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by Darrell Bourque Since that afternoon years ago when my mother put us on our knees and told us she was leaving, I have placed myself in the world, measured myself against the horizon, let the sky cover me like some angel bird hovering. I have seen wide ribbons of pine making a trot-line at the earth's edge. I have studied things up-close; stunted trees growing out of rock. I have gone beyond tree lines where grasses open seedpods like prayers. I have stood at the water's edge and wobbled, and still no one knows who knifed the unreadable lettering on my mother's new cedar chifferobe that day. She and my father drove to town to buy garfish for our usual Friday supper at my aunt's house. We were questioned again on her return but no one confessed -through the fish cleaning, the seasoning, the frying. I can't remember when exactly we laughed and ran through the yard with our cousins. It was night when we went home. We were happy. Just last week, some fifty years later, one of us brings it up in my mother's presence. She has not walked for years and it is no big matter to her now, but none of us are fessing up today either. We all know who didn't do it, and one of us knows who did. Bourque's poem tells the story

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