It was supposed to be a compromise,
she said.
Because that was how she defended her actions.

Meeting in Decatur was her plan, since it was halfway
between where I was: (Carbondale) and
where her dead Uncle was being buried:

We were eating in a lousy restaurant
with a lousy view of downtown in November,
a working class town where no one was working.

Most of the street fronts were boarded up, the sidewalks mostly vacant
save patches of brown/black leaves matted into gutters,
looking a bit like a failed art project.

It was supposed to be a compromise,
was her answer.

When I suggested we meet for New Year's in Memphis.
"Maybe next year" was her response, and also
her last words.

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