All Things and Other Versions of the Course of Time

Photograph by Jose Padua
At the formal dinner party
sometime during my college
years my friend’s younger
sister who has Down’s Syndrome
blurts out “My Daddy’s dead”
because it’s just a week after
the funeral and she’s still
a long way from leaving it
behind and my friend’s
girlfriend shakes her head
in disapproval as if being
sad and saying “My Daddy’s
dead” is some terrible social
faux pas and I look at my
friend’s sister and tell her
“I know, it’s sad” then look
back at my friend’s girlfriend
who I think is the most gorgeous
woman in the world and for a
moment I stop thinking about
how things could have been
different and instead consider
on this cold winter day in
the 1970s how beautiful it is
to be young, be here, and be
alive.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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