A Husband and Father

For Hans, he had a book. For baby Jürgen, he had a rattle that he’d carved from a pine branch with one of the hospital scalpels. For Ani, he had a pair of shoes. They were good leather shoes, not the wooden clogs that most kids wore, not the shabby paper sandals of the poorest families, but shoes that smelled of hide, of the days before the war, when schoolboys kicked real footballs into real nets. What a sound—that gasp of rope, that swish of victory. Frank had not heard it in years.

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