On the thirty-seventh anniversary of my mother’s death, I left the house when it was still dark to swim in the swells and swift current of the San Francisco Bay. After I had left, a deer collided into our fence, breaking it and scattering posts across the walk. Then it upended rocks from the wall, crushed the stems of the blooming Chinese red lantern flowers and shrugged off huge chunks of bark from the rotted redwood stump. At least that’s what I think happened. Maybe it wasn’t a deer. All I know is that something broke through, trampling the garden and rearranging the earth. Was it  my old grief? Rocking through me still, careening forever across the repaired life I have constructed?

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