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                           Jack, the Ending
                           by Sandra Lindow

                           I took you out this morning,
                           I had to; you made me do it,
                           that cloying, sickroom smell,
                           and wretched, perpetual cheerfulness,
                           you all the time gazing out the front window,
                           your stare vacant, your mind gone.
                           Be happy you didn't go earlier,
                           victimized, assaulted by young thugs,
                           left broken and alone,
                           expiring along some country road.
                           I protected you as long as I could,
                           holding you one last time
                           against my beating heart; then
                           the end, swift and painless,
                           a feathering of snow
                           on softening golden shards.

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"Jack, the Ending" © Sandra Lindow. Used by permission of the author.
 Raven Electrick © 2000-2001 Karen A. Romanko. Jack-o'-lantern © 2001 Karen A.Romanko