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March 12, 1988, I married Suzanne Fisher. The Devil grew jealous. Darkness struck, Early Onset Alzheimer’s struck. She died on March 12, 2019, our 21st anniversary.  (Suzanne long, long ago as a baby)

SUZANNE

By Mary O’Dell

When I learn of her going, I grow still,

pondering the ache of her sickness,

how it spilled onto him, her husband,

and onto their son, whose name I don’t recall.

I remember how her vague eyes sparkled and lit,

how her lips curved in a smile

when my old cat climbed on the sofa

and crept easy on her lap,

how she reached to stroke the black fur.

How for a moment, she seemed back inside herself,

aware of the small life beneath her hand,

this brief connection.

I cannot know the fresh grief of this family

but I measure in kind my own,

and pray for us all.

A small, dark spirit appears now and then

to lure us back to the warm, living world.

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