COMMEMORATING - marc larock

I always set my mother’s place the same way—first the fork, then the spoon, knife, plate, the napkin.
I set her place the way she taught me. I fumble, as I arrange the utensils. I want it to be perfect.
I sit down, opposite her chair.
Once, I watched a young girl, maybe eleven or twelve, standing alone in the woods, holding a leash in her hand – Come here, Rugger!  Come here, boy!
I asked her – Did you lose your dog?
She turned to me. Damp red-rimmed eyes, breathless – No.
Then who are you calling?
My dog.
Well, why would you call for him if he’s not lost?
Because he died last week.
I didn’t know what to say. I just blushed and looked at the ground. And she kept calling out for him as I walked from her. It’s true. I didn’t understand what she was doing then.

But now, my mother’s chair is empty. And I sit here, alone with its emptiness, the twilight slipping away, the shadows gathering silently in my kitchen. 
Marc Larock
Eagle or Sun?
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