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=Fern=
netskyIam

The summer when I was ten,
 1
I knew she was ill, was all.
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Several weekends were sleep
 3
overs in Coral Gables with Fern.
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Lemons rolled briskly under the palms,
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sliced in half; hollow peppermint sticks
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for sipping straws. There were
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scrapbook tours of a girlhood
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grown old far from the catchings
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of crawdads in Cedar Rapids ponds.
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Coins were baked in a birthday cake.
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I learned to help to seal the preserves:
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paraffin goes on top of the sweet,
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install a seal, turn down the rim.
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One weekday I heard my mother
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on the phone from another room
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"We don't expect her to outlast the summer."
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Then I knew—to not ask her
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for more than I had overheard.
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The next weekend:
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"When will you get well?"
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"Oh. By the end of summer. I'll
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be just fine again."
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The only Fern in one boy's life
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curled and browned September
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2nd. Pour warm wax atop the jar,
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emplace a seal, turn tight the rim.
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29 Oct 07


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This is a new and preferred version of an early work.
 — netskyIam

Raised for Isabelle to see tomorrow from her workstation computer, on a break.
don't cry.  Isabelle and I just got off the phone.  Two hours of Reid-me talking,
and Isabelle, as patient and lovingly green as a Fern.
 — netskyIam

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