Seattle, February 2011 (for Dillon, 03.08.1979 — 08.02.2013)

How was I to know then—in the shadow

of that red lacquered library, in that misting rain?

How was I to know as you sprinted Spring Street

that you would never come back to me again—

not the onery, flesh and blood, authentic you,

not the smirking, hungry, always ready to argue—you?

How was I to know you were already performing

your disappearing act, already losing yourself

by milliliters and milligrams, slipping steadily

down the rabbit hole toward oblivion?

How was I to know that you were already on your way

to gone, that I would never hear you speak again

face to face that loaded word—Dad?

Tell me, how was I supposed to know all that

when I let you go that day, when I didn’t call you back?

And more to the point—why didn’t I?

About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in southern California.
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2 Responses to Seattle, February 2011 (for Dillon, 03.08.1979 — 08.02.2013)

  1. Sheila A LePage says:

    Heartbreaking Jack. The very worst time possible and I am so sorry for you and Devon. I can’t and don’t want to imagine the pain. My son panicked a couple of months ago because he was afraid he would hurt himself. Thankfully his father took him to hospital. My mother and her mother had a terrible history of contemplating the end. Not sure Ray is aware. I’ve even thought of it. Losing one of my children is unbearable. I am so extremely sorry Jack. I wish I could help with your pain. Please forgive me for telling some of our story. It is a fear always with me . Love to you and all who miss Dillon so very much. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Sheila

    On Mon, Aug 2, 2021, 11:15 AM Every Man Jack … wrote:

    > jaurquhart posted: ” How was I to know then—in the shadow of that red > lacquered library, in that misting rain? How was I to know as you sprinted > Spring Street that you would never come back to me again— not the onery, > flesh and blood, authentic you, not th” >

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