Issue 169, Spring 2004
You must be dead at least ten years.
You must have lived an unremarkable life
before that: a teacher, say, of unremarkable
students, a recluse, a furniture refurbisher,
or the humble liberator of unendangered species.
You must have welcomed children of your own
into the world and overall been a decent sort
of parent—surely made mistakes, but nothing
criminal. You must have done whatever you thought
would better your children’s lives.
(And should one of them have hated you
for that: for giving them too much, or not
enough, or—even after the divorce—for introducing
to your bridal bed a lover much too young for you,
you’d likely have been forgiven ... at the end . . . )