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Christmas is gone, and I am glad.

Does that make me a bad person,

I asked my husband, last night.

Can the child, finally, be lost forever?

Or is it latent, still, observing from afar?

If the child dies, does the body follow?

Those who live to one hundred

Always see themselves younger,

Or so I read, the others, dead,

Cannot speak to this.

Katherine died before Christmas;

Did she see herself sixty-five,

Or forty-five? Did she realize,

Or did she fantasize–hope?

It’s a fragile thing, hope.

The world conspires against hope.

And now, twenty twenty-two,

Tomorrow, we say, is New,

New, but is it really?

The latent child wants to speak;

I can’t hear what she’s saying–

Something about trying again,

To be better, to believe, to trust–

What is it I must do, child?