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WINTER 2019-2020


James Bernstein


And I wonder about their lives now.
The lady is gone, 53. Cancer, it said.

The Death Notice, tiny, buried, maybe as it is supposed to be.

It is in today's paper, with her picture. Beautiful, full of life. Now
life lost.

I don't know these people. I never met them and never will.
But I feel pain.

Daughter, 17. Son 20, Another son, 21.

Woman,  brave. Traveled the world. Showed her kids the world, once.
Cared for them and them for her. Once.

Gone. Why?

God knows, but he's not saying. No one is.

This Death Notice, a few lines of Agate type. Says everything that
needs to be said, publicly, anyway. And yet nothing at all. 

How will the kids fare?

You are not supposed to know.

You are supposed to turn the page.

Coffee is coming, the waitress says at the diner says, her voice morning cheerful.

The cups clank together. Someone yells for more ham. 

You turn the page

James Bernstein  a former reporter for Newsday and now a Contributing Editor at the Long Island Press and a a freelance writer of poetry and short fiction. can be reached at







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