and i think about leaving here

leaving this place where i've done so much of 
my growing up. it's a hard thought. i have been 
more at peace here than anywhere else in my 
life. there've been times when i've been sure i 
died in the Dogwood Inn in Springfield, Missouri 
and this past 6 years has been the hell i landed 
in after drawing my last breath. it doesn't feel 
much like that now. now i just feel like i'm on 
some extended vacation that just goes on and 
on and on and on...or some dream that's sometimes 
nice, sometimes pleasant, and i'll wake up in my own 
bed with Knapper curled up beside me, safe in his 
arms, beloved and whole. but i know reality is what 
i'm in. the reality of making my own living, making 
my own choices, following my own path, separate 
from anyone else's. 

today i made enlargements of pictures of the people 
i love most in all the world: children, grandchildren, 
my dog, Keeley. i even made one of Knapper as he 
is today, taken by my father on his trip back home 
two or three years ago. Bruce smiles into the camera, 
seeming to look right at me. his face is older and still 
kind. he could be evil when we fought, but there is a 
kindness to him that's hard to forget. i miss the boy 
i married when i was a girl. i will always miss him. i 
miss his laughter, the smell of him after he's been 
outdoors all day hunting in the Michigan cold. i miss 
the sight of him sleeping.

well. i'm just one of those people who looks behind 
her a lot, i guess, though i don't really want to. 


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