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Poem #20

 The Forgetting Season

Gideon’s fur finally grew back, 
two years after you shaved him 
that summer, despite his undercoat. 

His dappled coat grew out jagged 
all through fall and into tulip blooms
when I brushed it out and set aside 
winter weight we no longer needed. 

Millions of strands clumped in my trash, 
a pound at least. The last few ounces
smelled of the house on Gale: sweet mildew, 
salmon smoking in Mom’s skillet, detergent,
the last vanilla latte you made for us to share.

You let me hold him all the way home,
even after winning rock-paper-scissors. 
It was the kindest thing you ever did.
We knew it meant he would love me more. 
He sleeps in the cradle behind my knees.

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