Frail Bark

The woman on table 23 lost her child a few months ago. Cancer. I haven’t seen her in months.

She’s eating with friends. They’re talking about nothing which is supposed to distract her from thinking about everything.

They finish and pay the bill. The mother walks out. Her face, still pretty, has newly drawn lines of “why me?” written all over it. I don’t know why. Nobody does.

As I watch her sleepwalk down the street I remember an epitaph written in 1791 on an English child’s grave,

“The unfortunate Parents ventured their all on the frail Bark. And the wreck was total.”

I go back to work and try to forget all about her.


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