One of my friends in mourning posted on Facebook yesterday, abiding love for the departed in every word. Half way through, I burst into tears and began to keen, the sound guttural and unrecognizable as my own.

This morning I went to the bookshelf, looking for a poem I once read to the one who has – yet again – left me. A poem, I remember, he hated.

Finding it now, I realize with a shock that it is about infidelity, about a spouse betrayed. “I wanted to sleep neither with her nor without her.”

Then here is the story I was looking for.

One time he beat his year-old

daughter with a broomstick.

Breaking a rib bone, and as

she screamed she kept crawling

back to her father. Where else

should she look for comfort?

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