Henry #2

When Henry was dying, the sky was blue,

sun shining on the lake across the road.

Anna and Winslow drove up to

take him to the city. To fly south and

find out what was wrong. We knew.

What he wanted was to

sit outside his garage, watching the lake.

Convinced that remaining, he would be a burden,

he went. Leaving Status Theory and lake.

He was surprised at my emotional hug.

Holding back tears, I watched

them drive away.

Head of Table

My father at head of table

I don’t remember how the argument

started. I just

remember how my uncle Louis exploded

with the anger he’d been

holding in for years. Ever since

my grandfather died and my father

took his place at the head of table.

As the oldest, my father thought of

himself as head of the family. But he didn’t live in

that house. It was my uncle’s house. He

lived there. He paid the bills. He

bought the food and supported their

mother and sister and nephew. Everyday

he went to the clinic where he and his father

had practiced medicine. His name was on

the deed. Why wasn’t he sitting at head of

table? My father sort of laughed it off, made

some remark to diffuse the situation, changed

his seat. I think. He must have because after

that, my uncle sat at the head and my father sat

elsewhere around the table. I do remember

that. That and the anger.