walk with me he says

and the son now five holds his father’s hand and they are in town walking the sidewalk after just eating You know your mother is dead he says and the boy nods squeezing his father’s hand it is warm and clammy despite the freezing temperatures the cold front coming in promising more rain maybe even snow

Justice… that’s just a word. You say it when you want something and you don’t know how to get it. You want a happy ending though you’re not quite sure what happens when the story leaves off but you believe for every moment set right in all of infinite time it can’t compare nothing compares to that first footstep in Heaven—and like God you can say It is finished…

they found a Mr. Prince Albert can full of marijuana in the car in the glove compartment with a spare revolver Damn Hopheads Charlie says Shit alters your brain ain’t like drinkin’ and in the Harrisburg newspaper the next day police officer and his wife go missing but the Prince Albert can is found where they left it in the car in the glove compartment the revolver gone the car found on a back road in the woods just south of Vienna near Dixon Springs

just know there is a difference between how people see you from a distance and up close he says For when they say I know him it’s not the same as They knew him and this is what they said what they will say of your mother

am I going to remember her Poppa?

you will remember what they say and not what you knew you will know what I tell you some will say your mother was this and she will be that and others will say She did not love you, but Him and then her story will be lost in his and as you get older you will say to yourself I find this important I am important because of this and unless people tell you you are important because of it like something that dries in the sun it will shrivel up inside you and with enough time you will say with them It is not important but remember Remember this: This is the sum of a Man’s reputation

but I can still smell her

Hold it then hold it in your memory for even if you do this or that and other people say of you He did this or that what matters most is your Name is written in Heaven

and he thinks of it he thinks of the picture now how it is with the painting how neither hold a memory of him in them and he says to his son We will not stay I can’t stay here all we have here is Dead and I call no man happy for happiness is a Goal

in his pocket two train tickets West

And good riddance Charlie Birger says The arrogant prick had his woman killed my woman by doin’ just what he was supposed to do because he said he wasn’t goin’ to do it—all that was left out Money…

what was it he wanted?

Deliverance

No she didn’t get it but I made sure he got it—returned, un-opened

she never did get that letter

9

I don’t know you get away with things long enough you begin to think it’s like you ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong then when you do get caught I guess it’s like being angry—you’re just plain mad…

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