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The dead’s handwriting

has power to affect us.

The ink was as fresh

as if only yesterday

the brush had been dipped.

He blurred the paper with tears

and re-read her words;

then consigned them to the flames.

Smoke spiralled to the heavens.

He no longer craved

longevity from the gods.

As the snow drifted,

his despondency increased.

The end of the year approached.