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          At Six a.m.
          By Lori Williams

          He waded home through an undertow
          of barley and hops, each footfall on the steps
          in synchrony with my palpitations

          and the sun was rising, daring the new day
          friends call tomorrow, to hold promise; then
          the lock twitched and clinked for so long

          that the bins at the corner market filled --
          potatoes, pearl onions, plums, plunked
          into their wooden stalls, keeping time with his

          inept attempts to fit key to hole. The funeral
          was unplanned in my dash from bed to door;
          the suit I'd have to buy put back on the rack,

          the phone kept on its cradle, my heart still heavy,
          but whole. So, I opened the door, led my son
          to bed. In the time it took to traverse a three room

          apartment, I relived every night of tucking in
          and making plans. I might have suffocated,
          but my mouth hung open to the air

          praying through the fog
          of sixteen year old beer breath --

          give me back my boy.

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Document last modified on: 08/19/2003

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