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Death of a Father

Salute! Attention! They turn, they walk in military form. In a single file line with rifles over their left shoulder. They stand, they move, they leave the pavilion. I watch them, follow them with my eyes. Inside the pavilion, we are told we will hear a twenty-one gun salute. They fire, and fire and fire. Seven men, three shots each. They return to the pavilion, the army men. My ears are still ringing. They stand over his ashhes. My father's ashes. They unfold the American flag. They hold it there, then the refold it. The last man takes the flag end makes sure it's folded tight> He takes it in his hands and hands it to my step-mother. Mine. It should be mine. I'm his child. His oldest child. They were barely married. I knew him longest. I was his daughter. I should get that. Quell the jealousy. Not important. Not fair. She deserves it. But I'm still his child. This is all still mine. His things are mine.





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