Cotton Candy

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

We walked on the bridge over the Chicago River

for what turned out to be the last time,

and I ate cotton candy, that sugary air,

that sweet blue light spun out of nothingness.

It was just a moment, really, nothing more,

but I remember marveling at the sturdy cables

of the bridge that held us up

and threading my fingers through the long

and slender fingers of my grandfather,

an old man from the Old World

who long ago disappeared into the nether regions.

And I remember that eight-year-old boy

who had tasted the sweetness of air,

which still clings to my mouth

and disappears when I breathe.

-- Edward Hirsch

© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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