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i'm sorry I missed you / Wilson Koewing

We barely missed each other, Grandad. Mom was seven months. My life formed in water as water took yours away. What flashed in your mind when you slipped on that dock? What were the last sounds you heard? The final picture the light painted? Mom never mentions it, but I know the loss stole a piece. I’ve felt it each day of my life. As a boy, I found a photo of you at Oak Island. I tried to imagine what you were like. Once, mom and dad left me with Granny. I slept in your giant bed. She read to me, tucked under a mustard-colored blanket. I was six when she got the cancer. I came to understand the hospital bed. I hate it’s where she remains in so many memories. I know you were excited for my arrival. Your first grandson. The weight of your departure never became clear until I was older. Even if its needle had already threaded through the fabric of my existence. Rest easy though, Grandad, if that is something one can do, and know your stories remain decades later. Your now retired children still grow misty-eyed at your mention and bring you back to life each year on the family beach trip. I hope you’re where you want to be. I hope you and Granny are together. That the breeze blew perfect as you bobbed in the late afternoon sun on that last fishing trip. I wish I could have been there. Inserted into that painting. Watching a bobber splash on top of the water’s glass and ripple out as its shake stilled. Waiting until it submerged and yanking back the rod.


WILSON KOEWING is a writer from South Carolina. He has numerous books out and forthcoming that you should buy. Find them at He has been published in so many great places it feels too much like gloating to list them all.


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