence with a still beating heart.



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