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#27: Last Dance : Inspired by my own father. Happy Dad's Day to all the fathers out there.

First Dance image by Jacqueline Osborn


Last Dance
I wrote this short story after my dad died in 1992. It was published in SKYLARK, Purdue University's literary journal; I was so thrilled I framed the acceptance letter. I still have that letter hanging around someplace. Not literally hanging anymore, I packed it away in storage during one of our moves. Like my memories, it's in there somewhere.

I wish I could give you this stuff in order, begin at the beginning. If I could do that, I'd write a book. Instead I have to grab at what glimpses I can. It's as though all the places and people stuffed inside my head are like yards and yards of once beautiful fabrics, ripped from their bolts and shoved into one large bin. Velvets, jewel-toned satins, richly-textured tapestries, billowy silks. Cotton, denim, gingham and chintz. They're all jammed in there together, some faded now, some in tatters, a loose thread here, a trace of a connection there. A smell, a smile. So many sto…

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