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Fly when ready

October 6, 2009

He has felt, for days, as if she were a small bird resting in his clasped hands, light as air, heart beating wildly. Sometimes she opens one wary eye, and her gaze darts around the room before landing on him.

When he lifts her arm to apply lotion, her bones seem to have grown hollow. The nurses say they’ve seen this lingering before—it won’t be long now.

“Fly when ready,” he whispers to her before he turns down the light. His fingers uncurl as he sleeps on the pullout chair beside her.

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