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My heart is a ribbon, unspooling — blue, pink, yellow, red, green — colors that punctuated your childhood.

My heart is woven into the fabric of birthdays, long gone, where you grew and changed and grew some more. It rests in the corners of your room where forgotten socks and dusty picture books lie abandoned by small hands.

Now it’s the shape of your eyes, almond and wide, looking up at me as I reach the tall places. My heart remembers your childhood as nourishment. You were a gift, my heart the recipient.

My heart looks like the cycles of the moon: the crescent, thin and lethal, the waxing gibbous (a pregnant belly), the full moon, a phase you never reached, the new moon, dark upon dark, beating somewhere beneath the shroud, waiting for the next phase.

My heart trembles and flutters, a startled dove. It aches in my chest like the burdened wings of a cardinal in the rain.

Sometimes, when I think of your spirit and how blessed I was to walk with you during the entire span of your life, my heart soars.

Occasional poet. Writer of sad essays. Novelist. Birder and amateur photographer. I enjoy trees.

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