MORE HEMINGWAY

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excerpt from Lorian Hemingway’s memoir on her grandfather Ernest;

I had visited my grandfather’s grave in Ketchum the summer I had caught the marlin, arriving at the small hillside cemetery on a scalding July day, a half-finished fifth of vodka in one hand, a filter-tip cigar in the other. I’d made my way to the simple marble slab marked by a white cross, and stood swaying over the marker for a long time, expecting epiphany, resolution, a crashing, blinding flash of insight…. I wanted to say something of value to the old man, perhaps that I had met a dare he had set forth by example, but nothing came. The neck of the bottle grew hot in my hand. I tipped it to my mouth, taking a long swig, then poured the rest, a stream of booze, clear as Caribbean waters, at the head of the marker. “Here,” I said, “have this,” and walked away.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY (who loved horse racing); “I never back any animal that can talk – except myself”

PAPA
The time is near
The clock is queer
I have had more than one beer.
Papa crept downstairs
In the early morning.
The keys are close to the time.
They open the locked cabinet beneath it.
The shotgun is quickly loaded
Two in the chambers just in case
Then the gun is heeled to the wall
And his forehead firmly anchors it.
Hands reach down –
And Bang!
Papa is no more.

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