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In My Sister's House

When I walk up, Zeke-the-Dog

is already in the car.

They're taking him in. Gently
put: helping him die. Gently
put: killing him

with less pain. On the radio,
the Angels erase our eight-run lead
like it’s nothing. Facebook says
Dad was already dying
five years ago when we played
a superhero card game

none of us understood

as the Sound sloughed away

behind us.
In her window photo stand,
my sister is carrying my son—

he carries half his weight
in cheeks among cedars’
fire-resistant carbon,
which is actually air,
bulk of the last hundred years.
Now her boy is that

same age, squalling and settling

as our illusion of progress

we walk in a run, and—
I just can’t.

I turn the volume down.
Fall, when the big leaf maples
around the ballfield become

nameless skeletons, I can see
the smokestack of the detached
crematorium where Dad’s body went

up. I am so hungry. I eat

one of her grapefruits. And

mix some of the hot chocolate
my boy made her for X-mas.
I might drag down

the giant bag of tortilla chips.
And E’s scotch. I dodged
my chance to pet Zeke
one last time. I was scared.
I think we won, in the end,
after giving it all away.

But really, what a disgrace. Gently

put: what’s the fucking point?



c3 Crew is a father, substitute teacher and downtime mender. His poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Spillway, and The Sugarhouse, Cincinnati & Gettysburg Reviews. Yes, he has some theories on the evolving utility of baseball on the radio throughout his life, thank you for asking.

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