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by Margaret Van Every

in their proud kitchens
the mothers in bib aprons
and high heels
making lime jello salads
with canned fruit and marshmallows
privy to their fights
and when and how they make up—
sweet sounds of atonement—
we know these neighbors by heart
whom we have never met
she wanted to say
she was leaving forever
but the only time
she could get his attention
was during commercial breaks
leaving him
she had to first find her replacement;
had he been left un-womaned
he’d have figured out
a way to make her stay

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