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All these circles of childhood: Farmer in the Dell, Hot Potato, Musical Chairs. Spinning or turning somersaults ’til we are dizzy. We move on to a circle of friends, a circle of colleagues, a church circle. These circles of opportunity seem so wide open; the world is our oyster. Making the rounds of schools, of jobs, of community involvement, of social groups. Now, the circle is narrower, closer, almost claustrophobic. I sit in the circle of wheelchairs with my neighbors in the nursing home, so near to one another, yet so distant. Our parched mouths hang wide open under closed eyelids. No sounds emerge. I wonder why. Do we have so little breath left? If I could speak, what would I say? I don’t even know my name.

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