There will be a time for silence at last.

When it comes, the folded pink paper will be

studied intently, a gloved finger running

down the edge to confirm what was foretold.

Your daughters will clasp your hands

and whisper through their tears, yes,

this is what he wants. Your wife will kiss

your forehead and nod – Go ahead. Your

grunting breaths will soften,

your chest slowing to stillness.

it will be a snowy day, quiet flakes

drifting past your window. Only time will tell.


But for now, the holiday will be brighter

with you at home. Your wife will smile

across the table, your daughters passing

plates of a hastily-cooked feast, giving thanks

for the gift of your presence. You will beam

at all of them from under the brim

of your baseball cap, your garbled words

falling on ears that rejoice to hear. When

your eyes reach mine, I can tell

that you know this time is a luxury. But

perhaps, in this moment, it is time enough.


Allison Shen is a third-year medical student at the University of Rochester. Despite her chronic writer’s block, she dreams of becoming a physician-writer someday. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling. She has previously co-edited and been published in murmur and The Archive.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels.

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