These muted days

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These muted days

​Your blankets have been hot-washed, tumbled and donated  and your corner of the kitchen is clear and simply a kitchen corner again,  suitable for the storage  of dustpans and brushes, dinner trays  and a box of emergency toys and crayons for the kids.   You were my baby  and I loved you  and I could have sworn fifty times today that you had come trotting shyly into the lounge,  seeking a warm lap  or my abandoned grey shawl to hide in.  Our quiet little opportunist.   My heart will miss your sweetness and the contentment of your sunlit dreams.   The

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The little one

The little one

The little one has mucus gathered at her nose this evening and she lays in my arms unpurring and still, onyx eyes open.   Her tiny animal heart  beats at a speed she surely cannot take for too long.   My fingers touch it, fluttering wildly in the cage of her ribs, beneath her front limbs  when I lift her up to feel the sun.  The skin of her ears is paper thin, red and veined, translucent and warm.   He, an old man in a crumpled suit, bones only recently filtered into the earth, bends to sing from his gut,  while

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