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Thoughts on My Late-Born Child

If not for her, my boss tells me over lunch, I'd probably be in administration by now, busy, I imagine, as the clacking keys on his secretary's typewriter, making important things happen like new committees, memorandums to powerful people and messages to him labeled Urgent, Confidential, FYI, new structures for new systems, slide-show presentations to the board of trustees, car phones and meetings with the governor. But who then, would hold my hand, walk soft-small arm in mine through autumn's wood, noticing pine needles tipped with gold, leaves falling red, falling yellow, nut-gathering squirrels chattering in oak branches, touch-me-nots springing seeds?

Who would lay a skin-soft cheek on my shoulder, mornings so sweet as we read storybooks and poems, laughing at pictures, at words, sending each other syllables of love, messages like caterpillar-tickle, butterfly-kiss, royal noogie, bear hug, and crocodile tears crying

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