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December 28, 2022

Wrong Size

“I don’t like to talk about my nightmares,” my granddaughter tells me, “because then I just have to live them again. But I will talk to you now because the day is better than the night. Also,” she explains, “in the day I can dream without being afraid. I can even dream about the night without having to be in it. My older sister says that’s what they call a daydream, which she insists is really the best kind to have.” She pauses, shakes her five-year-old head at me, and goes on. “I don’t think you could guess all the things I’m told I don’t know but seem to know anyway.” About to enter the park, she takes my hand and offers me a smile, as if I am the one who needs assurance. “I know, for instance,” she resumes, “that you’re a daddy and a grandpa too but,” she adds for good measure, “I don’t think you really understand children. No grown-up really does, ‘cause none of you have ever been young…even if you say you were. No,” she concludes, sizing me up with a sidelong look, “you’d never fit into our clothes.”


© the author

by Joel Savishinsky

Joel Savishinsky is an anthropologist, gerontologist and recovering academic. His Breaking the Watch: The Meanings of Retirement in America, won the Gerontological Society of America’s book of the year prize. A Pushcart Prize nominee, recent poetry, essays and fiction of his are in Atlanta Review, The Avocet, Beyond Words, Gold Man Review, Metafore, Poetry Quarterly, SLANT, Toho Journal, and Windfall. He lives in Seattle, helping to raise five grandchildren. His collection Our Aching Bones, Our Breaking Hearts: Poems on Aging will be published in 2023 by The Poetry Box.

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