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A crumpled grocery list

with salmon crossed out

paper towels and tissues

circled with a question mark


found in a lightweight

jacket along with honey lemon

menthol cough drops sugar free

a pair of black leather gloves

and one of many tape measures


The tissues were on sale again

three boxes wrapped together

leaving me no choice

but to bring the bunch home to


more of the same loud boxes

so gaudy, so garish, exaggerated

colors more suited to spring or

summer sniffles before flu shots,

flu season when all Fall down


Breaks to the bone, to the blood

dead chickens for salty broth

good neighbors and bad alike

sobbing uncontrollably, prayers

to sweet Jesus going unanswered


Please leave me alone

I cannot hear any of you

because four out of six

tissue boxes are sobbing

so loudly I must do something


IN

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